Thursday was again spent with engaging the forward agents on how to speed up the importation of Lipstick and listening to their standard reply that it is not them who are delaying things but the US custom department.
So, another day with walks and a bit of shopping in NY and an evening in a Mexican pup kept the boys busy.
Friday got the guys excited right after breakfast when Angela from the USA Seabrook Forwarding’s USA office mentioned that import clearance is likely to happen today but before the car gets released they need to wait for the exact costs of importation and warehousing – which needs to be paid by Team Lipstick before the car can be handed over.
However, as they cannot accept cash or Credit Cards – arrangements would have to be made with their Cape Town office for an online payment direct to them. Knowing that it is Friday and that Cape Town is 6 hours ahead in time Willy phoned Cape Town and was assured that they would be on standby to send the invoice amount through even after hours and that they would be happy to receive proof of payment thereafter.
At 2.30pm Angela from the USA office phoned to advise that all is ready and the boys immediately contacted Anthony from the Cape Town office who … did not answer the call at all!
Some more discussions with the USA office and the boys went straight to bank of America with cash on hand in order to pay this into their account and mailed a copy of the payment receipt back to Angela who at 4pm confirmed that the boys can fetch the car from the warehouse which address she would mail through but that they need to fetch customs documents before at a clearance house close by to the warehouse.
Having had the wisdom of packing all suitcases in the morning already these were quickly fetched and an Uber taxi was summoned to get team Lipstick to the given addresses which were in Linden – some 23 km away from Manhattan.
For those of you who experienced Friday afternoons traffic in New York it might not be a surprise that the Uber driver told the boys that it would take about 1h20 to get to their destination. It is now 4.30 and knowing that the offices would close at 5m Willy made a few phone calls to the upper hierarchy of the clearance house and warehouse and was promised that they would keep someone waiting for the boys – but not later than 6pm!
It was a nail biting ride through the concrete jungle of New York and through the Lincoln Tunnel underneath the Hudson river whilst chatting to the taxi driver who originates from Burkina Faso in order to keep him in F1 mode.
5:50pm the customs clearance paper was obtained and 10 minutes later the ware house phoned to say that they need to switch of light and go home to which they received a sob story reply from the boys resulting that they kept the shop open until 6.10pm when the taxi stopped at the entrance of the warehouse and Willy stormed into the office to apply his signature to forms and documents whatever they meant.
Voila !! all papers on hand and Andre already busy stowing the luggage into the car when the rain came down on the boys and Andre realised that:
He left his shoulder bag in the Taxi … !
Now w t f what?No phone number or Burkina Faso tribal name of the taxi driver which could be remember at all! Willy proceeded to phone an Uber emergency number which would only accept calls in relation to accidents and life in danger and referred him to the Uber webpage for help. Andre in the meantime proceeded to getting paler and paler with sweat coming out of all pores of his body.
No passports, no money, novisa!
SA embassy which is closed on weekends and knowingly slow on Mondays to Fridays?
The options were running through his mind with space shuttle speed causing more and more sweat to escape all available pores.
Don’t worry Andre you can always use your second passport (The boys carry 2 passports each) Willy mentioned thisto calm Andre down
I have both passports in that f(ine) handbag!
May all overland travellers at this stage be reminded to split passports credit cards and money into different bag!!!
After 4-5 attempts via the Uber webpage’s FAQ” s and help instructions it was possible to reach the driver by phone — yippee!
If you are ever in a similar situation here is the procedure to follow… copy this onto your phone should you ever intend forgetting something in an Uber taxi or reach the age of Andre’s school friends.
Go to help.uber.com
1. Scroll down and enter the phone number you would like to be contacted
2. Tap submit
Note: If you lost your personal phone, enter a friend’s phone number instead.
3. We’ll call the number you enter to connect you directly with your driver
If your driver picks up and confirms that your item has been found, coordinate a mutually convenient time and place to meet for its return to you.
If your driver doesn’t pick up, leave a detailed voicemail describing your item and the best way to contact you.
Please be considerate that your driver’s personal schedule will be affected by taking time out to return your item to you.
Drivers are independent contractors. Neither Uber nor drivers are responsible for the items left in a vehicle after a trip ends. We’re here to help, but cannot guarantee that a driver has your item or can immediately deliver it to you.
Note: You will be charged for the return of this item. Learn more by selecting LOST ITEM FEE below.
It took the taxi driver some 30 minutes to return to where he dropped team Lipstick off and hand the shoulder bag with Andre’s life documents over for which he was rewarded to make the King of Burkina Faso smile…
Luggage was stowed away, Lipstick started,all navigations systems set and the boys were
On the road, again….
It was a hectic drive to get out of New York with traffic similar to Kairos’s inner city and shortly after midnight the boys decided to stop at a motel some 120 km before the Niagara Fallsand went to bed after taking some liquid Scottish sleeping remedies…
What a Day!