Monday, 31 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #9, #10, #11

Day 9/10 - Saturday/Sunday

More waiting and more pottering about in the villa.

Day 11 - Monday

Headed into town to collect my passport from the car garage. Was going to need the passport tomorrow for the electricity changeover. 

However, on the way into town, got a phone call from the Shippers.

The container is being delivered tomorrow! Yah!

Needless to say had to cancel the plans to meet the villa agent to do the electricity changeover.

Carried on into town, picked up my passport and then carried on to the bank to collect my new bank card.

Friday, 28 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #7 & #8

Day 7

...was an extremely quiet day. So quiet it didn't even warrant its own page!

Still no word on the shipment. :-(

Really just more pottering about in the villa.

I did get an email from the Villa agent, asking to meet on Friday to get the water and electricity put over onto my name. However, I need my passport for this, and it is still with the car garage for the registration process.

Day 8

Having had the car for a couple of day now, I was happy it was time to take the hire car back. I do have it for another few days, but I wanted to get it out of the way before the shipment did come.

I took the hire car and got it refueled to full. I had only used 1/2 a tank and it took €25 to fill. The petrol station was next to the car hire, so it was an easy drop off.

I then took a walk to find a taxi to get back to the villa. However, I managed to find my way into DT's Sunset Bar for a lunchtime pint, which turned into 3. I got speaking to a builder from Woking who was over seeing a pal. His pal stayed up in Tala, so he dropped me off at the bottom of the road from the villa and I walked up the hill. Long walk after 3 beers in the midday sun.


I got back to the villa and there was only one thing to do, beer and the pool.

Must have been floating about for a good couple of hours, and did nod off at one point for about 10 minutes. Had some dinner and then climbed into bed. I was knackered. Ended up sleeping for about 12 hours. Think the week of early mornings and running around, coupled with the heat, the pool and beer took its toll.

Wish this shipping would hurry up! Still no word yet... :-(

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #6

Today turned out to be a relatively lazy day compared to the last few.

Still no word on when the shipment is coming.... :-(

I took the car out for more of drive, see what it was like in traffic and then a longer run out the road.

Out and about I stopped of at a couple of DIY / Home type shops to see what they had. Handy for when you need something in a rush and don't need to try and find it last minute. One shop I came across is Paphos Homemarket, probably the closest thing I have seen to a B&Q for a couple of years outside of the UK!

As you can see from their website gallery (https://homemarket.com.cy/english/gallery/) it is spread over 4 floors, and has a good mix of stuff.

Here is there promotion video which is aerial drone footage taken outside and inside the store mixed in with some other steadycam shots.


After a run round the shops, headed out the coast road to St. Georges harbour at the end of the island, grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed home.

Here is another aerial drone video I found on YouTube of the St. George area.


Back into the villa, into the pool and a few beers were in order.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #5

First thing on the agenda was to head off to Limassol, I had to be there for 9.30am to meet the customs clearance agent.

Getting to Limassol was the easy bit, but the instructions were to meet at Limassol port, not any particular building or office etc. There was a couple of gates into the port, but these were strictly for the actual container trucks. I asked one of the security guards and he pointed me back along the road to another building.

I arrived at the port car park around 9.10am, so had a bit to kill, there was a building that had "Customs House" on it, but not exactly sure where I was meant to be meeting the guy. Seeing as I had plenty of time, I dropped an email to the shipper, and they said simply to phone the guy and he would meet me at the door.

So, phoned the guy and sure enough he rocked up outside customs house, but his office was round the side in a separate wing. We went in and he started completing the paperwork. I had previously received an email from the shipper listing examples of paperwork I would need to provide to prove I was transferring my residence and that goods were used. This was for the duty free import of goods from outside of the EU. At least two forms of evidence were required and passport was a mandatory requirement, so over and above this, I provided;

For the point of origin;

  • villa return paperwork
  • school attendance certificates
  • contract termination
  • Qatar RP card


For Cyprus end;

  • Villa lease agreement
  • School acceptance letter
  • New car order
  • New mobile phone contract

After this was completed, we went into the main Customs House and the customs inspector reviewed the evidence, checked them off the list and then stamped the paperwork. Job done.

The agent and shipper now had to arrange for a customs agent to be present at delivery to witness the container seal breaking and verify the goods were used. This could take a few days. I will just have to wait for the shipper to get back to me, probably the day before delivery...time to wait again.

Car Pickup

Having confirmed the opening time of the car salesroom the previous day, I did a search for local taxi companies and gave one in Coral Bay a phone to come and collect me. I had tried the number online for the one in Tala, but it was dead. I gave the expediter the address and he said it would be about 15 minutes. A short while later, I received a call from him and the driver couldn't find the address, so explained to him again. Another phone call shortly later and the guy said the driver was on the road waiting, but I couldn't see him anywhere and no cars had been past. I went looking and waited outside, but no joy. I phoned the guy back and said I would meet the taxi at the Amphitheatre cafe and to wait there. After a short walk, the car was waiting. Jumped in and we headed off to the garage in Paphos.

