Tuesday 28 August. Less than a week ago, my shower developed an intermittent fault where it might take two or three attempts to get it to flow. Yesterday, it failed completely, all I could hear was a click as I turned the tap.
Knowing I was Copenhagen bound today, I searched for a motorhome place that did servicing, and contacted them. I got a lovely, if slightly wacky, email in return, with a link, suggesting I contact a company that would come out. I contacted the company through their web form then, when I didn’t get a reply, through email. In the email I said I would just drive to their address today.
Arriving at their premises this morning, about 15 miles from Copenhagen, the place was closed, but there were signs saying they were moving premises. (Got to love Google translate!) I headed for their new address and they were clearly in disarray setting things up, but the guy said he’d seen my email, apologised, explaining he had no parts as everything was packed up, looked at the shower and gave me the address of a company about three miles away. Off I rock.
Short story shorter, the technician left his lunch, took a look at the tap, pulled the handle off and revealed a tiny switch which looked like someone had bent the smallest of safety pins into a delicate shape. He played around with it and thought it was a bit of corrosion preventing a good contact. A few minutes later, after a bit of surgical sandpapering and some silicone grease, all was running smoothly. He said it should be fine for a long time. I was so delighted that I hadn’t had to get into the major expense I was expecting I was more than happy to pay £20 into their cake fund.
Travelling as I am, having no shower is a major problem, particularly for others! The point of the story is that, once again, I’ve only met with help and kindness. And this is not to say people in the UK would have been any less helpful, but, in a foreign land, it means a lot when people reach out and help someone who turns up unannounced at their door.
It does help that almost everyone speaks English in Denmark. I’ve only had one person call for someone else to deal with an enquiry, at that was at a gas station. And that brings me to my only gripe about travelling through Denmark. Why is buying fuel such a lottery?
There has been one occasion where I rolled up, filled up and paid up, but on other occasions…
We’re talking national gas stations here. At Q8 my credit card wasn’t accepted at the pump. On talking to the very helpful cashier, he said that if I told him how much I wanted to spend he could authorise it and repay any amount unused in cash! I guessed, and remember I’m exchanging currencies on the fly, and put diesel in.
Next time, at an OK station, after putting the PIN in, my card, seems to be rejected (in Danish – most credit card points recognise the language of the user from the card). I approach the cashier. She doesn’t speak English but calls someone who can. With her, I try my card at the pump again. It seems to be processed but the pump doesn’t work. She says try again. Repeat. She’s very helpful, suggests I can get cash on the card then use that. I’ve got £25 in cash, so she shows me how to feed into a machine on a pillar and select the pump I’m on. This is as tedious to read as it was to do, but if you decide to tour Denmark, this is for you.
With gas in the tank I move on, only to discover that evening that every attempt to buy fuel has put a ‘reserve’ of almost £55 on my card! This hasn’t been taken, but sits as money I can’t use. It’s not a problem, but could it be if my credit limit was smaller.
I’ve hit a couple of gas stations in the last few days. One, card only, no people on site, just rejected my card, another didn’t have diesel. Running on fumes, after diversions around Copenhagen to sort my shower, I hit a Shell station. It has two prices displayed, petrol and diesel, but four pumps, two varieties of each. Inny, meeny, I pick a pump and take half a tank, about £43. I check my card a couple of hours later, and find a secondary payment of £102 is pending! This means over £250 is sitting as pending payment on my card. Again, it’s not a problem, but if I needed to pay for work on a failed shower, for example, it could be.
Last paragraph. I’d headed for a site at Copenhagen’s marina but it was full. I hovered for an hour, then headed for an alternative site, which has turned out cheaper and better. Happy days, but I’d rocked up in Copenhagen with no idea of what I’d do here. Hell, it’s Copenhagen! So with two sunny days forecast, split by one wet one, I’d better get my itinerary sorted.