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Ellerslie Car Market – Day 7
Sunday 3rd April 2005
I was on a mission today to hunt down a car, and I was relying on good fortune to get me through the day. With so many things that could go wrong I was very anxious as to how the day would pan out.
As I drew out the maximum of 500 dollars from the cash point yesterday, I wanted to double that amount to take with me to Ellerslie car market, just in case this is what I needed to pay. To be honest, I hadn’t planned on spending quite so much, but I wanted to get a car capable of taking me down any road that I came up across. I didn’t want to get a cheap car, knowing that it would just brake down on me at the worst moment.
So I hopped and skipped over to the cash point, and entered my details ready for a swift transaction, but was slightly bemused at the rejection message I received. I say I was slightly bemused, in reality I was furious, especially after the third time of trying. Not wanting to loose the card altogether, I ceased this pointless exercise and pondered for a while as to what to do. Although I had 500 dollars on me, it amounted to a lot less British Pounds, so I knew it wouldn’t be enough for anything worthy, but I decided nonetheless to make the trip back to Ellerslie anyway. I would just have to see what happens.
Upon arrival at Ellerslie town, it was gone 12:00 midday, meaning the cash machines may now be accepting towards my request, being that it is a new day back in England. So I tried, and to my joy I was able to pocket a further 500 dollars. Now I was happy, although mindful of the fact that time was getting on, and I still had to get to the car market yet.
I arrived quite late at the market, and people were starting to go home. I had a bad feeling I had just wasted my chance for this week, and wasn’t salivating at the thought of killing time for another week until the car market came around again. I headed for the cheaper cars, (under 1500 dollars) in the hope of finding my one true love, but began to get a similar feeling to one that I had previously in the backpackers car park. They all looked nasty, and to my surprise, I saw the same guys I had seen in the backpacker’s car park, still trying to offload their piece of junk. They didn’t recognise me, but I recognised them alright and gave them a wide birth. I was half expecting them to pounce on me as they had previously and to spin me a tale about how mighty their automobile is, but was amused by their half-hearted plea for any money at all. It seemed they couldn’t give it away, which is what they had resorted to at this point.
With a sympathetic half-smile on my face, I acknowledged their plight and moved onto the rest of the cars, somewhat depleted in number at this late hour. One car in particular caught my attention, possibly because it was clean, but probably because it was an older Peugeot 405. My car back home is a newer Peugeot 405 Estate, so I immediately had a soft spot for it, and a reason to give it a closer look.
It was nothing more than I had expected. There was nothing ‘flash’ about the vehicle, nor was there much in the way of interior loveliness. It was an old car with all the things necessary in order for it to drive. On closer inspection there was actually little in the way of rust, and the wear and tear on the car in general could have been a lot worse. The asking price was 1450, much more than I was willing to pay, but I had one eye on it at least, and I made this point clear to the guy so that he wouldn’t pack up and go home as I browsed the rest of the fleet.
Wholly unsatisfied by the offerings elsewhere, I tracked back to the Peugeot and began to haggle in a way I have never done before, and it wasn’t long before 1450 became 900 dollars, about 350 English Pounds. This seemed a lot more appealing, and with a handshake, the deal was done.
The rest of the day was spent driving about trying to find a post office in which to change the car documents into my name, as the small mobile office in the car market had closed for the day just as we got there. Between myself and the guy whose car I had just bought, we found a post office, but with a closed sign hanging from the locked door. We agreed that I should take the car and to meet up again the following day to do the necessaries. We drove back to the guy’s house where we parted, then the car was mine to do with as I wanted.
I took a while to familiarise myself to the car, but it wasn’t anything new, as all the knobs and fittings were very much similar to the newer model sitting on the driveway back in England at my parents house. It felt good to have my own set of wheels, and the smile on my face as I drove back into Auckland was clear to see as I stared back at myself in the rear-view mirror. By now I had memorised much of Auckland City, and finding my way back to the hostel was fairly easy.
I spent much of the evening digesting the days events, and analysing my handling of it all. Had I done the right thing? Would I regret my purchase in the morning? The truth is, until I am out on the open road, there is no way of telling whether I have a good car or not. I just needed to feel happy that I had a car, and this is the thought that accompanied me as I drifted off into a sweet slumber.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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