After starting to mentally compose the letter of complaint to EMS, the company who was supposed to deliver my parcel containing all of the exciting parts of the new underwater camera setup, and specially send a virtual boot to whoever is in charge of updating the non-functioning web-status, I was getting really impatient. I’ve never been good at waiting for deliveries, ok, fair enough, who is? But hey, I’m one of the bad ones, I start to worry about things; did they really send it? Is it all a scam? Has someone stolen it on the way? Has customs descended on my harmless (ahem) package and taxed me to hell?
Well, on Wednesday I went out for a check-up dive with two new guests, and we were following up with two boat dives in the afternoon, departing at 1PM… When we got back to shore I positively skipped to my bag, innocently ‘just checking’ my messages, like I always do, and lo and behold! There was message! From my all-time favorite people at Moalboal Post Office, letting me know I had a package to pick up from Taiwan! Woop!
Just to make sure I checked the web service and, yes, it was still in transit, not even arrived in the country. Just to point something out, it’s now Sunday, and the package still hasn’t registered as arrived in the country… Wankers.
Not really knowing how large this package would be and not being sure if I would be able to carry it on my own on the bike I recruited Tata to come with me and gain the attractive position as package-holder. As it happens we didn’t really get far, I got a rear-wheel puncture after only five minutes on the way! So we push the bike a few hundred meters to this place where you’re supposed to be able to fix all things mechanical, and similar, but to no avail, no-one home.
Tata, who by the way was easily as excited as me, quickly got a ride back to Kasai to collect his bike and then picked me up and we went into Moalboal to collect the package.
Now, on the subject of customs, and taxing, I never asked, but the company who sent the package to me said that they were going to put a ‘friendly’ total on the package, basically to not get the customs officials too excited, nothing more than that. They also advised me not to buy the actual camera from them, because writing Canon on the slip would send mentioned officials straight into orgasmic territories. So I happily bought the camera in Cebu and got everything else from this very clever company. In the end? Well, they did tax me, but it was in the grand sum of 35 Pesos, something I’m happy to part with for the time they took to glance at my shipment information.
When we finally got back to Kasai and tore the box up and opened up all individual boxes it was already time to go out for the afternoon dives, and I just managed to fit all the parts together, stick the batteries on charge and pack it all up again.
On the way back from the dive Tata asked me what I was doing when we got back to shore and I started talking about the camera stuff and computers and drinking beer and playing pool and all that jazz and he looked me in the eyes and said ‘What about your motorbike then?!’ Ah, yes, of course, that thing. That we left on the side of the road. Right, of course, right you are sir.
When we got there, Tata being local and all, he quickly managed to find this ‘place’ where we could borrow tools and bits needed to get the tyre off. Which must have been all of ten meters from where I left the bike initially… When they heard the story they were all wondering why we didn’t get the bike there straight away and let them fix it? Ah, we must have been in a hurry somewhere else or something!
At least 15 people, kids and stray pets quickly gathered around to give helpful advice or generally try to sell their sisters or daughters, and the puncture-fixing session could begin, and it finished successfully with the tyre being put back on by some dude with his bare feet and then pumping it with a hand pump. As you do.
Mission complete and properly dirty we then finished the afternoon with beer and pool, just like I had been planning all along.
Stay tuned for review and comments of the actual gear!