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Author: Subject: Shipping and Delivery madness: Owe You Dee
Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 3-30-2012 at 10:25 PM
Shipping and Delivery madness: Owe You Dee


I have an amusing story to share. I'm not mentioning names out of respect for all parties since they do not always behave absurdly as they did in this instance. I live in the United States and I recently bought a second hand oud from someone in another country. It was sent via a local international shipper who contracts with an American delivery service. It was supposed to be delivered in 2 to 3 business days or working days. It was not. I investigated and found out that the parcel was detained in a warehouse in Louisville Kentucky by United States Customs because there was widespread unease and uncertainty as to its contents. The voice on the telephone said: "they don't know what an Owe You Dee is". Apparently "OUD" was taken to be an acronym and they were afraid the parcel might explode. Ordnance Underwater Device. Official Ululating Dishpan. One Ugly Duck? Old Uncle Donald? Ovaltine Udder Deployer! the possibilities are endless. Eventually it was released, sent to my part of the country, and today it was delivered. But the driver of the delivery truck would not release the parcel until I paid an exorbitant "brokerage fee". Would he take cash? He would not. I had to write a check. I asked him to whom it should be written. He had no idea at all but he wasn't going to let me keep him here and prevent him from making his other deliveries. Either I pay up or he takes the parcel and goes! Did he expect me to write a check to no one in particular? He had no expectations. All he had was a command from his employer (Oud = Orders Upon Delivery) I made a phone call (on HIS phone) and got it sorted out. The end of the story is that the Owe You Dee is very very nice and arrived unharmed.
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Giorgioud
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[*] posted on 3-31-2012 at 05:44 AM


Very amusing story Jody, thanks for sharing it. It put a smile on my face in this windy UK Saturday afternoon. Just out of curiosity, what country did the oud -pardon, the Owe You Dee-comes from? I have a nagging suspicion that the Custom Department's behaviour might have been influenced a bit by the instrument's country of provenience.........
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 3-31-2012 at 08:23 AM


It came from the UK! Instruments arriving from Lebanon never raised a bureaucratic eyebrow.

Quote: Originally posted by Giorgioud  
Very amusing story Jody, thanks for sharing it. It put a smile on my face in this windy UK Saturday afternoon. Just out of curiosity, what country did the oud -pardon, the Owe You Dee-comes from? I have a nagging suspicion that the Custom Department's behaviour might have been influenced a bit by the instrument's country of provenience.........


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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 3-31-2012 at 10:03 AM


This why I never use "oud" for the contents, but always "lute".





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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 3-31-2012 at 10:43 AM


Good idea. The sender clearly marked the package and the paperwork "Fragile Musical Instrument" but yeah, it's good to keep it all in the language of the receiving country. Do customs people know what a lute is?

Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
This why I never use "oud" for the contents, but always "lute".

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DoggerelPundit
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[*] posted on 4-2-2012 at 09:46 PM



Hilarious sequence, and well related. Almost Laurel & Hardyish.

It's a good job you didn't order a Tipple...or a Sackbutt.

♫ ♫ ♫

-Stephen
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 4-2-2012 at 11:20 PM


Yes, exactly. Stan Laurel is the hapless delivery truck driver and Hardy is the recipient of the parcel. He's trying to be reasonable in the face of Brainless Bureaucratic Unreason and keeps trying not to loose his temper. Laurel hasn't a clue what the problem is because he "isn't paid to think". Every time Hardy looses his composure his hat and clothes fit him less well. Yup, you nailed it!


Quote: Originally posted by DoggerelPundit  

Hilarious sequence, and well related. Almost Laurel & Hardyish.

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John Erlich
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[*] posted on 4-3-2012 at 10:19 AM


OUD = Ordinary Underwater Detonator :D

Unfortunately, I've found that most Americans--in this case, European-Americans--are so ignorant of their own ancestral heritage that they don't know what a "lute" is either. "Lute? Is that like a flute?" :( I guess that "lute" is at least a word which one could reasonably look up in an English dictionary, if one were inclinded to do so!

My wife's cousin's husband's brother is a pretty famous lute player and lives in England...and I've always been curious to know if Brits are better educated in this realm, as I've assumed.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!

