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Awaiting My Car in New Plymouth – Day 19
Friday 15th April 2005
It hasn’t been the most interesting day of my trip so far, and you may wish you hadn’t bothered reading today’s diary entry, but it wouldn’t be right to leave a day out just for the sake of it not being interesting. Some people may find uninteresting things interesting anyway. This is how today panned out anyway.
By now it was becoming a very familiar routine of waking up, showering and having breakfast, but not always in that order. Sometimes I would wake up, have breakfast and then shower. Other times I would shower, have breakfast, then wake up. Today, though, was the usual routine.
I spent much of the morning e-mailing people, including Hiromi who had sent a nice passage of text to me. Other recipients were home and friends back in England. I used this opportunity to check my bank account to see how my funds were holding out. After a brief heart-stopping moment when I feared money had mysteriously vanished form my account, I gathered my senses and recalled where the money had gone. With the panic over, I just pottered about here and there waiting for my car to be free from the clutches of the greedy mechanic.
I took the lengthy walk to the garage in the hope I could collect my car, and was a little annoyed to see the vehicle still hoisted up in the air, another mechanic poised underneath with an extravagant metal helmet attached to his face. Beams of light shot out in all directions from the gun he held in his hands, and I worried the car was in pain, but agonised more that the cost would be higher than previously estimated. Maybe there was another fault, maybe a catalogue of faulty parts, possibly I wouldn’t be taking the car away with me today. I sat and waited, agonising over the decision to buy a car in the first place, when the mechanic appeared from the dirty gloom of the garage, wiping his brow with a hand caked in engine grease, transferring oil from hand to brow.
“She’s good to go”, the guy announced heartily. “Not as bad as we thought in the end.” I was much relieved to hear that. The total cost of repairs rested at 475 dollars, and not 700 dollars as informed yesterday. This was much more within my budget and I was happy to be taking the car away. It felt fine, and was ready for more adventuring.
In the evening I made some pasta, although I’m not quite sure what I was thinking at the time. I made enough pasta to feed a small army, and was never going to finish it all myself, but I would at least try. When I looked at one of the surfer dudes also making his dinner in the kitchen, I laughed about how much I had made and how it was too much, to which he replied; “No way man, you can never have too much pasta”. It seems he was wrong, I only managed three quarters, but felt triumphant at this worthy achievement.
I spent the evening watching a film with the hostel’s cat perched on my lap all night. When it was time to go to sleep, though, I couldn’t shift the cat. It was like a dead weight that flopped about. I was unable to get a proper purchase on the animal as it buried itself into my armpit, not wanting to leave. I almost had to yank the cat from my lap after several minutes, and it gave a disapproving yelp as I did so. It was a disappointing way to end a nice evening cuddled up to one another, and I feel I destroyed our newly-acquired friendship by doing so, but I wanted my bed.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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