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4,386 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
sooooo...I've posted some shortuns here and there, but I'm sortof really back now. Sortof.

I've received some annoyed emails about my absence. I'm sorry again.
I've received some concerned emails about my absence. Thanks so much.

So for a while now, my parents have been toying with the thought of emigrating to France. They've had wild ideas every once in a we kindof did it off with "sure you are ma...sure you are..."

They decided to put out a bid on a house they liked. Just to see what kind of response they'd get. And put their house up for sale. Gauging interest.

Things fell through with the house, because aparently the dutch government throws up all sorts of obstacles when you want to releave yourself from the clasp of the dutch tax system. Thus...they couldn't get a new finance.

A few days after the house was put online, someone dicided to make a bid on the house (asking price). Next thing they made a down payment on "our" house. (i've moved out years ago)

So things start to move REALLY fast now. Since they now they don't need a new financing, they can follow through on their bid in France!

...only thing is. The new owner wants to move in within a month. And it's a really really big house.

So guess who is 'invited' to help move out...and pack up to move to france? Exactemundo.

This is the part where my life gets complicated.
Before my arrival at my parents, a full truck load of furniture had already been moved over. (a full day driving) Upon arriving...and inspecting the thing becomes painfully aparent.

...this won't fit. (flamegurl has a really good picture of me physically looking at the truck at that instant)

And indeed. It won't fit. So we'll have to come back again to pick up the remainder.

My dad bought a really nice toyota 4runner. I usually oppose to these sorts of cars. But they're going to live in the mountains with unpaved roads around.
And I have to drive it to France. (I get to be the bully on the road for once)
So away we go!

-Moving truck fully loaded
-Dad with stationwagon fully packed and towing a big hitch)
-Mom with their motor home. Also packed.
-Me+flamegurl with the 4runner.
-2 full grown labs, 5 cats dispersed amongst vehicles.

This goes very well up until paris where I notice the (just replaced) aircon isn't working anymore. Flamegurl makes a comment about a burning smell, and I shush her with a "shut up woman it's perfectly normal, let me handle the car things" kind of comment.
3 miles down we pull in for gas. As I exit the car...I smell somthin burnin.
It's the distinct smell of clutch/brakes/drivebelt.

...I pop the hood, and I'm greeted with a nice warm column of blueish smoke and dust. I flapper my hands to clear it up, and see it streaming from the multibelt.

....this can't be good.
I crank the car..and it won't even turn over. Oh goodie.

So here we are. 100 degree burning heat. 80+% humidity, along the paris highway, traffic roaring by, with 5 cats and 2 dogs.

...and we're not even half way there yet.

You see now where my name "BAD KARMA" comes from?
Just wait. I just got started.

We call breakdown service (insurance rules) and after only *cough* 2 hours, a tow truck pulls up. In the meantime I had some time to peek under the hood, to see that the aircon compressor is sitting crooked on the belt. I love dealerships. I really do.
The tow truck loads up the 4runner, and whisks us away to a nearby hotel parking lot. The truck goes on ahead without us. After moving all the animals into the shade, Flamegurl and myself decide to walk to the nearby store to get some more water and food. We could be stuck for a while.
While in the store, I get a paniced call from my mother.
The very same tow truck showed up, and proceeded to load up the car again. Flamegurl's french is the best amongst the group, and nobody can make anything sensible from the exclusively french speaking driver.
We drop our groceries on the spot in the store, and rush out. (security did not like that)

Turns out that breakdown service is having the car towed to a shop to have it looked at. Why they towed us to the hotel, making us wait up to 4 hours by now remains a mystery.
Now we have a logistical problem. Where do we leave the stuff from the 4runner...including 2 cats in a big steel carrier. I proceed to strip the interior of my dad's car and force the cat carrier in. Destroying the headliner in the process. But what can you do..?

The rest of the trip was a nightmare. We left at 5 in the morning, and we didn't get there until 3 at night. Taking turns driving. My dad and I took on the most. My mom was a mental wreck by this time, at the verge of crying most of the time.

The next few days were basically just unloading the truck, and stowing it all. No time to unpack even. And then drive back to holland again to load up the next truck.

...but first we pick up the 4runner in Paris. The aircon pump and alternator had fried and chewed up the belt.

My dad drove back with the truck, and I drove home to some "school stuff".

In the short time we were there, we made a quick inspection of the house. Now that the old owners were gone, it became aparent really quickly that it needed a whole lot more work than we had anticipated.
And it's a 300 year old you'd expect some work already.

So just over a week later..flamegurl and I packed up again, and left for france.
We drove to the dealership, where the toyota had been fixed. But immidiately noticed the aircon pump was bypassed. They couldn't get the new pump to work. Regardless...we had to leave. So off we went.

She drove the 4runner, and I followed in the CRX.
...alll the way to france, on my 12/10 Skunk2 coilover kit.

So we get to Belgium. Everything is fine and dandy.
2 miles before the french border, I see drops on my windshield.

...odd....not a cloud in the sky.
I turn on my wipers and attempt to clean it off.
We overtake a truck, and I shift a lane to the left. Rain goes away.
I tuck in behind the 4runner...and my windshield dirties up again.
...wait...that's no rain. That's coolant! Bright green coolant! And oil too! Quickly I see nothing. phone rings.
Flamegurl:" notice something about the toyota?"
Me:"uh oh...."
Flamegurl:"The temp is going to the -H- mark"
Me:"okay...pull into that gas station..this thing's toast"

We pull in, as the thing starts to smoke. It almost stalls, and she coasts into a parking spot. Quickly a big puddle of coolant forms under the left front wheel.
She slams the door shut, cursing, but shuts up reaaaaly quickly as she sees the expression on my face. She ends up calling the garage, telling them something to the extent of "No Bas is not available. He's cooling off along with the car. We're leaving it here. Come and get it or not. We don't care."