Arriving at the garage, I walked in and was met by the salesman. The car was inside the showroom waiting. We had a look round the car, and the guy fitted trade plates on the car as it still wasn't registered. He took my passport, as they needed it to register me onto the Department of Transport system and get the car registered. He said this would take a few days.

After they took the car out of the showroom, off I went. The car feels great, better than I thought it would. On the way home, I took it up some and down some of the really steep inclines and descents, and it managed no problem. Better than the hire cars did anyway!

Anyway, here it is;









Monday, 24 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #4

Monday.

Start of a new week, and it is going to be a busy one I feel.

I was getting ready to head out, and I got a call on my Cyprus mobile, it was Cyta Engineer, he was looking for the villa to get the number off the phone connection box, he asked me to come outside and stand in the street so he could find me! He took a note of number he wanted and left just as quickly.

Banking

Starting off the day with a trip to the bank. Need to open a local account. Armed with a handful of paperwork, I headed into town. I was originally going to go to a branch out of town, but on the way there, for whatever reason went through my mind, I decided no, I wanted one in town. I think I had visions of it being more busy, being a smaller branch or being less equipped or I don't know what.

I remember where I had seen branches for the one I wanted, so headed off in that direction, and found it. Parked round the corner and headed in. There were the main teller desks and then there was another single desk, and she turned out to be the one who dealt with the account openings.

Sitting down, we went through everything, signed a million bits of paper, took photocopies of my bits of paper and passports and Qatar RP etc. And that was it, the account was open, she gave me an ID and a seal security envelope with a code to register for the digital banking and said I would receive my debit card in a week, so just come back to collect it.

Internet

While I was in the bank, I got a text message from Cyta, saying that the internet account was ready and to come and collect the modem. I headed back into the Mall, and picked it up from the shop.

Heading home, I went in and opened the box and spotted that the cable was your normal DSL RJ11, and there was no DSL filter in the box and all the sockets in the villa were standard BT. Checking the instructions, the box contents should have included a filter.

I had a choice of either going all the way back into Paphos, and into the mall and up to the shop etc. or take my chances and going to the computer shop in Kissonegra, and see if the had one. That was the option I took. Less hassle. Sure enough, they had one and it was only €5. Great.

Back to the villa, plugged it in, BINGO! we have internet........left it to stabilise for a few minutes and ran a speed test. Only getting 16MB. still better than nothing. No 50MB for me then. After having 100MB in Qatar, and 76MB in UK, and reduced now to this.....may have to invest in a WISP account later when the family arrive.

Later that afternoon Cyta phoned me and said they cannot achieve the 50MB I requested, but could offer me the 16MB contract, or I could cancel......easy choice at this stage!


Driving back from the computer shop, this cloud formation was building behind our hill. I was hoping for a thunderstorm, but alas, it never came to anything.

Shipping Update

Got the email from Qatar shippers with details for the Origin Charges. Fortunately I still have the bank accounts in Qatar, so managed to do a local bank transfer within the same bank, so it was over and done with quickly.

Also got an email from the local shippers, requesting my presence on Tuesday at the Limassol port to do the customs clearance for the container. Yah, progress!

Car

I requested a car insurance quote via a website, and they got back to me the same day with the price. I needed to get hold of my No Claims Discount, from my previous insurance in the UK. I logged into the website, but expired motor policy not listed, and nowhere to download the proof of NCD. I didn't fancy phoning the UK, and with no email contact details, I took to Twitter. I Direct Messaged them and they came straight back to me. I gave them all the info I had, Reg Numbers, current House policy number, confirmed payment methods and confirmed I wanted this emailing to me. and in no time at all, I had the NCD letter. Forwarded this to the Cyprus insurance company I was using, and then they phoned me to take payment for the policy and job done. I had car insurance ready going active at noon the next day. Received all the documents in the email, and forwarded the certificate to the Car Dealer and confirmed when they were open the next day.

A busy little Monday, but progress is good! Things are moving along nicely.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #3

Again, another early wake up....my luxurious airbed creaked and groaned, or maybe that is my joints, but nonetheless, I'm awake.
The luxury air bed, it was those sheets or some garish 80s neon colours - limited choices in that supermarket!
Sunday, wasn't really sure what I was going to do.

Pottered about, went to the supermarket again for more stuff...had a drive around.

Did get an email from the property Agent to meet on Tuesday to get the Water/Electricity transferred to me.

Also got an email from the shipping company in Qatar. I need to pay some origin handling charges for the piano. and my shipment wouldn't be delivered until it was paid. Last thing I need is more delays, so sent them an email asking for how to pay asap.

No update from shippers locally on the container...

Generally a quiet day.......oh, did I say it was sunny and the pool was lovely!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #2

Despite being relatively late to bed last night with all the running around and prepping etc. I still woke up early, maybe it was the air bed, it seams to be very noisy, or maybe something else made a noise and woke me, or the light or what, but I was awake around 5 am.

Was in one of those not sure if I wanted to move or not mindsets....after all it was still early, but had heaps to do.

