13 March 2010 Attempt to get to Tunis (magyarul is!)

View from NH Hotel

The bells of the neighboring church are ringing enormously loud at 7am. No need to say we are awake like a smashed potato. We get a quick shower and have a rich breakfast.

It’s raining again. We realize it’s not the best time for sightseeing therefore we just go to buy some postcards and try to find stamps. We can post the cards at the Stazione Centrale. (It is very interesting that nobody speaks English at all. Even in the hotels, in the restaurants they are always talking to us in Italian. Strange. We thought in an internationally linked city like this just because of the tourism they would learn languages. But it seems they are not interested in. Tourist will come anyway. And they are friendly enough to make themselves understood.

Interesting also, that those people who are working for whatever services (petrol station, garage, restaurant etc.) they are extremely helpful and always willing to explain. This is very important. This way of treating costumers, clients can only be the key to keep them if they don’t speak foreign languages.

Around 10 o’clock we go to the harbour to arrange the paperworks. This takes enormously time always. Bureaucracy rules everywhere. Sign here. Sign there. Stamp here and there. Fill this form. That form. Get more forms from another window. Etc. everybody is feeling important, like small kings in their small kingdoms. We also get some difficulties at the border control because they insist on having visa for Tunisia however we know it’s not necessary. Hungary is a member of EU therefore no need for tourist visa. For people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia is also a famous place to visit, therefore no visa is required.

Soon after we realize there are other TSR participants on another ship coming from Civitavecchia. We meet the Magnum Team. They wave to us from their boat, and we welcome them from the harbour. They are luckier than us as they will leave Palermo at 11 while our boarding starts only at 12.30.

The rain wouldn’t seem to stop. We are queuing in the line of the cars and waiting for embarking. Of course it’s not on time. We try to entertain ourselves by watching the cars packed like sardine cans. It’s amazing what people can put on the roof. The most funny is the one, who is not having roof rails, therefore he placed a piece of wood on the roof and on top of it he packed his complete living room.

When we can enter the ship (of course bureaucracy again) we get our cabin and we discover the boat. A restaurant and a bar wait for the people to come. Not everybody booked cabins so they are hanging around or sleeping on the floors. Not a pleasant view. We are sleepy so we go to bed around 2 for a well deserved nap.
Around 6pm we go out to get something to eat. We meet a French couple. They are doing some cosmetic business in Tunisia. They complained to us how Italians are not sleeping foreign languages. Of course beside French they don’t speak other languages. Funny.

The food is bad. Ship is moving with the waves seems like turbulence on the plane. Keeps on raining still. We go back to the cabin to range the maps we have. Some of them made in 1960’s, some other have only Cyrillic letters. It doesn’t mean a problem to us. As traveling by this Ferry is quite boring we try to get some fun. But there is nothing to amuse with here. We are staying in the cabin because all the seats are taken in the restaurant and the bar has only place for 10 persons. Time goes really slowly today.

The speakers tell us to leave the cabin at 10pm. They also mention we are about to arrive to Tunis in 16 mins. We are patiently waiting while the time laps.. That 16 mins are gone by 8 times when we arrive to Tunis harbour very late. The fun begins again. Bureaucracy is ruling again. Let’s see if we can describe the complicated process.

0th stage: at the Ferry you start to fill out a paper with your details. And one also for the car. Easy. And simple. Let’s rumble now.

1st stage: find the way out of the port. Luckily we boarded as lasts, we can come out from the boat as firsts. Nobody is showing you where to go and what to do. We are surrounded by ships and containers all around. (Imagine that like you are a mouse in a labyrinth and try to find the way out! And there are also mice around who want to get out of this labyrinth too. You have to compete as the first arrivals finish first. And only the first gets the cheese!) We don’t follow the car which is blocked by a container in a dead end street. There are others who are just waiting for those who seek the right way. We are unbelievably lucky to find the way out first.

2nd stage: but we lost this one. As we didn’t know what’s next. We have to take all the filled papers and the passports go to border control. (You have to do it without the car. And we were waiting in the car. Therefore we have to queue.) Here they make stamp on the papers, they remove a part of it. And also they stamp the passports. Visa is not needed for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We were right.

3rd stage: with all the stamped documents you go to the customs. (This is the most sophisticated process.) You take your papers and go to the office nearby. There they send you to another office to get the demand for the real papers. You fill the demand.

4th stage: now the filled demand let’s you to enter another office where you can fill the real papers.

