10 April 2008

It is 4 weeks later … The boxes with my paintings are ‘in custody’ at the airport in New Zealand for 3 weeks now.
After they had arrived, the New Zealand customs must have thought: “Aha, valuable stuff from Australia! Before we send it through, first we have to get the import tax!”
Did you know you physically can feel despondency?! Then your neck and arms slowly got filled with heavy lead, your voice gets weak and your eyes are stinging. And suddenly you want to sleep. For a long time. For a few years.

I don’t have the documents to prove that the paintings were shipped for an exhibition and that they are returning. When the courier picked up the boxes 6 months ago … he just picked them up. No forms were hand over. The packinglist was stuck on the box. Just like when I shipped my paintings to Hong Kong (what didn’t create any problem at all).
But now I need to show the New Zealand customs documents that are in the hands of Ms. Faithful of gallery O. And she hasn’t been very helpful. Quite the contrary. For example; she still didn’t pay me back the tax of 3.600 Australian dollar.

After a lot of phone calls and pleas to look for the receipt in their administration, the customs discovered that the weight of the boxes on their way up, was different from on their way back!
Oh boy … Now they want to open them. A specially licensed custom guy needs to show up for this job. And yes, that could take up a few days.

Because absolutely everything that could go wrong with this costly project, DID go wrong, this upcoming inspection scares me. The paintings need to be packed in a special way. “If you wish, you may also be present during the inspection of the boxes”, the agent then suggested … “then you can take them right with you if you get the green light.”
I decided to follow this advice, so we will pick up the boxes in person next Friday in Auckland. It’s again a 4 hours drive up and 4 hours back. “No, we can not give you an exact time”, said the agent. “It likely will be in the morning. Our office opens at 8:30 AM.”
So, we need to get up at 4:00 AM then …

Oh, and speaking of despondency; That sheep guy, remember? That hit and run of 1 year ago? He also still has to pay, but doesn’t do it. The bailiff let himself turn away from an identical sheep guy who claimed not to be the sheep guy … The court isn’t allowed to do anything. And the police ‘can not’ do anything.