Eventually got up and had a shower, pottered about a bit, then checked what time the Kings Avenue Mall opened so I could head to Cyta and sort of mobile/internet. Plenty time to kill so spent the next 2.5 hours mopping all the floors...I was knackered by the end of that, never mind doing anything else.

Headed into town, which is really easy to get to, basically down the hill, turn left and just head straight all the way into town. The mall car park was really busy, but found a space in the lower basement, and headed up to the shop.

There was a couple of other customers being seen to, so just waited my turn, then got one of the salepersons, who said I need to speak to the other one, as she dealt with the new orders. Waited for her to finish with the person she was dealing with and got started discussing needs.

At this point Mike (from work in Qatar) and his family, said hello! I had a million things going through my head, and then seeing him, just knocked utter confusion into my skull and he must have though I was on another planet! It should have been a surprise, as we were meeting later for a catch up. Anyway, said quick Hi and then back to business.

First up was a new mobile contract, went through the options, discussed the 'Family Plan' for later when the rest arrived, and changeover to that, which is relatively painless process - apparently. I had taken the villa lease agreement with me and my passport so that satisfied the paperwork needs. Great 1 Sim procured!

Next up was the villa internet. no FTTH here, or WISP with Cyta,  just good old fashioned DSL. Although there options list did include a 50MB speed as the highest tier. Anyway, that's what I said I would take, but until it is activated and line tests are done, we wouldn't know what I would actually get. She said I would get a text in a couple of days to come and collect a modem from one of the shops once the order has been processed. Anyway, off I went, happy now to have a local sim. At this point still not put it in the phone, didn't want to lose the other sims that were already in it, so would wait until I got back to the villa.

Headed back into the supermarket for another quick shop, its amazing how there is always something else, but not to worry....Shopping done and back to the villa.

Mike and family were meeting, and got a call from them to say they were lost, so met them down at the Tala Amphitheatre cafe. had a small snack for lunch and bit of a chin wag, then they came up to the villa for butchers, and more of a chin wag. Inherited some Irn-Bru and water they had left over, as they were heading back to the UK that day.

Spent the rest of the day again pottering about in the villa again, of course, had to hit the pool for a cool off. Beer and Lilos....Did also eventually put the new Sim into my phone, and bingo 4G internet on the mobile. I can now use Wireless AP pairing with my laptop/tablet and get decent screen size and applications again.

Great view for a Sunset from the villa
Still had no word from the shippers on the container.....more waiting. I know it is in Cyprus, as I had been tracking it via Maersk Shipping website. so, there is some progress.

And to bed it is, Day 2 is done....


Friday, 21 July 2017

The Arrival........Day #1

I've Made it!

Touchdown in Larnaca Airport around 11.30 am, the flight wasn't bad, not full, and no-one sat next to me, so a bit more arm room. Picked up my carry-on and headed off the plan to the baggage collection. Not as prompt at getting bags off the plane as Doha, but wasn't too long to wait. Grabbed my two suitcases and headed  through customs and headed to the hire car area.

Did the usual with the paperwork for the hire car and handed the keys, walked out to the hire car collection area, handed the agent the key and the paperwork, and she headed off to find the car, wasn't too long to wait, it was only parked 4 spaces away! Car inspection, usual dents and scrapes etc etc. Kia Sportage this time, loaded the suitcases in the boot, and heads off.

When we were in Cyprus earlier in the year, I remember there were a lot of police on the motorway, so just sat at the speed limit and enjoyed the drive, the weather and the view. Nice to see some greenery, compared to Qatar!

I stopped off at the supermarket to get a couple of essential I thought I might need from the moment I arrived in the villa, like water and bog roll etc. I had planned to do a bigger shop after I had been to the villa, but better to be safe than sorry with the absolute essentials. 

I had previously been in touch with the landlady about my arrival plans, and had estimated I would be there about 3-3.30pm, but was now a touch later than planned due to getting lost! I had remember the way through Paphos and to the supermarket etc. but got completely lost on getting to top end of Tala. had to stop and turn on Waze and UK mobile Sim to get the last bit.

Arriving at the villa it was empty, I had received an email a few minutes earlier from the landlady saying she had just left and to call her when I arrived and she would come up as she was only 5 minutes away. Gave her a phone and she popped up with the keys for me.

We talked a few things over, had a general chat, look around the villa again and she was on her way. She had bought some fruit and cakes from the Bakery, which were very nice and very kind of her.

I had a wander around had a think of what I would need, cleaning things, food, rubbish bags, etc. etc.

Headed into Paphos to one of the main supermarkets and did a bigger shop, it will do until tomorrow!

The shipment was still to clear customs, so was going to be without furniture for a few days more. So air bed, sheets, cutlery, drinking glass, plate. Essential and minimalist! Oh, but did also treat myself to a cheap lilo for the pool......no point having a pool and not chilling floating around in it :-)


Still on UK Sim and not giving me 4G, although the data roaming/internet is working, I think I know what is priority tomorrow.

Day 1 done, knackered and off to bed.