5th stage: the filled papers are now about to get the stamps. And now you can fill a paper for the car, and declaration of any goods you have. We decide to declare only the GPS.

6th stage: with the filled real papers and the filled declaration of the GPS you can go to get the stamp.

7th stage: now you can queue to another office (with all the stamped papers mentioned above) and get another paper for the car.

8th stage: with the car papers you catch a custom officer without rank by your choice. (They are hanging around the cars, so it’s the easiest part of it.)

9th stage: the custom officer checks the car. He opens the first door and realize it’s an used car. Second he doesn’t see anything interesting inside so he signs the papers and shows us which office to proceed with.

10th stage: the car papers are also ready to get their stamps by a custom officer with stripes.

11th stage: after having the stamps for the car also, they invite you to visit another office where custom officer have stripes and triangle on the shoulder. They stamp something and give it to you.

12th stage: in a window you have to request an authorisation to drive the car in the country.

13th stage: we are almost finished. Another officer comes with one to two 2 stars insignia and checks if all were in accordance with the rules.

14th stage: the 3 silver stars officer (his name was Ali) checks again the car and matches everything with the papers and the passports. If we don’t miss any stamps and papers then we are allowed to proceed to the last stage:

15th stage: the 3 golden stars officer collects all the papers, and gives back only the authorization for driving the car, and the declaration of the GPS (both are stamped of course), and they open the gate and you are free to enter the land of Tunisia. It’s 2.30am!

(Recommendation: if you want to avoid all this please do not enter with a car. Rather use airplane!)

We didn’t mention but we’ve met during the stamping process with other TSR participants, and tried to help them out by explaining what stage follows the next. Because if you are not following it as we described then you have to go back and queue again in the right queue. (If you don’t speak Arabic or French you would better not try it. Rather use the airplane!)

With the Magnum Team, together we leave the capital and drive to our first accommodation. At 3 o’clock we arrive to a nice hotel with a sandy beach. Probably we are going to spend couple of days and nights here while we are waiting for the visa to Algeria. We drink a beer and we go to sleep around 4am.

2010 Marcius 13. Megprobalunk eljutni Tuniszba

A szomszedos templom harangjai iszonyatosan hangosan szolnak reggel 7kor. Mondanunk sem kell, hogy ugy kelunk fel, mint aki meg le sem fekudt. Gyors zuhany utan giga reggelit tolunk be. Megint esik. Mivel ez nem a legalkalmasabb idopont a varosnezesre ezert veszunk par kepeslapot es probalunk belyeget is talalni hozzajuk. A Stazione Centrale-n tudjuk feladni a lapokat. (Tok erdekes, hogy senki sem beszel angolul. Meg a hotelekben, ettermekben is mindig olaszul probalnak velunk kommunikalni. Nagyon fura, hiszen azt hittuk, hogy ez egy nemzetkozi kikotovaros, ahol legalabb a turizmus miatt is megtanulnak mas nyelveket. De ugy tunik oket meg ez sem erdekli. Hiszen a turistak amugy is jonni fognak. Ellenben nagyon baratsagosak, hogy megertessek magukat mindenkivel.)

Az is erdekes, hogy azokon a helyeken, ahol valamilyen szolgaltatast nyujtanak (lasd benzinkut, szerviz, etterem stb.) mindenki nagyon kedves es a segitokesz. Barmit kepesek elmagyarazni. Ez nagyon fontos, hiszen ugy bannak az ugyfelekkel, vendegekkel, hogy megtarsak oket annak ellenere, hogy nem beszelnek idegen nyelveket.

10 korul a kikotobe megyunk, hogy elintezzuk a ki- es beleptetesi formasagokat. Ez mindig csomo idot szokott igenybe venni. A burokracia mindenek felett! „Ird ala itt! Ird ala ott! Toltsd ki ezt! Toltsd ki azt! Pecset ide. Pecset oda. Kerj masik nyomtatvanyt a masik ablaknal. Stb. Mindenki nagyon fontosnak erzi magat. Kiskiralyok a kis szemetdombon. A hatarorokkel ismet meggyulik a bajunk. Azt hiszik, hogy Tuneziaba mindkettonknek kell vizum. Magyarorszag EU tag, tehat nem kell turista vizum. Bosznia-Hercegovinabol pedig sok ember megy oda nyaralni ezert nem kerik a vizumot.