Thanks,
John
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 4-3-2012 at 11:05 AM


Quote: Originally posted by John Erlich  

Unfortunately, I've found that most Americans--in this case, European-Americans--are so ignorant of their own ancestral heritage that they don't know what a "lute" is either. "Lute? Is that like a flute?" :( I guess that "lute" is at least a word which one could reasonably look up in an English dictionary, if one were inclinded to do so!

My wife's cousin's husband's brother is a pretty famous lute player and lives in England...and I've always been curious to know if Brits are better educated in this realm, as I've assumed.


That's basically what I figured . . . at least if they google "lute" they will have a reasonable idea.

I also assume that brits and canadians, and pretty much everyone is better educated than americans.

At least flute is also a musical instrument!




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cjmichael
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[*] posted on 4-3-2012 at 11:52 AM


When people ask me what instrument I play, I almost always say "a Middle Eastern lute". I don't know why I bother because they usually assume it's a wind instrument after I say that. When I saw Sting playing a lute on daytime TV in the States, I thought everybody would come to know what a lute was. Well then again, I didn't know what a Kora was until a couple of years ago.
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[*] posted on 4-3-2012 at 02:27 PM


And yet almost every time I've put my mandolin (in its case) through the x ray machine for American airport security some TSA employee approaches me and asks "Is that a mandolin?" They all seem to have a relative who plays and they get very excited and sometimes want me to open the case, not so they can search for explosives or contraband but so they can see it and maybe hear me play it.

It's not that way with the oud of course, but I'll tell ya what, an oud saved my life when I was stranded in rural Tennessee in 1968.


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  


I also assume that brits and canadians, and pretty much everyone is better educated than americans.
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John Erlich
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[*] posted on 4-4-2012 at 09:27 AM


"It's not that way with the oud of course, but I'll tell ya what, an oud saved my life when I was stranded in rural Tennessee in 1968." That sounds like quite a story!

I can't say for sure that my oud has ever saved my life, but in 2000 my newly purchased Egyptian Shehata it did get me much friendly treatment from Israeli cab drivers--known for their pathological gruffness--who always asked if I could play, "...like Farid El-Atrache?" :airguitar:

-J
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Giorgioud
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[*] posted on 4-4-2012 at 11:34 AM


"an oud saved my life when I was stranded in rural Tennessee in 1968."

Now, Jody, you have to tell me the story.....and spare no details, I want to know EVERYTHING.....:bounce:
of course, only if it can be re-told on this family forum and it doesn't offend any sensibilities.......:))
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[*] posted on 4-4-2012 at 03:39 PM
How My Oud Saved My Life


Ah, well, now that I've been asked I may tell. It was mid December (and might have been 1967 come to think of it). Near the end of a 2700 mile road trip from California to South Carolina the car broke down at 3 AM in in a rural area of Tennessee. The car belonged to a friend who was a South Carolina sitarist trying to get home for Christmas. In those days Tennessee was so isolated that even Nashville musicians hadn't heard of the Beatles. We spent the night in the car wearing all our clothes to keep from freezing. In the morning we got towed to a garage. The garage owner was a decent sort but there were some local guys who liked to hang around the garage and annoy customers. One of them had just completed making his own Bowie knife. He demonstrated it by throwing it into the wall over and over for a very long time and breathing hard while eyeing us with suspicion. It was warm in the garage and I removed my hat revealing hair that fell half way to my waist. Nowadays just about any hillbilly young male has long hair and a beard. It's practically a requirement. But back then? Uh Uh. The knife began to fly through the air closer and closer to my head. Conversation ceased. Tension grew palpable. Finally I had enough. I got out my oud and played Sally Goodin and Sourwood Mountain and Leather Britches and every other southern rural mountain tune I could think of. Knife Man put down his weapon and said "Well dang it, if that don't beat all! Why it looks just like a big ol' gourd with strings on it. Just like my granny's watermelons!. That's right nice, son. Play another'n fer us". Now I could do no wrong. I played for 20 minutes or so. Eventually the car trouble was sorted out and the rest of our waiting time in the garage was pleasant and all hostilities had ceased. I played what I thought would be accepted and I was right. If I played my Farido imitations instead there likely would have been blood and splinters. A week later the garage owner got in touch and apologized.
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[*] posted on 4-4-2012 at 09:53 PM


a nice demonstration that music spread peace ! :applause:
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[*] posted on 4-5-2012 at 01:45 AM


