From Russia With Love

"From Russia with Love"
Part I
, by Hans Vosbeek

It was a sweaty Saturday afternoon when I wanted to visit my younger brother who was working on a holiday boat near Cuijk. Because of the extreme temperature that day, they were out sailing by the time I got to the boat. Cuijk is just of the highway from Nijmegen to Venlo and other for the fact that there is a railway station in Cuijk there is absolutely no reason why anybody would stop in this place. Of course, like always when someone is not familiar with a town, this isn't true. I just like the sound of that phrase. In fact Cuijk is the place where it all happened that day.

I really enjoy walking around on markets where antiques are sold. I even would consider driving to the few places in Holland where there are the so-called, black markets. Cuijk happens to be one of these places in Holland where you can visit such a market on a Saturday only. Looking at the number of halls they have in Cuijk, I wonder whether the investment in these buildings pays of taking in consideration that they are not used during weekdays. Never mind. First of all you have to pay 5 guilders to get in, which is weird as well because why do I need to pay before I even now whether I want to buy anything? To everyone it's clear that you don't pay any entrance fee for the fancy fair but that you have to pay for each ride and that it is the other way around with an amusement park. You pay an entrance fee so you're not faced by having to pay for all the rides over and over again. Unfortunately they get away with it. I paid to get in as well.

Once you're inside it almost seems like you're inside a bazar like the one in Istanbul, the only difference being that you can understand the people who try to rip you of in Cuijk. Sometimes it is just amazing what people try to sell on these markets. Walking along the aisles you recognise stuff that you threw away not too long ago. Maybe this is the guy who picks up the garbage in my hometown? Approximately one hour later, sick of the armpit smell that is constantly around you and tired of squeezing yourself through the aisles without touching someone, I want to get out of that place. The next problem arises; where is that d.... exit? (I told you it was big didn't I?)

Only 1 minute away from falling into total madness I walk besides a place that is absolutely packed with stuff and things. Quickly scanning through his stuff I noticed the exit in the background and..

hvo_goggo2..hey what's that green thing buried there? Oh my God! Somebody glued a German helmet to the front of that scooter. For people who know what a German helmet is, it's the protection cap that the German warriors had on there heads during World War II not the other thing that is referred to being a German helmet. Reviewing this encounter with the scooter afterwards, I tend to believe that everyone from my generation would have reacted in the same way. People who are familiar with the Goggo scooter probably know what I am talking about, as there must have been a first time when they got eye to eye with the front fender from Goggo scooter. The styling of this machine is absolute astonishing. Whether you like it or you don't, it is definitely an eye-catching object with retro-chic looks, which are currently put back into newly designed vehicles like with the BMW Z8 and Ford Thunderbird. Yes, I could definitely see myself driving on this gorgeous piece of equipment. The "Beauty and the Beast", me being the beast of course. (Unless you don't like the design, in that case you can turn it around.)

After checking with the salesman what exactly it was that I was looking at, he informed me that I could become the proud owner of this beautiful Goggomobil with a 120 cc engine for 1/5 under the price he paid for it. I only needed to import it myself as it came from Germany. I bought the Goggo scooter with a 200 cc engine from him for this reasonable price, which I only needed to import from Russia. Who says never to trust on the words of a salesman? I rest my case.

Getting the Goggo at home was the easy part. It only takes a small trailer and a car with a towbar. I will describe the difficult part, which is getting it up and running and through the approval, in part II of this story. (If I ever get to that point.) From what I have seen up to now, this will be a real challenge (i.e battle). If I only look at the electrical side of the Goggo I am starting to sweat and believe me, as a Sales Engineer of Automotive Electronics, I (pretend to) know about these things. The previous owner wrapped wires together and taped them with, what we call in Holland, house, garden and kitchen tape. This is regular transparent tape that looses its adhesive capabilities as soon as you stick it onto something. I already have reworked all these connections and while doing that discovered new problems.

Every time I open something to repair I expect a note from the previous owner that assures me that he did all of this on purpose to annoy me. The note says:

"From Russia with Love"


... zum Bilderalbum ...