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UK to Oz, What could possibly go wrong?

UK to Oz, What could possibly go wrong?

Old Sep 15th 2003, 8:20 am
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Default UK to Oz, What could possibly go wrong?

Were here at long last!

Sorry the thread is so long, but lots happened!

We flew with Sinagpore Airways with a three day stopover in Singapore. Total cost for Flights, Two nights in Three star hotel in Singapore and Taxi to and from Airport to Hotel for 2 Adults and 3 Children £2,330. Dont know how that matches other peoples costs but we were pleased.

Below is a copy of the e-mail we sent to friends and rellies shortly after we arrived...........

Good job we are such organised folk and things went all according to plan and so smoothly........not! What chaos!

Still in shock at how long it takes to clear out a house, I know it has four bedrooms but, well, I mean there is a limit! What we thought, naively, would only take a day ended up taking three, and then we left before completing all we needed to do. Such an awful time, hope its never repeated.

One of the many things that went wrong was the selling of the blasted car. Had had a buyer for the car for quite a few weeks before departing Wickford and then two days before we were to set off for Scotland they pulled out Ended up taking the car with us to sell in Scotland, had a buyer all lined up, and then the deal all fell apart on the day before we were flying to Singapore. This left us in a right old pickle and had to sell it to a garage......rip off.... What made matters worse was the fact that it was September 1st and the new registrations were out so our car had devalued by £700 overnight! What a stressful week. Still at least we managed to get it sold, house still empty, any offers?

Another stressful part, but probably funny to any onlookers, was our frantic episode at Heathrow airport. There we were with our 12 pieces of giant sized luggage, which we had weighed on our scales at home beforehand. Noticed that they had a place where you can check your luggage weight so thought we would just double check only to be dismayed to find out that we were 33kg overweight (no, I wasn't standing on the scales) "Never mind" Bill said, "we will just pay for excess baggage. Off he went to sort it out only to come back very pale "they want £1200!!" ........No way, so then ensued a panic of opening all the suitcases in the middle of the busy airport and seeing what could be left, what could be given to those who had come to the airport to make sure we left (they say wave goodbye, but we know) and who we could coax into forwarding things on to us. I'm sure the security guards were having a good old laugh if they could see us on the cameras, as for me I was getting near breaking point. After ditching two full suitcases we managed to get checked in, but not without another scary hiccup. We were now informed that although the tickets had 40kg luggage allowance printed on them, and we had a PR visa in our passports, without a migrant visa??? they would only allow us the normal 20kg allowance. "But it is a migrant visa" we pleaded. "Oh no it's not" they replied. "Oh yes..." well you get the idea. The point she was making was that as we had a permanent residence visa nothing would stop us from returning to the UK and loading up with another 40Kg of luggage, as if. Anyway they finally got the point and let us through. Had a really mad dash to our departure gate, would be gate 40 and right at the other end of the airport (especially as 'final call' was flashing), arrived there puffed out and very sweaty - and when I say sweaty I really mean sweaty! - only to find out that the flight was now delayed by an hour.

The flight finally took off at 19.45, all went well, entertainment excellent and food good (Singapore Airlines). All three children enjoyed the flight and were well behaved - oh yes they were.

As the flight went well surely it was time for something to go wrong, yep. After we had collected our baggage Bill went to his wallet only to find it missing, either lost or stolen, we don't know. After another manic search and running about the airport just praying it would turn up we had to resolve ourselves to the fact we were not going to see it again. Poo! Great, new country, no money. Luckily for us my father had given us some money to help us out (although I don't think he realised we would need it so quickly) so it was quickly off to the Money Changer to get some much needed cash.

Singapore, brill, brill, brill, what more can I say. In the low 30's, humidity 85-90%, my hair looked like I had had an afro but who cares, such a beautiful place and the people are the friendliest and kindest I have ever met. In all the time there we only saw two other children, and that was when we went to a theme park (Santosa) Very strange not seeing kiddies about, made ours stand out even more, they were constantly fussed over, and they loved it!

All went swimmingly well in Singapore until we came to leave at the airport. When checking in the girl at the desk calmly told us that Lewis and Rosina were not permitted to enter Australia - crickey, are they that bad!.... "Pardon" we said. We had noticed her puzzled look and the extra long time she had had hold of our passports and she simply replied "under the passport number of Lewis and Rosina I am getting the message "do not allow into Australia"........Blimey, I thought, or words to that effect. We said ok, we would leave them with her and collect them in about 10 years, I don't think she liked that solution as her fingers started typing very quickly, made a couple of phone calls, and then after about ten minutes said it was all ok for them to travel with us. Oh goody.

Flight went well, Rosina fell asleep, boys enjoyed playing all the games on the console provided, and we landed safe and sound in Adelaide on the 6th September 2003 at 06.40hrs.

Off to passport control and, oh no, what's this, Rosina, please do not pass go. Here we go again. After some time the lady in charge found out the culprit to the problem, an extra digit had been added onto Rosina's visa number that shouldn't have been there. She altered in on the computer and promised we would have no problem with it again...maybe.

Adelaide airport is slightly smaller than our garden. The baggage reclamation area was about 30ft from the customs control point and, lucky us, two planes had landed within 10 mins of each other. The scene was utter chaos. The luggage trolleys were stowed opposite the customs point and soon became unreachable as a solid block of passengers surrounded the entire entrance. Getting the luggage off of the conveyor belt was a bit like the Japanese endurance game. The entire conveyor belt run was packed three deep with people trying to get their stuff. The only way to do it was to peer between legs and then grab well, you never know your luck!.

