Bilderverkauf aller 50 km / Pictures on Sale every 50 km

Friday, July 24, 2009

Landcruiser is Back

After 3 crazy, weird,but also boring days (waiting waiting waiting), feeling like in bad Mafia movie days we have our car back. The car is in good condition. Inside we have to everything new. Fucking asholes!!!! Anyway we are happy to have it back. One nigth without sleep requires now a rest. So check later but anyway we can not tell any details on this public space.

Oyasumi Nasai, Gute Nacht, Spokoino Noche
Markus und Kotomi

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our Track from Tokyo until we stuck in Irkutsk

We have to wait again. I will tell you later why. So I have time to prepare maps for the countries we will visit next. Furthermore, I just summarized the way from Tokyo to Irkutsk.

Monday, July 20, 2009

"A fresh married couple has to eat 16 kg of salt together"

This is a russian saying and the last two weeks we were feeling like that. Emotions go up and down. The number of problems sometimes increased to 5 in parallel. Some of these problems had to be solved simultaneously. Most of the time I was concentrated on "trying" to solve these problems, while writing the Blog had lowest priority. Without the group of people of around 20 people all of this would have been impossible. Some are translating, some ask friends for information about the problems, and others invite us to a weekend at the Dascha of their grandmother to relax. All in all I have to say that most people we met are really nice and kindly. I would always do this journey again and there is no reason of not coming to Russia. Since we are "famous" now due to the TV reports, which we used to contact the "Mafia" guys, a lot of people recognise us at the street. They feel sorry for us and wish we can find the car back. They always ask if we got it back and say sorry even it is not their fault. One day Kotomi got a toy dog just from a guy at the market, just to cheer her up. He even called later asking if everything is fine and to say sorry again even it is not his fault. He gave us the advice that we also could go to church because it can not make it worse but maybe it helps.

Some people thinking/saying now: "I told him before that Russia is a dangerous place". But I feel it is non sense. You could go nowhere with this opinion. In our case there were some circumstances which let it happen that the car was stolen. But this can happen in Germany, in Italy, in Spain .... too. I know a lot of people which had the same problem in Europe too. The main problem is that status symbols are very important in our world. It is important to have a big shiny car including the cool half naked shiny girl. If you drive a Niva or other Russian car, you are a Nobody. Of course this is one of the reasons our car was stolen because it fits in the category big and luxury! For me the Land Cruiser was just the thing with the 4 wheels which make it possible for me to cross especially Mongolia or other remote regions. Here also every 3rd car is a Land Cruiser but they look like as they were never used in Offroad. Open window, techno music, young, dynamic, beautiful is the motto. At my everyday morning run or walk to the police to get one more paper for the immigration office or the custom office or.... I had to walk through the busy shopping street of Irkutsk. Every shop puts loudspeaker at the street and attacking you with that music. For me that culture which is imported is the embodiment of aspiring towards this fu*** status symbols. I know this is a world wide phenomenon but still I really starting to get pissed off when running through these streets. Thousands of mobile and clothing shops; you get the feeling that this world is build on mobiles, cars and naked girls. Fortunately this are "only" 80 % of the people, where the other 20% we meet in the country side and are the people from Irkutsk which are helping us.

The problems we had and still partially have I do not want to discuss now here at this public place since it may made things more complicated. I will explain it later. For now it seems we buy soon another car. It will be a 4WD Russian UAZ bus. But the ping pong game between the different offices, with different opinions between offices or even betweens the today’s and tomorrow’s opinion of a person will finally decide if we can go on or not. Coming back to the 16 kg of salt, I feel it makes us stronger and both of us are feeling that we do not want to finish this journey with this last impression of the stolen car. So keep in touch with the Blog to see if we can overcome this unfortunate happening.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The most wanted II, the pictures Around Baikal

2009 Around Baikal

Not yet all uploaded !!! check later again!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The "Stolen Car Project" (1)

We still stuck in Irkutsk. Everyday other news. Butt lets start from the beginning.

