An imposter?


Huh?  Those pictures I posted yesterday of the Mercedes convertible in the car park of the Soda Cafe were definitely of a 280SL – there it was in chrome letters on the back of the car.  I thought at the time that I hadn’t realised there was a 280SL.

(Ooops, it’s an SL280, not a 280SL.  My mistake.  It matters in Mercedes-speak, as does the number of slots near the front wheel arch – two slots or three? It changed with models.)

Naturally I’ve been looking on the web today for cars like that for sale.  Google brings up plenty of references to that model, but they are all much older cars, dating from around 1982 and looking older, with chrome wheel arch mouldings and out of date things like that.

When I clicked on two references to 280SL models for sale in Australia, both of them showed pictures of cars with 500SL prominent on the boot lid.  What’s going on? Why would 500SLs be advertised as 280SLs?  Twice.

When I look at the Wikipedia article, all the pictures they show are of the old model from the late 70s and early 80s.

So where did this car in the Soda carpark come from?  It seems to be a model that doesn’t exist.  I’m wondering if it’s a Japanese special, imported.  I’m mystified.  Not that it matters much – I’m not a buyer —- yet.


I’ve been talking via email today with the Perth travel agent about the P&O cruise foul up.  It’s very clear that she stuffed up big time. She admits it.  She failed to ensure my BPay payment went through to P&O, so that’s why they weren’t paid and why my booking was cancelled.  I was issued with an e-ticket and a booking number, but when I tried to use it to log in to P&O, it wouldn’t let me in.

I told her about this.  But she brushed me off, saying she often has trouble logging in to P&O and to try again later.  I had the booking number, so although I was stymied about logging in, I wasn’t worried.

If she had been more focused on the problem, she might have realised something was wrong.  But good old Aussie attitude, “She’ll be right, near enough, can’t be bothered, what’s the problem mate” made her ignore my complaint that my booking number wouldn’t work.

She’s admitted her fault and apologised.  She allocated me $200 on board credit as compensation, so that paid my drinks bill for the cruise.

I contrast that with Hotel Club, the Singapore hotel booking agency.  I used their web site to book my hotel and thought that was it. No problem.

But they phoned me here from Singapore to enquire if I was happy with my booking shortly after I made it.  No problems, thanks for calling.

Then today, after I completed their on-line survey and made a couple of critical comments about the hotel (no breakfast, no restaurant, no fridge in the room, very small room, no armchair, no free wi-fi), they phoned me again today to discuss these things and ask if I would use them again.  Extremely polite, really trying to be helpful, allocating me about US$65 worth of points as compensation etc.  Couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful.  I should add that I said I was very pleased that the hotel had listened to my problem about no fridge in the room and fixed it.  Big Brownie points for that.

What a contrast with the Perth travel agency.  Slack service, big mistake, didn’t follow my query, stuffed up.  It’s a metaphor for this country, I’m afraid.  She’ll be right mate.  Near enough.  No it won’t.  No it’s not.


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