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Streetcar Desire

Updated: Jan 10

Chernivtsi. Despite an ongoing risk of theft, the British plated motor survives seven weeks in the apartment’s open parking bay.


18 October arrives and departure to Europe in the vehicle looks promising …until events take a last minute hold on that thought.


An evening stroll up and downtown with Nataliia and we head back to the apartment one last time. Approaching the entrance, the behaviour of a man in a Burberry(!!) stops us in our tracks. Hidden In the shadow of an overladen walnut tree and like a couple of covert voyeurs, we spy on the individual waving semaphore gestures around the blue ragtop!

On closer inspection, he appears to be measuring the distance behind the vehicle …with his arms!


Too bad that a gust of wind gives away our presence. A wall of nuts crash onto our own shell like heads causing us and him to react. The nutty behaviour of our shifty character stops as he speedily departs the scene..


With the car now loaded and set ready for an early morning start, I didn’t want the old girl stolen at the final hurdle.


Having checked out the car’s travel insurance, a dubious addendum in the policy states, no payout should the vehicle vanish while sitting on Ukraine soil.


After supper, a timely return to check the BMW is still in situ and I‘m greeted by the ominous presence of a pristine and pitch black transporter truck, manoeuvring itself within a hairs breadth of the motor.


The Alternative ...fly out under the radar


Lucky Escape

Sufficiently aroused, I run toward the old car, immediately triggering the driver of the transporter to maneuver away from the scene. With the registration plates obscured or not there at all, and the occupants conveniently hidden by the smoked glass windows, clearly, there’s little chance of them being traced! I drive off to the relative safety of the ‘wild dog parking lot’ for the car’s final night on Ukraine turf, paying the security guy a small fee in the process, still feeling uncertain as to the vehicle’s security.


Wild dog …a worthy name for the car yard. Packs of the wild beasts aggressively snarl as I walk past them in the dark of the night.

Mischievous cats have their own ways of avoiding the hostility.

The Romanian Front

A goodbye drink at the Frontier hotel and all to soon, it’s time to part. Nataliia walks back into Ukraine and with a heavy heart, I head off toward Bai Mara for night one of my journey back to France. The tired shock absorbers relax once more, relieved to be back on European tarmac.

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