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Wednesday 5 Nov 2003
Perth, Australia

The Van is with the doctor....

Checked myself into the backpackers today after leaving my van with the mechanics... I managed to get a bed in a garage (not the official rooms) and use of the showers, etc for only 7.50 dollars (6.50 if I stay a second night).. well at least theres SOME savings in this situation - the normal price for a room is 15 bucks! The hostel is Aberdeen Lodge on Aberdeen St in Northbridge (about 10 mins walk from the city centre) and the Malaysian owner, a mister "OJ", is really nice and understood my situation perfectly.

I went to "Just Toyota Wreckers" there yesterday and met up with a nice Dutch guy named Tom. Hes the aforementioned bloke I was dealing with on the phone (I thought by his accent on the phone that he was aboriginal or something!). Anyhoo, he has renewed my faith in car mechanics since he talked me through all the options I had with respect to the engines I had a choice of, and the service they provide. Basically I could choose to get a "low k" Japanese second-hand import (about 80,000 kms done) or a second hand Oz engine bought at auction (having done about 120,000 kms.. still well within the 500,000 limit for these engines). The latter engine would also save me around 250 dollars, so obviously I opted for that. Tom is also going to fit a new window regulator to my right-hand window (its been broken for a few months now due to my forceful window "winding") for only an additional 66 dollars (hell fit it for free) and theyll finish up the car with an overall service bring the total cost to 1620 dollars.

Unfortunately having this work done on the engine makes all the previous work I had done in Carnarvon (400 dollars worth).. well ... useless. Although admittedly I *WAS* able to drive down to Perth from Carnarvon (900 kms) where I might otherwise have not been able to, so maybe the work done was not in vain. Still I look at that particular cost like this: I wanted to work on a farm for the experience, not for the money (340 dollars is what I earned).. so paying in vain 300 dollars for getting the engine working plus 100 for service was no real hit on my personal finances...

Getting this engine re-fitted IS a BIG hit on the finances though, so Ill need to get some work to elevate my chances of heading off to NZ after XMas.

By the way, the Matrix Revolutions movie is hittin da screens tommorrow so Im defo gonna try to make that!

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