At the 27th of June we actually wanted to start to go to Mongolia. We had the Visa and everything and just wanted to go on. At a friends place we had a good internet connection and we were writing mails and so on ... The evening was already approaching and we did not want to start that day anymore. We got invited and stayed one more day. Well even at 2 am in the morning our car was still there. Unfortunately we decided this nigth not to sleep in the roof tent since the day before it was quite noisy. The experience of the last two month only meeting nice people let us start to be careless. Maybe in Vladivotok I would never leave the car alone at nigth, although I take out the fuse which is responsible for ignition and switching on the alarm system. Anyway next day at 12am we came there and there was no car. I looked around and thought that I was quite sure that I parked the car at this place and not somewhere else. I checked around the house, but no car, nothing......... Now we both were sitting on the kerb of the sidewalk in front of the house. I had my sleeping bag and my mattress, my camera, computer, my wallet and passport. Kotomi has almost the same stuff. We could not believe it, I was calm, the shock came much later. In that moment you do not want or can not recognise the reality. The car and all the stuff inside from socks, books, japanese food, car repair stuff .... everything gone.

We called our friends from the day before to go together with them to the police. First we went to a police office, which was not responsible for car stuff. But they showed me a passport of a German that they found. And now the wanted to know from me where is the next German consulate. I had my notebook with me and could tell him the next one is in Novosibirsk. Anyway my problem was the car! They called another police department which is responsible for the cars. We had to wait for them to pick us up with the car, so we decided to print out the scanned copies of the car documents since they are in the car (stupid us). Maybe around 2 pm we were in the other police department. Although it was weekend the police was quite friendly and started to make the protocol. Asking them about the chances to get the car back,we just got some smile. They said we can be happy nothing happen to us. They said it will not be for free to get the car back. Often the cars are stolen and then you can buy it back. Our friends were translating for us but the police maybe thougth that they stole the car. I know it is impossible but they can not know. We got a German translator who did this in her free time just as favour for a friend who works at the police. I think we were there until the almost 7 pm. Kotomi was deeply shoked and she got silent but with panik in her head. I was just concentated at the protocol and tried to cheer her up from time to time. No food since morning, the shock and ...

The police told us to put a news line at the TV which the criminals can read and contact us at a phone number that we just have to make for this purpose. This seems to be the normal way to get your car back. If a car in Europe is stolen you probaly will not get it back. Here you have the chance to buy it back for 30 to 40 % of the value. Ok this was some hope and we had some tasks for the next day.

One friend of us is working in the phone shop and we got new SIM cards. One for cheap calling in Irkutsk and one for the "Stolen Car Project". I thougth would be good idea to make some flyers describing our story and asking to get our car "somehow" back. With the flyers we went to the a federal TV program. We explained the guard our story and within 5 mins a reporter was making an interview with us. The only thing we wanted was to get the story and especially the phone number in the news so that the so called "Cool Guys" know that we want to buy the car back. Well a second reporter with camera was already waiting outside to film how we put our flyers around Irkutsk. ... please look here put the flyer there, be sad, talk with each other during walking ... it seemed so unreal that Kotomi could not stop to laugh even so the everything was not funny.

After that we went to another TV station which is only local АИСТ. Here we needed to convince first the guard but finnally we got the interview and also a news line that will be send the next 10 days for free. That is great, since that what we really needed. At other TV stations they wanted to have for this service arround 119 Rubel for each word. We did nbot know what is necessary to write and calculated that we have to pay around 2000 Rubel for one day. Because of that we were really happy that they did it for free. We were tired in the evening and decided to put the flyers the next day. Sleeeping again at a friends place and wandering around with a white bag which is actually just an thin cotton bag that you use inside the sleeping bag. Kotomi started to feel homeless and being married with Santa Claus.

