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Three days to go

Oh my, what an incredibly hectic time it’s been. Every time I’ve sat down to write a blog post, the words have eluded me. I’ve found something else to do, whether that’s adding a new auction to sell something, or to respond to questions on current auctions, or to pack or organise something, or to have a chai latte with Ken, or to catch up with someone who wants to see me/us off, or to have farewell parties, or to…

Well, I’m sure you get the picture. But let me give you a few details about some of the more interesting ‘challenges’ along the way.

The BMW. I managed to sell that to a young guy who works at a garage. Luckily for me, he’s someone who’s been looking for a BMW to buy relatively cheaply, which needs a little bit of work so that he can do it up. He was happy to let me keep the car until the day before we leave the country. And then the fuel pump died and the car wouldn’t start. None of the usual garages were able to take the car and look at it before Tuesday next week. Wow. So as a last resort I rang the guy who is going to buy the car and explained to him the car’s not running… how embarrassing. Again, lucky for me he’s in the car repair business, and understands. So he came out yesterday to try and fix it, reiterating to me that it doesn’t affect his interest, as these things happen and he’s buying it so he can work on it and restore it. However, he couldn’t fix it, as it needs an entire new (or used) fuel pump. So we’re in the process of negotiating a new price and conditions of sale. However much it costs for him to buy a new fuel pump, I’ll take that off the price we agreed on.

Ken’s an absolute marvel, a true and wonderful friend. Upon hearing about my car problems, he’s given us the use of his car for the next few days, as he hardly uses it during the working week. That’s going to be fantastic for us, as we really need a car for these last days, organising the final things we need to do and running around like blue-arsed flies (they’re Australian flies, known for their fast and furious buzzing around).

My cellphone. My Apache sold, but on the day that I was taking it into town to send to the new owner, it decided that the screen wouldn’t align during the setup process (I reset the phone for the new buyer). Taking it into the phone shop to get them to look at it, they couldn’t work out what the problem was. A screen alignment problem? Has never happened, in their experience.

Why me, I wonder. So anyway, after some rigmarole over a couple of days, I finally got them to print out a proof of purchase for warranty purposes, so that it can be sent away to get fixed. The only problem is, I can’t send it away as I’m leaving the country… So I kept in touch with the new buyer during all of this, and he was eventually agreeable to me sending him the phone and warranty details, and he’ll get it fixed. Phew.

Deidre’s cellphone. It was bought by someone who doesn’t have a valid email address, and who has dozens of negative feedbacks posted about how he never follows through on his purchases. Great. Now I’ll have to re-list it, at extra cost.

My laptop. Here’s an interesting story. The screen is starting to have intermittent pixellation problems, with a faint line running down the screen on the left hand side, about an inch in from the edge. It’s not a big problem, but can be seen on a dark background. I took it into work – which I don’t work at any more – for them to look at, as they still own it. I’m in the process of buying it from them but haven’t done so yet. There’s a policy that they shouldn’t sell corporate hardware that is faulty.

So it’s going to cost them about $900 to repair. The price we had previously agreed on for me to buy it was… $900. This is purely coincidence, I’m sure, but if they spend that to fix it so I can spend that to buy it, then the laptop has $0 value. I pointed this out to the authorising manager and said that if they just give it to me for $0, we’ll all be happy and save everyone lots of trouble.

Unfortunately, due to red tape and such stuff, it’s easier for them to keep it than to go through the processes needed to give it to me for $0.


So I’ve been looking on the auction site for another laptop to replace this one, if they decide they want it back. I found one, which I wasn’t too sure about, but considering that I felt it was the best I could get at the time, I bought it for $1500. And then the fun started.

The guy who was selling it rang me and said there was a disaster – he put something through the screen, so he couldn’t sell it to me. However, he offered me another laptop, which was selling for $1550, for $1350. I did some research, and I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted, but since the price was good, I sent him an email back and said that while it wasn’t what I wanted, I’d take it if he gave it to me for $1300. Ken had also told me that if I didn’t like it, he’d buy it, so I thought, what the hell… The seller wrote back saying that he’ll do better and let me have it for $1275 including delivery. I liked his negotiating style!

So it arrived yesterday. I played with it for most of the day, and I really liked it. But then, I took some photos of more things to put up on auction, and when I was editing the photos to change their sizes, diaster struck!

The 128mb integrated graphics card was NOT AT ALL capable of dealing with photo/image editing. It groaned and creaked and complained and took about a minute or more to just change the size of a single photo. On my current 2-year old laptop with a 64Mb dedicated graphics card, resizing a photo takes only a second.

For me, this was a showstopper. If I couldn’t easily edit photos, I’d be a very unhappy chappy. So I sold it to Ken.

Now, the guy had previously mentioned to me, when I had purchased the original laptop, before its screen was broken, that he had another one that he’d drop the price to $1700 if I was interested. I wasn’t at the time, but I contacted him yesterday (after Ken agreed to buy the one I’d just bought) in order to get more details.

It’s a HP nx9420. It has a 256Mb dedicated memory graphics car. Oh.My.God. It rocks! It’s also got a 17″ screen, 1Gb of RAM, dual 2Ghz processors, and a 120Gb hard drive. Holy crap! It currently retails new for $3500, but I just bought it last night for $1700. It’ll be delivered on Tuesday.

What a convoluted process I’ve gone through just to get an awesome laptop that’ll give me everything I want and need! Oh, and it’s got a fingerprint reader for security, and an environment sensor that senses the light conditions and adjusts the screen’s brightness accordingly. I didn’t know laptops could do that! Amazing.

Selling and buying goods has been fascinating. Selling some of the stuff we’ve had has ended up with people buying things for more than what we considered them to be worth. But ‘value’ is in the eyes of the buyer…

Only 3 days now before we fly out of New Zealand and into Australia. The excitement is almost unbearable, and it’s only going to increase over the next few days!

We had our farewell party last night, which we invited all our friends and acquaintances to. There were quite a few people who came, which made it a fantastic night, with great company and great conversations. Some people had given us their apologies for not being able to come, while some others never replied to our invitation and never turned up.

It’s amazing how farewells and parties and such can give you a good idea of the people in your life who care about you. Or who don’t care. The people that you invite are all those that you would love to see there, but when they don’t care enough to respond or attend, you’re left with the feeling of, ‘I guess it’s a good thing I’m moving on’.

Some people are in your lives for reasons, seasons or a lifetime. All those we invited have shown how much they care, one way or another, and so now we all move on. Goodbye to those who were only seasonal friends. Deidre and I will look forward to a new life, with new friends, and a new future.

I apologise for the delays in writing anything substantial or meaningful over the past few weeks, but it’s been so full on. I’m sure you understand.

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