I check on the car, and it's sizzling and bubbling. The hood is too hot to touch. So I leave it.
Roadside service pulls up about an hour later, and as it's cooled down we quickly see oil in the coolant, and coolant in the oil. I'm no mechanic...but I know what that means.

So yet again.... the 4runner is towed away.
The next 7 hours are spent waiting for a replacement vehicle. You can imagine we can't possibly fit all the **** from the 4runner in my crx.
They finally find us a car big enough...and we're back on the road.

We crash in a cheap crappy hotel halfway and drive the last leg the next morning.

OK, now realise...after all this. The work still has to begin!
I'm not going to extend this any longer. Suffice to say the next 3 weeks are covered with drywalling, painting, carpenting, framing, plumbing, decorating, name it.

The catch is this; my folks are partly renting the farm house out. And we have to be done before the guests arive!

One of my jobs there included pulling cables through walls and hooking up the internet. Everything's in that was quite a challenge. Most of the time it didn't work, so I couldn't read my email. Pop3 didn't work at all I could access was hotmail. reply to my emails.

unfortunately just a few days after we were done, we had matters to attend to back in Holland. So we didn't even get to enjoy the surroundings for more than 3 days. And we were completely beat up from all the work.

My folks promised I could use the farm house for a week with some friends. So anyone willing to fly over is welcome to join me. We have room for 6 of you.

So, yesterday night we get back home again. Thank god.
I was longing for my own bed sooo badly.

I open the door, and walk in.
hm...itch? I look at my legs, and there's sand on them. Odd.
Wait... that's not sand!

My legs are covered in them!

I actually ran out of my house screaming. Shut the door with the lights on and everything. Walked over to Flamegurls house, where she prompted me to strip to my shorts in the street before I could come in, showering me prison style.

So today I fumed my house...and the next couple of days I will be staying at flamegurls house, cause I can't go in for another 2 days.

What a homecoming.

Now see where my name comes from?

· Registered
4,386 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well... I did have a small 'mishap'.

Flamegurl missed me signalling that I wanted to stop for gas.


So when I finally pulled in, I was running on fumes. I've never put in that much gas before! I think the fuel return line eptied out or something. When I was done filling up, it started spewing the gas out again. After a few minutes it burped out the air through the filler nozzle in a bubbly fashion. All was fine after that.

· Registered
731 Posts
So long as you keep the name SETI... the darkness shan't lift.

Nope, not poking fun at all. I myself used to gripe about/believe in the never-ending clouds above my head attributing them to quite possibly "bad karma". Now I feel if I entertain those thoughts then I also invite them. FWIW, take up belief that everything is random.

Nevertheless what you endured sucks. And yep, sure does make you wonder how bad luck could come in such long strings, almost as if someone or something up above or down below didn't like you personally.


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3,258 Posts
....And I thought I had it bad... :shock:

At least you can sit back and think, "Hey, I made it through all that ****...F U KARMA!!" :lol:

· Registered
4,386 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I kinda liked the 4runner. Too bad it's breaking down all the time.
Oh well. That head gasket is going to be an expensive and messy job for the shop tio fix. Still warranty. Nice thick knock in the block too. It'll probably end up on the parts pile.

When I get my CF card recovered (formatted the wrong full card) I'll post some pics of the end result. The house that is.

· Registered
374 Posts
lesson # 1 :
Never assume the lady doesn't know when a car has a problem ;)

Lesson # 2 :
Don't try to bring fleas into my house. Of course I let you strip outside and shower when they are jumping off you!

Besides all this... don't forget the chip out of the hood of the crx when you opened it up mister... So little damage to the car.
And if you want to stop for gas.... On a very busy road.... where I do not keep on looking at your blinkers :rolleyes1:
Just pass and drive in front. How hard can it be to drive by an opel astra..... ;)

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720 Posts
Yeah pass and THEN signal! :lol: C'mon Bas!

About the fleas- I came home from a dirty hot trip to Mexico (not a vacation more of a charity works poor village thing) I came home dead tired to a house full of fleas. Worst place was my bed where my room mates dog slept. (he wasn't even supposed to be in my room.) It was so bad I had to spend that first night back sleeping in the car! Man was I pissed!

Any trip you take into a country where no one speaks your language is bound to have a "Maurphy's Law" event!

Glad to hear you made it though! Oh yeah, and please book Eve and I for the farm house vacation! :wink:

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4,386 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah I still can't sleep in my house because of the fumes.
The vet said that if I'd left the cat at home it would have been fine. He's been treated for it.

Seriously though. I might organise a small "France retraite". Do consider the flying costs tho. I can come pick some people up if I'm there. Or if you want to book yourself you can take the train into town.
...I should say "le village". lol

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4,386 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I had to throw out all of my cardboard boxes and packaging materials because of these damned pests.

I'll have to go look for, or buy new packaging stuff. [sigh]
I just got back in my house today. No fleas..but it sure smells funny here. I'm told that will last a while too. Great.
The cat doesn't want to come in. Probably because of the smell. He spent the night in the bathroom on the cold tiles, where it doesn't smell. (I'm thinking of joining him)

So anyway. I'm back. Let's get to work!
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