Nem sokkal kesobb rajovunk, hogy az egyik kikotest vegzo hajon vannak a TSR tovabbi csapatai. Ok Civitavecchiabol jottek. Talalkozunk a Magnum Teammel. Ok a hajorol, mi a kikotobol udvozoljuk egymast. Ok sokkal szerencsesebbek nalunk, hiszen mar 11kor elhagyjak Palermot, mi pedig csak fel 1kor fogjuk.

Az eso nem akar elallni. Zuhog mintha csak vodorbol ontenek. Mi a tobbi autoval allunk sorban a beszallasra. Termeszetesesen meg korai. Megprobaljuk szorakoztatni magunkat. Nezegetjuk a kulonfele autokat, melyekkel megprobalnak Tuneziaba jutni. A fo slager az a BMW, aki tetocsomagtarto hijjan, egy deszkat rakott a tetore, es az egesz nappalijat becsomagolva utazik.

Mire vegre feljutunk a hajora (termeszetesen a burokracia legyozese utan) megkapjuk a kabinunkat es elindulunk felfedezni a hajot. Csupan egy etterem es egy bar varja az embereket. Sokan nem foglaltak kabint maguknak, ezert ott kempelnek mindenutt a hajon, ahol helyet talalnak. A foldon alszanak, pokrocokba csavarva. Nem tul kellemes latvany. Eleg faradtak vagyunk ezert 2kor bevagunk egy gyors szunyat.

6 utan ebredunk, mivel ehesek vagyunk. Talalkozunk egy francia hazasparral. Valamilyen kozmetikai biszniszt tolnak Tuneziaban. Vicces, amint nekunk kezdenek panaszkodni arrol, hogy az olaszok semmilyen idegen nyelvet nem tanulnak meg. Termeszetesen a francian kivul ok sem ertenek mas nyelven.

A kaja borzaszto. A hajo raadasul hullamzik, mint Johanna valaga. Olyan, mint a turbulenciaba kerult repulogep himbalozasa. Raadasul meg mindig esik. Visszamenekulunk a kabinba, hogy rendet vagjunk a terkepeink kozott. Nehanyat meg a hatvanas evekben keszitettek, masok pedig csak ciril betukkel vannak vezetve. De ez nem okoz problemat egy bosnyaknak, meg egy magyarnak. Mivel ez a hajokazas eleg unalmas, ezert valami szorakoztato dolog utan nezunk. De sajnos minden szeken ul valaki. Bar foglalt. Az etterem meg budos. Az ido lassan pereg.

10 korul szolnak a hangszorok, hogy el kell hagynunk a kabint, mivel 16!!! percen belul Tuniszba erkezunk. Mi turelmesen varjuk, ahogy telik az ido. De a 16 perc kb 8-szor telik le mire tenyleg a kikotobe erkezunk. Nagyon keso van. Az igazi moka meg csak most kezdodik! A burokracia mindenek felett! Mondtuk mar?!?! :-) na lassuk ez, hogyan is mukodik a gyakorlatban.

0. lepes: meg a hajon elkezdjuk kitolteni a papirokat az adatainkkal. Egy masikat meg az autonak. Konnyu. Es egyszeru. Induljon hat a moka!

1. lepes: talald meg a kijaratot a kikotoben! Szerencsere utolsokent dokkoltunk, ezert az elsok kozott hagyhatjuk el a hajot. Senki sem mondja, hogy mit es merre. Koros korul csak hajok es kontenerek vannak. (Kepzeld el, hogy te egy kiseger vagy a nagy labirintusban es valahogy ki kell jussal innen. Persze rajtad kivul tobb eger is van, akik szinten a kiutat keresik. Neked versenyezned kell, hogy ki er ki eloszor, es ki kapja meg a sajtot. Mi nem kovetjuk azt az autot, ami egy kontenerekkel elzart zsakutcaba fut be. Vannak paran akik csak arra varnak, hogy masok keressek meg az utat nekik. Mi hihetetlenul mazlistak vagyunk, hogy elsokent jovunk ki az utvesztobol.

2. lepes: ezt sajnos elvesztettuk. Mivel fogalmunk sem volt, hogy mit kell tennunk. Ugyanis az osszes kitoltott papirral es utlevelllel kell a hatarorbodehoz faradni. (Ezt csak gyalogosan vegezheted el. Mivel mi a kocsiban varakoztunk jofiukent, ezert mire eszbekapunk, mar keso. Nekunk is sorba kell allnunk.) Itt lepecsetelik a papirokat es letepik az aljat. Es persze az utlevelek is kapnak pecsetet. Vizum persze, hogy nem kell meg Bosznia-Hercegovinanak sem. Na ugye, hogy igazunk volt?!

