Day 22: Berlin, Germany. Still in Berlin, Germany.
As you’ll likely know, seems as nearly 500 of you read yesterday’s blog, yesterday was the most frustrating day of my life. We hoped for a better day today and well?
Today was the most humiliating day of my life.
Even worse than that time I ran away from my own birthday party crying because I didn’t want to be egged. Lets rewind, shall we.
Last nights stay in the hotel was a pleasant one. The shower was warm, the water unlimited but there was no glaring sun through the windscreen this morning. Nor was there coffee, good coffee at least.
Breakfast was €8 last night, she said no worries, you can pay in the morning. This morning however? €16 euros because we didn’t book last night. I wouldn’t have minded but €16 for 2 yoghurts, some toast and 3 boiled eggs is slightly taking the piss I think.
We heard from the garage earlier than expected which threw all of our plans for the day out of the window. We had planned to stay another night and roam the city a little and try not to worry about our Doris. Instead, we headed for the garage, another €20 Uber to take us 9KM across the city. We weren’t greeted with good news.
Doris is dead.
Rather, her fuel pump had failed. If we wanted her repaired? No sooner than a 3 week wait and a TWO THOUSAND EURO bill.
Our trip is over and we knew it, but things didn’t exactly get easier from here.
First call was to our insurance to inform them that Doris was in fact dead, and CPR couldn’t save her. Nor could we stay in Berlin for 3 weeks whilst she rises from her death.
The appropriate communication was received and the questions answered. The reply I got when the recovery had been filled;
“No worries sir, we will get back to you by the end of the week.”
THE END OF THE WEEK.
So what do we do?
There’s only so many times you can play hop scotch in a German mans garage before you get thrown out.
A stern and strong word with a supervisor and Doris had been accepted for her ride home. The bonus is this will be the most efficient she’s been the whole trip. Imagine her miles to the gallon when she’s home!
Back and forth with our insurance providers to try and get them to talk to the garage to let them know Doris wasn’t a sitting duck and she was due to be collected by her knight in shining armour.
Unfortunately this never happened and the day slipped by. We have been sat in Doris and the garage car park since 11AM this morning, we left at around 9:15PM.
The garage we were parked at, ADAC approved, wanted money from us. I have no idea why, but apparently it’s something to do with a man leaving a van there for over a year and never collecting it. That and it was easy money for the owner, she told us that herself.
When I spoke to my insurance they had confirmed the recovery and that they’d be in touch with the garage in the morning. No charges should incur and we should be safe leaving Doris where she is.
Just a little side note here. Doris is my life savings. She is a huge chunk of money I have sat, lost in a German garage.
Queue us trying to leave.
The lady who spoke English had now left, we later found out she’s the chef (boss). The man left couldn’t speak great English and had already shown his disliking to us being in his car park.
This is where the humiliation games begin and I am so proud of myself for keeping my cool and not doing something I’d have later regretted.
I wrote this exact message in google translate to thank the man for his time today, for letting us stay all day. That our insurance would call tonight or tomorrow and recovery would be dealt with. However, we have to leave now as we have a flight to catch.
Straight on to the phone to chef.
I’m not sure what he said to her in German. But you know when you can tell someone doesn’t like you, yeah, it was that.
She was slightly irate and obviously angry at the fact we wanted to leave without any payment to her or her garage.
I tried explaining that our insurance would call them and cover any costs incurred. They would also be recovering the vehicle and it would not be staying here.
The phone call got no where as I refused to pay £178.50 to store Doris at her garage. Which is a ADAC approved garage and she was dealing privately with the money she wanted me to pay.
Why would I leave Doris in a yard in Berlin whilst I fly 1000 miles home if she wasn’t to be collected?
She put her colleague back on and this is where the scrutinising started.
They for some reason now believed I wasn’t insured and that Doris wasn’t being recovered. Like what?
To which they contacted the AA, who id previously told them was not my insurer. Of course the AA had never heard of Doris and of course, we weren’t insured. Further scrutinising ensued and all our papers absolutely destroyed whilst they tried to find something wrong and somewhere to point the finger.
I was getting angry and irate at this point and could feel myself leading up to doing something stupid.
I decided to phone my insurance who had previously told me it would be OK to leave the garage without payment. My call was just to update them going over my V5, insurance and breakdown cover, phoning various UK numbers of which none of them were mine, not that they would listen.
I’d had enough and decided to ask for chef once more. We were back on a call and I apologised for the earlier, unproductive call. Which basically was her interrupting me for most of it and later threatening to put Doris on the roadside if we weren’t to pay.
Having enough and feeling ready to burst, I said I’d pay their absurd fee of €178.50 to keep Doris parked there for 10 days should she need to be there for that long. She won’t, she’s being collected tomorrow. But they didn’t believe me. Then after payment, she obviously now rubbing her hands together, she says:
You’re covered for 10 days, if your motorhome doesn’t get recovered it goes onto the road.
I could have thrown the computer in front of me and her German colleague back to the UK with how angry I was. What a comment to make and how to anger me even further.
So far here are the costs we’ve covered due to incomptent insurance AND unbelievable garage policies.
Uber 1: €20
Hotel for the evening: €81
Uber 2: €20
Garage parking fees: €178.50
Flights home: €109
Uber 4: €31
Hotel for the evening: €50
The worst thing is that doesn’t even cover any repair costs we’re going to have when Doris is back in the UK. The even worse thing is I’m going to spend weeks, if not months waiting for this money to be reimbursed whilst the insurance and garage figure out what their arse looks like and what their elbows look like. Because quite clearly they’ve both got issues understanding either.
That is absolutely the end of my rant. But between today and yesterday these are some of the worse days of my life. The phone calls, broken promises, lies, money issues and expenses, the time and energy wasted with so far, no actual outcome.
I for sure will be pursing this with all of my energy once I am home, and if I can make sure this things don’t happen to the next person who has to deal with this then I’ll be successful.
But tomorrow I will wake up with a smile. I get to see Gem (my doge) after 3 weeks away, and we can plan what is next in this adventure.
I apologise for my negativity, but I want this biog and my story to be open, honest and truthful. Whether that be the highs or the lows of what my adventures bring. Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start, I’ll look back over the incredible 3 weeks we’ve had of travel and write more about them.
Thanks for coming along on this journey for me.
Doris and I aren’t over.
She will live on.
Tonights AirBnB: Anglea’s House, Berlin Schonefeld Aiport. (AirBnB link click me)