Long night in Tokyo
The freighter with "Difty" aboard is on its way to Soul in Korea. The two travellers fly from Russia to Niigata in Japan. Why this change of their original plan to go to Fushiki in Japan by ferry together with their car?
During their stay in Vladivostok the two men from Bremerhaven, Germany have lost so much time, that they feared not to accomplish their destination making the record for the Guinness Book of Records. The ferry from Russia to Japan, on which they would have had the possibility to travel together with their car only leaves once a week, on Sunday at 18:00 hours.
So, it was a question of time why Manni and Matterhorn had to separate from their transportation. It wouldn´t make any difference anyway because of the water inbetween.
While "Difty" is swimming on the Japanese Ocean towards Seoul on the westcoast of Korea,
the two men take the train from Niigata to Tokyo.
It is already late at night of Sunday, July 18th, when Manni and his companion arrive in the metropolis of Tokyo. Manni remembers a restaurant he had stopped to visit on his first trip around the world, Wein-Kaffee Keitel. Seeing the two adventurers stepping into his place doesn´t make him very happy at first sight. They look really adventurous and unshaved.
But then they get to talk, and Hartmut Keitel, living in Tokyo since 1965, recognizes Manni as one of the "Happy Wanderers" from the first trip together with his friend Paul Ernst Lührs.
It turns out to be a long night on sake and beer. Manni remembers another place in Tokyo,
and Hartmut Keitel takes them there. The restaurant is called "Pauke" and the owner has died. But the widow, now running this German restaurant, remembers Manni after 32 years.
A Japanese band is playing German Folksongs, and the two men from Germany, both of them musicians, take their chance and help out, a great pleasure and an exciting event for everybody.
Then Mr. Keitel takes them to a hotel, wishes them all the luck they can get for the rest of the tour and leaves, not seeing their facial expression as they hear the price for one night.
First thing the next morning is their visit to the German Embassy for the stamp in the logbook and they hand over the pennant of their hometown, saying: "Greetings from Bremerhaven-goin´ for another record"!
The next step leads them to the Airport, and off they go to Seoul, in order to get everything settled with the freight papers for "Difty", so the car may be shipped to the USA immediately.
It isn´t that easy for themselves to book a flight because of holidays and vacation.
So again they have to wait, always on stand by.
All of a sudden the monsoon rain catches everybody by surprise, paralysing Seouls public life. It hits the two travellers so sudden, they are caught in the middle of the city at Singapore Airlines. Nothing goes, total falling out of electricity, elevators are stuck, air-conditioning systems don´t work anymore and the fire department is pumping the rainwater out of the subway nonstop, being assisted by volunteers. A big chaos.
But the water running down on the inside of their overalls is no rain, pure sweat from the 40
Trying to make the best of the situation, Manni wants to buy the tickets, and again he mentions his friend Ernzi Lührs, who is representative of the Singapore Airlines in Colombia.
He is lucky, and the two are invited to the office of the sales manger Mr. Kim Myung Sung,
who can´t offer them a free flight to the USA, but he promises to help.
The next morning they get a call from him, and he offers them a flight from Seoul to San Francisco, Sunday, July 25th at 19:15 hrs.
Manni and Matterhorn can´t really believe their luck. They are very happy with this situation as they still have the world record in their head. So, now their plan is to leave to San Francisco by plane, then go to L.A. to pick up their car and then make it to New York within less than ten days.
But in order to keep the timetable, they have to change their plans again and take Air Cargo instead of Singapore Airlines. The Russians had done a such a careful job, it takes the crew of Air Cargo three hours to get "Difty" out of the container. There are 8000 young Koreans (no women) working in shifts, loading and unloading about 80 large-room freightplanes each day.
But something like "Difty" they have never seen before. So hundreds of those young workers
approach the two travellers and their vehicle asking a million of questions.
After seven hours of hard work the two men reach their hotel, shower, get something to eat and fall into a short sleep. After three hours they have to get back up in order to prepare for the flight to San Francisco.
gbm...July 25th, 99