Waking up is really bad. You always recognise it is true. You do not want to stand up, but anyway this day was good because we wanted to put the flyers. We did and we also went to a small market close to the place where the car was stolen. Here I gave it some people directly and suddenly all other sellers from the market paid attention to our flyers. One woman just took the flyer and went away. After that we just wanted to go "home", but a guy stoped us and as far as I understood, he said that he knows where the car is. He said like give 500 Rubel lets drive with the Taxi to the place where the car is give the money and that is all. That sounded for me quite dangerous and I said no. First he should contact them and ask how much they want. He went away and ask us to wait at this point. There were a lot of poeple and I was not afraid, so we decided to wait. We were waiting almost 2 hours and then he came. He said the price is 5000 USD. And I understood this nigth. With hands and feets I tried to explain him that I am afraid in the nigth and I do not want it that way. He understood I feel cold in the night and he offered us a sleeping place in his house, which he showed us. We were wondering that he is not afraid about police or if he is stupid. Anyway we told him we will go to our friends and ask somebody who could translate.

Our friends were scared too. We went to the town and in the town and meet the guy from the police. We told him the story and he wanted to play the translator for us. Well I asked him, if they would regocnise him? I did not want them to think we have police with us since I really want to have our stuff back. He said it is no problem. We went there in an old blue rosty Lada to show him the place were "DIMA", the guy who said he knew about the car, lives . After hidding the car somewhereelse he talked with "DIMA" who works as clothing seller at the market. Most sellers are coming from Taschikistan, Usbekistan ...tan and China. I saw in the faces of all people at the market a change to the one time before. The expression in the faces was more unfriendly and I was thinking it is because they can smell that this guy is from the police. Furthermore, the police guy was talking to him like a police man and not like a scared translator. Suddenly the story of "DIMA" changed and he said he do not know anything but he can try to find out where is the car.

Well the hope was gone again, but I asked again one of our friends (where this number is increasing from day to day) to go to "DIMA" and ask him again but without police. Well the story was almost the same as the first time when we met him alone. He said for sure he can find the car and he will contact us. We followed the advice of the police and ask him for documents and stuff from the car to proof that they really have our car.

Next day nothing happen, only waiting which is like torture for the mind. The day after that "DIMA" called us. He found the car, the price is now 7000 USD and not 5000 USD. Wow that is a difference but first we wanted a proof and asked him again for the documents and the Japanese cattel which are in the car. For that he wanted to have 20000 Rubel. Our friend got angry on him and told him it is rediculous and he agreed to show us the stuff for free. 10 minutes later he call again and ask us if the car was black. Well noooooooooooo ..... it is white like on the picture we gave you!

Second chance:

Because of our TV news somebody called on the "Stolen Car Project" number and told us a name we should call. Let's say Mr. XXX, because I do not want to write it now. Well that was all just Mr. XXX, no phone number nothing. So who the hell is Mr. XXX???????? We called the police and what a suprise they knew him in this business and gave us the number of him. We called him and he said he do not know now. He jsut adviced to put in the TV. At the same evening as "DIMA" called Mr. XXX also called some time later and said he will look around all next day for the car. Well new hope and Mr. XXX sounded well educated and familiar with this business.

It is saturday and the waiting makes us crazy. A friend ask us if we want to go to the Dascha (it is like a garden house) to visit her grandmother. We could not decide, because we were waiting for the call and afraid that we can not anwer them on the Dascha since there is no signal. Another friend asked us again if we would join and we decided to call the guys to ask if something will happen at the weekend. "DIMA" had no news he just wanted to have 20000 Rubel and then he will find the car, if not we get the money back. Well of course that would be stupid to do, so no hope in this direction. Mr. XXX told us that he could not find out nad he suggest again to put the newsline with a special text and his number at the TV. Anyway we could not do this at the weekend. So we decided to go to the Dascha at the weekend.

Will be countinued ... but now I am tired.