Monday, 10 September 2018

The Beginning of the Motorcycle Journey

29 July 2018, Today was the official day I leave Singapore. Gave up the keys to my room in Tiong Bahru back to the landlord in the morning and with my bag packed I headed for Johor through Kranji. The surrender of a place to stay in Singapore felt like the true beginning of leaving and starting the journey but somehow knowing that I have to go back home to KL and would have to run errand such as packing, permit runs, etc etc, the beginning is does not feel the same as the last two trips

I don't feel like the trip really kicked off this time. Unlike the last two trips, when I check-in to the airport and get my boarding pass and crosses the gates ... I knew it was the beginning of an adventure but this time round the start is more obscure, so blend in like I knew it, but not really since most of the time its only a memory or a tale talked so much to friends and family.

We don't visit our own country much i suppose. It goes for all different country as well. Guess it does not feel justified spending so much time and money for something no different than back home. That's whats it feels like when visiting kampung after kampung ... I know this ... I understand this I think, but actually every place is a new place, but just not that out of our comfort zone, hence it is not as interesting as when I was travelling in south america. I spend so much time visiting one town to another that is so identical like a kampung to a kampung but never felt bored overseas and yet I get the feeling that I will feel this way in Malaysia ... sigh

Crossing from Singapore to Johor was a breeze as I planned and I avoided the major crowd and skipped the jam. Across the border and stright up grab to the condo to meetup bluey. Alas the battery was dead, just a few days i had hoped the battery would survive but it was totally flat. Only hope now is to recharge it by riding it else it would cost me another RM 180 to change.

Very fast I felt this was solidatary .... riding alone and checking into the gateway hostel to Tioman Island, I wonder what I was doing in Mersing. It was a small town as expected and the only reason people seams to come here is to get out to the island which cost extravagant ammont of money. Yet I am here just cruising by and staying longer not knowing why.

This journey is going to be so much different from the last two trips. Somehow I know there will be more time alone than anything else ... 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

My Hopes of Getting a FIA Carnet De Passage En Douane – Malaysia

So some background info for most would not know about this mysterious Carnet De Passage En Douane (CDP). Short version, its like a passport for the vehicle travelling overseas. 

Long version i will leave it to which was the main source of information for me anyway. Thanks Chris.

Anyway, technically i do not need a Carnet if i was to only go South East Asia for they were not recognized in these countries but then again, these days and age and especially in SEA, somethings are like the US currency ... its not official but once the people understand the system, they use it.

So based on many forums, private facebook overlanding group, some personal message here and there, it was known within the small community of crazy people like me who wants to travel by their own vehicle, although its is nor formally recognized, the Carnet is understood and sometimes used by the custom officials in Malaysia,Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam so if i have one ... i basicly have Bluey’s passport all set to go.

Not official but good enaugh to cross over without hassle. Or what i was thinking is ... better to have some sort of papper than empty handed trying to cross a border with a motorbike.

Time to get a Carnet ....

It all started on Tuesday morning 7 August 2018, it was time to get to work and kick off all the red tape item so i can set off for the trip ... my estimate was, I would need 2 weeks to sort out everything before I am on the road again. So down I went to Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) to enquire information for application of Carnet De Passage En Duoane 

Automobile Association of Malaysia 

Searching the place at Shah Alam was easy enaugh with google maps and once there, the reception desk immediately directed me to thrid floor and Ms. Woo. So i guess this was going to be stright forward and not wandering around like a lost puppy.

I met Ms. Woo which was a charming lady with load of adventure stories. I mean kinda expected it since if you do Carnet for a living ... only the crazy idiots and the big dreamers go for those stuff and Carnet was not something people think of unless you try to do overlanding in loads of countries.

Before we begin i got a warning .... No more Carnet to Issue they said.

Huh ??? what .... ?? means what ??

So apparently they run out of stock for the Carnet Booklet and wont be able to issue me a Carnet unless the new stock comes in.

And when will that be?

No idea was the reply. *roll eyes*

I could already see all the problems popping up in my head and all the hassle i would have to do to make this trip work, but also at the same time my head was running all kinds of scenario and alternative travel plans ...

The boon and bane of having such flexibility in travel but still it was a f*cking stab to my heart that the Carnet was not available now ... with no idea when it will be available ....

Sometime this year i asked ???

Dunnu ???

Early next year ??

Dunnu ??? It's out of her hands ..... and apparently mine too ...

If inside my heart i wanted to scream and started bulldozing like a anyone would do in Singapore, i kept a super cool composure thinking that yea sure i can make do with anything that comes my way.

For an hour Ms. Woo kept talking, taking me through the procedure of Carnet which mostly i already knew thanks to Chriss details post (link above) ... interlace with the instruction was stories, stories of how people had no idea of the inner working of Carnet and would come to her only to have their dreams blown away.

Some stories i remember was

A group got a Carnet and started their travel but during travel only got entry stamps and no exit stamps ... so their big bucks deposit is stuck since it was half done ... good luck to them

Some joker got his licence and immediately bought a bike and came to get a Carnet for he wanted to travel tomorrow .... no go for that one as well

Another thought the deposit is determine by the owner and not AAM malaysia, so a BMW deposit would be roughly RM 55000 ... awww ... no money for deposit ... dreams cancel ...

Funny thing was ... all her stories and information was already expected by me and so i was really good to go .... minus the fact she does not have the booklet to give me...

How long is the waiting list ???

Very long ...... f*ck ...

Never did think it was that popular ... guess i am not the pioneer of crazy.

So there it is ... I am stuck now ... no Carnet unless by some miricale the booklet stock arrive and all the waiting list has other commitments that i get to jump queue and by the merciful Ms. Woo would still remember me, I would get a carnet within this few months.

I am more or less f*cked .... sigh

So i have a few options left ....

1. Wait ... and PRAY .... Hope that by some Miricle i will get a Carnet in the next one month ...

2. Time to visit all the Embassy and get the permit one at a time ... so much red tapes to cross with this path

3. Just risk it ... start the journey ... reach the border and somehow ... somehow ... continue my journey .... 

to be continue ......