3. lepes: minden lepecsetelt papirral a vamosokhoz megyunk. (Ez a leheto legbonyolultabb resz az egesz eljarasban.) Az utlevelekkel es a papirokkal a kozeli irodaba mesz. Ott elkuldenek egy masik irodaba, ahol kervenyezheted az igazi papirokat.

4. lepes: ha kitoltott kerelmed rendben, akkor megkapod a harmadik irodaban az igazi papirokat.

5. lepes: a kitoltott papirokat most lepecsetelil. Ezen felul itt kitoltesz egy papirt az auto reszere, es bevallod, hogy mit hoztal be az orszagba. Mi csak a GPS-t valljuk be az egyszeruseg kedveert.

6. lepes: a kitoltott igazi papirokkal es a kitoltott GPS-t bevallo nyilatkozattal mehetsz a pecsetert.

7. lepes: egy masik irodaba kell sorban allni. (emlitenem sem kell, hogy mindezt az osszes eddig kitoltott es lepecsetelt papirral teszed.) es itt kapsz egy ujabb papirt az autohoz.

8. lepes: az auto okmanyaival el kell kapjal egy rangnelkuli vamost. Ez szabad valasztasod, es jozan belatasod kerdese. (mivel ok csak az autok kozott lofralnak ezert ez viszonylag egyszeru fazis.)

9. lepes: a vamos megnezi az autot. Elobb kinyitja az ajtot es nagy tudassal megallapitja, hogy hasznalt autorol van szo. Utana meggyozodik arrol, hogy semmi erdekes nincs a kocsiban. Ezutan alairja a papirokat es megmutatja melyik irodaba kell menned.

10. lepes: az auto okmanyai immar megkaphatjak a pecseteket, attol a vamostol, akinek csikok figyelnek a vallan.

11. lepes: mivel mar az auto papirjai is le lettek pecsetelve, most johet a csikok folott egy haromszoget is viselo vamos irodaja. Valamit o is pecsetel es alair, hogy tovabblephess a kovetkezo fazisra.

12. lepes: az ablaknal kell kerned a ’zenge day’-t, hogy az ojjektum mellett az autot is vezethesses az orszagba.

13. lepes: (mar majdnem vegeztel. Ne add fel!) jon egy ketcsillagos vamos, es megnezik, hogy eddig minden az aprolekosan kidolgozott szabalyoknak megfeleloen ment-e a papirokkal es a pecsetekkel.

14. lepes: a haromcsillagos vamos (Alinak hivjak egyebkent) megnezi ismet az autot es osszehasonlitja a kitoltott es lepecsetelt papirokkal, es az utlevellel. Ha az adotok egyeznek es minden pecset megvan, akkor az utolso fazisba lephetsz.

15. lepes: a harom arany!csillagos vamos jon es beszedi az osszes papirt, melybol csak a GPS-t bevallo nyilatkozatot es azt a vezetoi engedelyt adja vissza amely az orszagban valo kozlekedesre jogosit fel. Kinyitja a kaput es szabad az ut Tunezia fele. Ekkor fel 3-at ut az ora.

Jotanacs utazoknak: ha mindezt el szeretned kerulni, akkor ne autoval gyere! Inkabb repulovel utazz!)

Nem emlitettuk, de a sok pecseteles kozepette futottunk ossze a tobbi TSR resztvevovel. Probaltunk segiteni nekik, de az atlathatatlan proceduraban mindegyik mas lepesnel jart. Igy nehezen tudtuk elmagyarazni, hogy mi a palya. Hiszen ha nem a megfelelo sorrendben teszed a megfelelo lepeseket, akkor elolrol kell kezdened az egeszet. Es ujra sorba kell alljal. ( Ha se arabul, se franciaul nem beszelsz, akkor jobb ha meg sem probalod. Inkabb repulovel utazz!)

A Magnum Csapattal elhagyjuk a fovarost es az elso szallas iranyaba indulunk. Kb 3kor erkezunk a hotelhez, melynek homokos tengerpartja van! Valszeg nehany napot es ejszakat fogunk itt elkempelgetni, mikozben az algir vizumra varunk majd. Gyorsban bedobunk egy sort es kb 4kor mar alszunk is.