Thursday 5th May, One step forward, 2 steps back

Thu 5 May 2011 20:11
We went back to the Customs office in Odessa with our interpreter today.  You canât talk to a real person unless itâs through a 9â window at navel level, or someone in an office at the end of a wall phone which gets closer to disintegration every time it is used.  And you are not allowed to use the toilet.
Our wonderful interpreter patiently cajoled  and wheedled with people through little windows and on the phone but after 2 hours we were getting nowhere.  Meanwhile we (she) chatted to a couple from Belarus whose car was confiscated 4 weeks ago & apparently all their clothes thrown into the fields, because they left the country with the wife driving the car, & re entered with the husband driving.  So we felt quite lucky in comparison.
Suddenly the scary lady from upstairs came down with a handful of papers and told our interpreter that we have to be back there at 2.00 tomorrow to collect our confiscated money, then get a fast car to Izmael where the car is, and arrive by 4.45 to pick up our car. HOORAY!
But wait a minute, this a 2 to 3 hour drive and we thought it would be tricky.  So it was suggested we go to a notary, and get a letter from Sandy authorising Stef to pick up the car, so that we can do one job each.  So we sorted out accommodation & bus tickets, and by 3pm we were in a notarys office.  They made a call to the Izmail customs to check the required wording for the letter. We really thought we were getting there.  They were told, no, it is too complicated.  You canât pick up the car till TUESDAY, Monday being another holiday.
That means 5 more days before we get the car.
We went back and cancelled our bus tickets and changed our accommodation, and went to buy ourselves a DVD.  At 5pm we got another call from the Izmael office, which the DVD man translated, saying If Sandy can be here at 9am tomorrow HE can pick up the car. 
Well, he canât, because we know it will be difficult to start, and we know if they say 9am it means some time that day, and we have to be in Odessa customs at 2pm.  So we said no.  So they said, OK, but you will have to pay $10 for every extra day the car is here!!
We came home and watched our DVD.  It was very good actually.