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Saturday 8 Nov 2003
Perth, Australia

Van Van Van Van Van Van

Yep thats right VAN! Damn van!! Beautiful van! The love-hate relationship I have with this van has become almost laughable! Yes the good news is that the van now works like a dream... the engine runs smoother than ever before (well it IS a relatively new one) and I got a 3 month warranty on the work that will cover it until I get to Sydney - whereupon I plan to sell it before it costs me any more!! The bad news, obviously is that Im now worth 1620 dollars less!... even if I sell the van for 5 grand Ill still have spent about 3-4 grand EXTRA on the servicing of the vehicle and other parts... still Im determined that the van wont go for less than 4800 - 5000 dollars since it runs like a new machine in almost every respect...

Included in the price was also the fitting of a new window regulator (the thing that makes your window wind up and down... it was broken), and Tom even threw in a plastic attachment that holds up the engine compartment door (until this point Ive had to use a stick to do it whenever I add oil or check the water). It was refreshing dealing with the dutch guy Tom since he treated me with respect (i.e. treated me as a paying customer SHOULD be treated) and made sure that I thought "everything was alright with the car", would respond to every question I had in full without being dismissive or take offence (a lot of Ozzie mechanics are very defensive of their "handywork"), and he even said I could contact him if anything further was wrong with the car. No offence to Ozzies but this makes a dramatic difference to the usual disrespect or indifference to my situation that most Ozzie mechanics make.. rarely would I get treated with as much respect as, say, a man in a suit would get and I wouldnt be given a brief of all the work involved or a friendly response if I question the work done on the car. Sorry.. just one negative thing.. most non-mechanic Ozzies are a friendly helpful bunch (although not always so in some small towns), but most Ozzie mechanics seem to have a "dont tell me what to do, you will accept the work I do or nothing" kind of patronising attitude. Any other problems and youd have to pay.

So, in a word.. if you have trouble with your Toyota in Perth, I cant recommend "Just Toyota" highly enough.. make sure to ask for Tom and tell him "Irish Pete" sent you!

I also got 3 new tyres yesterday and a wheel allignment since this had to be done too. 300 more smackers, but better than skidding across the road on a burst tyre I say.

Im gonna stick around Perth till Monday/Tuesday to make sure that the van runs smoothly.. also Rico and Arthur (from Carnarvon) have arrived in town so at least now I have an excuse to head out and get drunk!

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