There were lots and lots of other hiccups along the way but I won't bore you with them.

Hasn't sunk in that we are finally in Adelaide, feels that I am just on holiday somewhere in England, wonder when the penny will drop.


Sindy

************** Breaking News ************

As I am sitting here typing this my father-in-law has just phoned with some good news............dream on, the only type of news we seem to get is of the pear shaped variety and this one was no exception. Until the house is sold we will be relying upon the money from our Endowment policy (Don't go there we know how much it has devalued in the last three years). Anyway we phoned all of the relevant parties ahead of time. Contacted the building society to get the release permission, headed off a few potential last minute problems and finally got the forms signed and posted two days before we left for Singapore. So what was the phone call about? just that they refuse to give us the money as they say my signature has changed since we signed the original form Now they want us to sign a new batch of consent forms and supply them with my passport as proof of identity, but not to worry as they promise to return it......hello, I'm in friggin Australia now. What next?!!!!!!

Anyway, must go now as I'm off to see if I can try and find a four leaf clover, at the end of a rainbow, near a black cat by a gypsy selling Heather.

No worries mate

S
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 8:31 am
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Default Re: UK to Oz, What could possibly go wrong?

Hi Sindy & Bill,

I was wondering how things were going for you! I hope everything starts plain sailing from now on, you've certainly had your fair share of hard luck lately!

Keep us posted, great to hear from you!

Hazel & Wayne
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 8:36 am
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Bugger me I need a few drinks after reading that lot! God knows what you must be feeling like!!

Well it's certainly a story to be passed down the generations isn't it.

Hope everything goes okay for you. Keep us posted, sounds like you could be good for entertainment value!!! (sorry - only jesting)

Diane
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 9:17 am
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Default great to hear from you.

what a trip you have had so far...anyway it is brilliant you are finally there, i was only thinking about you and bill a couple of days ago and wondering how things were going.
well as they say things can only get better, and i hope they do for you.
please remember us poor folks still here in blighty and keep us posted when you have the time, all the best.

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Old Sep 15th 2003, 9:19 am
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OH MY GOD! But lets face it, surely it can only get better! Keep us posted and lots and lots of luck

Heather (weather i'm lucky heather is a very different question )
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 9:24 am
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Hi Sindy and Bill

Nice to hear from you - I was wondering what had happened to you. Glad to hera you all arrived ok.

Seems like the Essex housing market is not too good. Our house in Langdon Hills has also not sold yet - we have also got an endowment mortgage
Anyway, Best of luck.
Keep us posted!!
Debs
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 9:48 am
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Hi Bill and Sindy,

Seems a long time ago that we met at the Essex meet up in June, and here's us off to Melbourne in another month!!

What a nightmare!!! Good to see you haven't lost your sense of humour through it all - as well as feeling awful for you, your post really did make me laugh, as you wrote it so well!!

All the best, and keep in touch,

Helen
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 10:04 am
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Default Re: UK to Oz, What could possibly go wrong?

Originally posted by Sindy
Were here at long last!
Wow some journey. Do you think I could buy the rights to your thread. I think it has the making of one of those one-off two hour comedy dramas shown on ITV .

It can only get better.
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 10:19 am
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What a story! I really feel for you, it makes our trip over to Perth last year seem like a dream.

After a start like that things can only get better, you sound like you have the right attitude, please post again soon with some good news!!! All the very best to you.
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 10:54 am
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Hi Sindy & Bill

Sorry to hear your trip was a little problematic. Glad you all made it though in the end.

Nice to hear form you.

footie chick x
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 12:02 pm
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God, hope everything else goes ok for you all!!!
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: UK to Oz, What could possibly go wrong?

wow what story ...well the good thing is u got there in the end...hope everything is a little bit calmer for u now....good luck ...u have done the hardest part!!
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 1:14 pm
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Blimey! It can only get better from here on. My heart was in my mouth reading your story ......... and it was so funny, you are obviously a survivor and if anyone can make a go of it you sound like you can
Best of Luck
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 1:56 pm
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I promise I will never complain again!!

Best of luck to you Sindy.
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Old Sep 15th 2003, 2:25 pm
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That was fantastic , it did have us in stitches , sorry !!!!
We had similair , flew emirates , left birmingham told we had to much luggage , hadnt put on tickets we could have extra ,after we had been told we could ( always get it in writing !!! ) allowed through after slight argument. Stop over in dubai , go to do luggage again told the same but this time they wouldnt budge , i said you let us come in from the UK on emirates at no extra charge now you want to charge us yep they did it was about 200 or 300 pounds. Go to passport control , told shawnie had a problem with her passport ( my daughter ) i nearly cried ( before this i had been in a mangers office begging for the luggage , he let us off 20 kg thankgod , but not the lot ) i panicked , i said i cant leave her what do i do !!!!! He said no its ok as her passport number is ok on her passport and matches her picture etc , but the number on her PR sticker has a digit missing , but he said no problem blah blah . In perth no problem straight through . So the only ones doing their jobs where in Dubai , not birmingham or here . Anyway good thing is i wrote a letter to Emirates giving the name etc of the woman i had spoken to , and they refunded us the lot and apologised , but we would have flown with them again anyway , as they where great , first class.
Hope Australia is all you imagined it to be , and you settle in well , and you find good luck !!
Joanne
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