I had a subtle adventure at Munich airport. Because on that occasion I couldnt walk the distances involved, i was enjoying the wheelchair treatment. Two employees of the airport were wheeling me through the countless security checkpoints. One was pure German, the other an Arabic immigrant. The German asked about the instrument case i was clutching on my lap. Neither knew what an oud was. Then i was alone with the immigrant. He suddenly volunteered that he knew very well what it was, in fact he played it himself. It was clear he didn't want his colleague to know ... what? That he wasn't of Bavarian stock? That he was an Arab? That he was a musician? I never did find out.
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[*] posted on 4-5-2012 at 04:42 AM


Jody,
.....and you sold the dear oud that saved your life????
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[*] posted on 4-5-2012 at 06:23 AM


Thanks Jody for sharing the story....I somewhat guessed it involved good ole boys the moment you wrote "rural Tennessee", but I remained silent just in case there was some good ole boy on this forum (highly improbable, but you never know....maybe some of the most forward-thinking ones might as well want to learn about ouds...albeit in secret..)....
And thanks Fernand too for your own story to share, which was as equally amusing.....I can understand the Arab guy, Custom officers are always very happy to have musicians passing through their clutches, it's a good occasion to dust the cobwebs off their famed rubber gloves.....:D and he didn't want to visit the same inconvenience upon you and himself.......
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 4-5-2012 at 07:21 AM


Yes I sold it last year, thanks to this fine forum. I am sentimental in a different way. If I no longer play an instrument I'd rather give it away or sell it to someone who will play it. Selling was the more practical option for someone of my limited means. It helped pay for an oud with a voice more aligned with my inner feelings and which responds to the smallest changes in touch. I also didn't keep the clothes that kept me warm and alive on that occasion and I don't have the same brain cells that (over 40 years ago) helped me intuit that music would ease the tension. They have been replaced, rejuvenated many times over. My new Nazih Ghadban oud helped rejuvenate my oud playing. The old oud may remain with its present owner or perhaps move on to another player. New hands playing it, perhaps with different sorts of strings and different repertoire may well rejuvenate the old oud.


Quote: Originally posted by oudistcamp  
Jody,
.....and you sold the dear oud that saved your life????
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[*] posted on 4-5-2012 at 12:26 PM


Oh. Fernand,
forgot to mention. I stumbled upon your vids on the 'tube (I was looking for "Sufi oud"....but never mind...). May I say that I was really impressed? Not only by the oud playing, which was great and very soulful, but by the all-around musicianship? I particularly loved the harpsichord......good job man......
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[*] posted on 4-24-2014 at 10:21 PM
Oud in transit


Hi all, I know this thread is old but im new to this forum. Earlier this month i purchased an oud on bay. Coming from Ankara and Im in Singapore. Made my purchase on 3rd April. They sent out on the 7th and reached HongKong on the 15th. Now it has been in transit in Hongkong for 10 long days. No updates at all from the 15th. Now reading the earlier posts here, they send chills to me. Perhaps in transit for so long figuring out what a 7.7kg box/crate with the lable OUD stands for? :(
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[*] posted on 4-25-2014 at 04:09 AM


It took 30 days to get one to the US from Turkey. Most of the time was spent in US customs. It will get there eventually.
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[*] posted on 4-25-2014 at 06:28 AM


I remember 2 years back I bought a custom made erhu made of red sandalwood from somewhere in China. It had to travel on train to the agent and train down to Beijing airport. Then proceeded to HongKong airport and finally to Singapore. There were transits, like 5 times more transits compared to my oud now. Yet my erhu took 20 days. Whats more intriguing is that it was during a Chinese festive season back when i bought my erhu. I am sure I didnt pay a lot for posting. It was done with EMS.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2014 at 08:24 PM


I am getting real nervous now its day 29 and its not appearing in the local speedpost tracking nor is there any updates in the Turkish post tracking since 17 April. 2 weeks of silence. This is really not fun.
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[*] posted on 5-6-2014 at 07:17 PM


Great stories Jody... :applause:

If the first one happened to me, I wouldn't have found it amusing at all.





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