Friday: I was awake early and said final good-byes to the guys that we’ve been living with here in Perth. It was probably the fifth time that we’d been through this ritual, and they were rather certain that we’d be here when they returned from work. I however, was confident that today would be the day, after all, we’d heard that it was nearly going to be ready yesterday…
First setback, the head kit that was supposed to be complete was actually missing some components (they’d doubled up on exhaust gaskets and missed the intake gaskets), and there were some o-rings that had to be replaced. At the time, I didn’t know which gaskets were missing (I forgot to ask) but was told that genuine Mitsubishi ones had been sourced, which I knew could quickly become expensive. I contacted the manufacturer (Kiwi Cylinder Heads) and gave them the phone number of the mechanic to see if the two of them could work it out. I was kicking myself, I thought that once again I’d tried to take a small shortcut and save a few dollars (by using this brand instead of the more expensive brand recommended by the mechanic) and ended up spending more to pay for missing parts. It was a short-lived scare, as the gaskets ended up being less than $50, and the manufacturer was happy to reimburse that expense for their mistake.
I felt like a jerk calling every few hours to check on status/progress, but I was anxious to leave Perth. The last time I called them was at 3PM, and even then it was 50/50 that they’d have it ready on time. I didn’t receive a phone call to tell me that it was ready, so we knew our fate for the weekend, as sadly they weren’t open on Saturday. Another weekend here in Perth. As I’ve said many times before, it’s a great place to be stranded, it’s just that we have a tight timeline and want to get back onto the road to see the rest of Australia!
We were laughed at (again) by the friends that we were staying with when they returned from work and we were still here, right where we’d seen them last. At least they were still happy to have us staying with them.
We were invited out to a party at a bar near University of Western Australia called Varsity. Risa hadn’t really had a big night out in Perth, so we couldn’t refuse. Walking in to the bar, I immediately felt out of place, there weren’t many people over 30 there, but I shrugged it off. But, tweenage crowd wasn’t the first thing I noticed. It was the fluorescent paint on the tweenage crowd! It was a Black Light theme party, which meant lots of black lights and even more fluorescent paint reacting to that light. There were bottles of green, pink and blue paint floating around, and we played with it, painting our faces and having fun. The paint didn’t last long though… after it dried, it contracted and started pulling the skin tight, so I peeled mine off. Sadly, it didn’t stay just on our faces… our clothes were covered with smudges, smears and drips of the paint. Not to mention the paint from all the hyperactive people in the bar. All that was left was a late night run to McDonalds to fill that hunger in my stomach (couldn’t find a kebab shop without doing a detour to Northbridge…). Also, we weren’t as drunk as the photos may show – at least not Risa and I!
Saturday: First time (in a very long time) that I managed to sleep in. I didn’t wake until after 10AM, probably helped by the dark skies and rain. It was a day of leisure and recovery. It was also the day I finally played Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA V comes out in a few days). Spent the day playing video games, looking at our itinerary and watching movies. I didn’t even leave the house (or my tracksuit).
Sunday: The sun was back out, so we made good on the plans to go play mini-golf, like we’d wanted to last weekend (inspired by watching Billy Madison). It was a mini-road trip to the northern suburbs of Perth before we could even start playing! I’m starting to feel that Perth is closer in physical size to Brisbane the more of it I see.
The putt-putt course was (at first) incredibly disappointing – green astroturf surrounded by metallic barrier piping. It was flat and uninspired. But, the more we played, the better it became. I’d love to play on a course like the ones you see in American movies, with all the crazy obstacles like windmills, and clowns opening their mouths etc. There were actually two courses, the second course was called Billiards Golf, which quickly made sense when you realised that it was important to bounce the ball off the outer edging to get around corners/obstructions. Was a fun excursion, especially since I won the second round (first round was a warm up…).
BBQ dinner with our friend’s brother at their new place. It was surprising meeting people that had also spent significant time in Japan – even more so that they were JETs, too (Japanese Exchange and Teaching).
We said our good-byes to everyone, confident that we’d be leaving tomorrow… time will tell.