My 3600KM Car travel with an AUDI TT
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Tagged: Devoids Adventure Time
March 1, 2017 at 10:49 am #3736
Today I would like to share a current personal story of mine.
I habe always been kind of an odd traveller, I have been dragged across whole continents since I was a child and I developed a healthy hatred for travelling abroad or anywhere farther than 300km from my angle of living. Yet, I find myself moreoften than not in situations where I have to travel VERY FAR because of family pressure or concerns that overshadow my dismay. So all in all I end up in a plane or car or train, travelling god knows where to do this errand or that and to set a variety things in motion or solve them on my terms.
this is my car:
It got particularly odd when I agreed to my mother to travel with my car (a completely repaired/restaurated Audi TT from 1999 with 138.000KM mileage) to Belarus to retrieve some art goods that she and some of her associates ordered and also to visit some relatives for maybe the last time in their lifetime. I still dont know what madness had driven me that day to agree to such a voyage without thinking it through. First, my car is a sports car, a mid level high fuel consumption vehicle with all wheel drive that did not see more than 4000km mileage a year, which I meticulously maintained and drowned sums of money into restoration and maintenance in order to restore it to former glory.
And now I would dragg it across one of the worst roads in europe to do some errands and glorify a sports car as an art delivery vehicle…. Dont get me wrong you can cram in alot of stuff into it, more than into a Porsche for example. But it tore my hearth apart hearing my car transmission wincing at the offroads the navigation send us through.
When I was done at my destination point I was finished mentally and just wanted to get my car cleaned in a way that it deserved it. Good thing here in Belarus everything is dirt cheap. So my car was professionally hand cleaned by 2 people for just under 5 Euro/ Dollars. People in Belarus have an Average Wage of 400 Euro/Dollars a month. Most only earn 100-200 Euro/Dollars a month, which is kind of saddening.
Heres the route rundown 😛
March 1, 2017 at 11:01 am #3737
The car itself is full wheel drive, so offroad it does stand it ground in an awqard wannabe-jeep kind of way.
People in Belarus had never ever seen such a vehicle in their life so one had a lonely feeling of exclusivity while driving that precious across the countryside. Whole soldier colonnes halted their doings and just stared at it while I drove past each trying to get a glimpse on what was passing them by. Young folk and older folk alike halt when passing it by or just look at it for a time trying to figure out how that thing happens to be parked in a commoners parking lot. Dont get me wrong. There are some newer cars there here and there. But this car is 18 years old and looks like its just came out of production. And even though its an Audi, the car is so scarce, you might park it near a Porsche or a Ferarri and people wouldnt be the wiser what was a rarer sight there.
All in all I went through the 3 stages of pride when faced with people cluttering it up.
– First Stage was a sly smile when passing by people, feeling the stare on me and my vehicle and it amused me.
– In the second Stage I felt already a deep annoyance because the attention I was getting started to make me uneasy, kind of a feeling why would you not just keep on with your business, nothing to see here.
– The last stage I happen to be now, I kinda wonder myself at those people and pity them that they had not the same chances I had and I just relax, knowing that they at least witnessed it and appreciated the design before moving on with their lifes. 😀
March 1, 2017 at 7:23 pm #3741modernknight1Keymaster
Wow that’s quite a journey Dennis. Thanks for sharing. I actually have driven about half of your route before. I drove from about 70km west of Frankfurt all the way to Berlin and Potsdam using your route. After exploring Frederick the Great’s palace San Souci and Charlottenburg around Potsdam for a couple days I continued north to Lubeck the old seat of the Hanseatic League and explored that city for two days before I circled around and came back via Bremen.
The first night I stopped at the old Napoleanic battlefield at Jena just outside of Leipzig. It was too late to find a hotel so I backed the car into the woods next to the battle field on an old farm and slept in the car so I could explore it the next morning. This was just a few years after the wall had come down and the roads in and around Leipzig were the worst I had ever seen.
I was driving a black beat up 1986 Mercury Lynx that I had purchased from an M1 Tank Mechanic who needed to move back to the US. It ran great the whole time. It was a 4 cylinder front wheel drive with a 5 speed manual transmission. That was an awesome trip. I learned and saw so much.
I would have loved to have ridden “Shot-gun” with you. I’ve never seen Poland further east than Wroclaw in the south and Danzig in the North. I have also never been to Russia. I have always thought that girls from Belarus were some of the best looking on the planet.
A few years ago I was in an Irish pub in Washington DC and a couple of girls from Belarus sat down at the bar next to me and started a conversation with me. It was very pleasant until I mentioned that I would like to someday visit their part of the world.
One of the girls was polite but the other became angry. She asked me why I wanted to visit there. I told her I was a student of history and that Belarus was one of those places which was a crossroads of history. Everyone from Mongols to Magyars to Germans to Soviets had fought over those steppes.
She exploded. She said – PRECISELY. And because of that – the entire country is just a flat desolate plain of grain and nothing but bombed out towns falling apart. No one cares about it and what historical sites might have once been around at one time have all been destroyed by war. If you want to go see a giant ass crack that has been created by centuries of war – then by all means pay my country a visit. As for me I would much rather live right here in the US.
She went on to call me stupid. It was quite hostile after that and I had never experienced anything like it before. It was like Jekyll/Hyde. She was even flirting with me when we first started talking. By the end of the conversation I think she wanted to kill me. I tried only to be nice. Very weird. I will never forget it. Talk about being triggered! WOW
In the US I have driven far longer treks but they were never as pretty as the drives I experienced in Europe. I guess one of the reasons I love my native Idaho so much is that we have hills, mountains and rivers that are even more beautiful than those in Europe. The same can’t be said for most of the rest of our country however and I’ve been to every state except Rhode Island. No plans to see that state either LOL.
75 Euro is a pretty good price for a four star hotel. Here in the states its usually above a 160 dollars a night for a four star depending on where you’re at and when. A four star hotel in Washington DC will run you 400 dollars a night on the low end.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by modernknight1.
March 10, 2017 at 9:31 pm #3829
I think the general consenus is that the girl thought about hooking up with you and using you as a means to stay in the USA for long term.
In her eyes, you sounded most like a madman, because in her eyes her country was nothing but a sovjet era repressed, broken country, barren and desolate. Only a madman would want to leave the “USA” in favour of visiting “Belarus”.
People there are certainly more proud about their country than they were 10-20 years ago. But its still not easy for them and while theres some benefits for the people there, theres a major drawback on the motorization and electronic market.
Few people there can afford what we both would declare as “affordable”. I was driving in my car with the feel of a sullen exclusivity down my spine. Even at some points feeling uncomfortable. Like a person who drives a 911 Porsche into a housing project ghetto.
I didnt fear for my life, since I am part Belarus but I certainly felt anxious and self concerned that I might not be doing the wisest of things and if something happened I had only myself to blame for doing this trip. All in all everything went well and I even managed to be on time for my second Semester of university. But at the cost of being completely flat when I arrived there and not 100% being able to follow what the Prof was saying 😀
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