Day 119 – 122 – The Last of Perth (fingers crossed)

Monday: A day of business and leisure. The third housemate, and the second Matthew, came home from a (very envious) trip to Burning Man late last night. I spent the morning quizzing him about it – attending is high on my bucket list.

The rest of the day is boring. Reading my book, researching about Risa’s UK visa, researching about my Japan visa, looking for work, and other fun tasks…

I got in contact with the mechanic, who confirmed what I had feared – the head was most certainly cracked and would require replacing. So long hopes of a cheap repair… Estimate is now creeping around the $3,000 mark.

20130909_RCH_2355 20130909_RCH_2358The highlight of the day was catching up with a Scottish friend and her fiancé for dinner and desert. We first met her while living in Hokkaido (she was also an English teacher there, though at that stage, not a JET). Being adventurous, we went back to tried and trusted Jun. I foolishly ruined my appetite by having a late afternoon snack, as dinner wasn’t going to be until after 8. I blame my lack of appetite for the food not tasting quite as nice as the first time. I also didn’t notice the first time how much of the menu is either deep fried, or pan fried… Appetite aside, it was a nice grown-up evening.

20130910_RCH_2359We weren’t quite ready to go to bed, so we went for a quick drive through Northbridge (the entertainment area of Perth). A chocolate/desert restaurant (San Churos) was packed, but the rest of the area seemed to be extremely quiet. We felt like chocolate (I usually feel like chocolate, or ice-cream), so we had some hot chocolates (mine had peanut butter, though it was quite subtle), deserts and kept chatting for a little longer. Oddly, they had a two-piece house band playing, pulling guests up to sign along with them. The night ended rather abruptly as the band finished and the lights started turning off…

One of the ‘silver linings’ of this break down and subsequent return to Perth was being able to catch up with these guys, who were only in town for a couple of days.

Tuesday: More heavy rain, followed by some expected, though unwelcome news. I called the mechanic again to see how they were progressing, hoping that it was going to be ready this afternoon, or possibly tomorrow morning. Adding to the expense and delay, they found auxiliary components that were damaged (from heat!) and required replacing… one of these components had to be replaced before they could refit the head, so it was causing delay. Thursday was looking more likely… estimate is now around the $3,500 – $4,000 mark!! Fffff…

20130910_20130910_132329 20130910_20130910_132339We decided to leave the house for a few hours and met friends in town for lunch – Japanese again, this time Ramen at restaurant Nao in the CBD. The place was crazy busy, we were warned and came early to get a seat. The smell was amazing, so we were pretty excited. I’d just missed out on the last plate of kara’age… I ordered spicy miso, Risa ordered shoyu. Mine was certainly spicy, and reasonably rich/tasty. Risa was a little disappointed with hers…

We spent an hour or two walking around the CBD, but it was aimless, and the weather wasn’t ideal, so we just headed back ‘home’.

Wednesday: Rain, sunshine, sunshine and rain, rain, wind and clouds. Good thing we had no plans to go anywhere (or do anything). I know, it’s a waste to be at home doing very little when we could be out seeing Perth, but to be honest, by now, I’ve seen most of the things that I wanted to see, and I’ve done it in beautiful weather. At least we had dinner to look forward to (kidding, it’s not really the highlight of the day). Every time we drive to/from the city, we drive past a colourful butcher shop called Dubrovnik Butchers, which has big signs about being sausage kings. I love good sausages, so I’ve been wanting to visit for the past few weeks. The biggest problem was the overwhelming selection to choose from! We ended up spending over $20 because there were so many that we wanted to try (some fresh, others smoked/cured).

20130911_RCH_2362 20130911_RCH_2364 20130911_RCH_2368 20130911_RCH_2370 20130911_RCH_2373 20130911_RCH_2377 20130911_RCH_2381Since we arrived here the first time all those weeks ago, the boys have been talking about Milk Steaks, which is a meal from a TV show they love to watch (Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia) – It’s a horrible sounding idea, steak boiled hard in milk. Tonight, after a rather large meal of gourmet sausages and mashed potato (my culinary speciality), Matt decided it was time. Strange as it sounds, he actually bothered to search for a recipe, and even stranger, there were several! He brought a little over a litre of milk to the boil, added some cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and honey to the mix (which made for some mighty tasty milk), then threw in half of a perfectly good rump steak for a few minutes. I’m not going to lie, it felt a little disrespectful doing this to perfectly good steak – I’m sure vegetarians would be appalled… Eventually we pulled a sad, grey lump of meat out of the fragrant milk. We weren’t sure what to do with all of that milk – I considered drinking it (didn’t want to waste it), but the (expected) taint of the steak in the milk put me off… so we tipped it down the sink. In the TV show, the milk steak is served with a side of jellybeans, which they bought a few weeks ago with the express purpose of having with this meal… but, there weren’t any left for tonight. At first, we tried eating it as-is, and to be honest, it wasn’t actually that bad. It had the hint of the fragrant spices that it was boiled in, but it was the toughest and driest steak I’d ever eaten. Since we didn’t have jellybeans, we substituted hundreds-and-thousands… I know what you’re thinking, sacrilegious, but I actually think that it made it taste better. I’m not going to swap BBQ steak for milk steak anytime soon, but it far exceeded my opinions of it being near inedible.

Thursday: It’s almost become like a ritual to call the mechanic and find out the (bad) news. I was hoping to hear that it’d be ready in a few hours, but instead I was told that a part they were waiting for yesterday was delayed and if everything went well, it’s possible we could pick it up at the end of the day, but more realistically, tomorrow morning… At least there weren’t any more discoveries of broken parts requiring attention…

We spent the rest of the day indoors, watching movies, which feels like a waste, except we are trying to not spend money on anything that we don’t need to.

20130912_IMG_4100 20130912_RCH_2383 20130912_RCH_2385 20130912_RCH_2386Dinner was pizza night, but this time we tried our hands at making it from scratch using the dough recipe from our friend, Diehmsie, in Mount Isa. Apart from Risa confusing tsp and tbs (1.5 tablespoons of salt!! Instead of 1.5 teaspoons…) it went rather well. It’s hard work making the dough, but so far the best dough that I’ve made – not to doughy, just thin and crispy.

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