Augustus and his boot lid

I got off to a good start in the first few days, but like Robbie’s Monkey in Hot Fudge, I’ve clearly I’ve been having too much of a good time and haven’t written since. That’s not to say there hasn’t been entertainment to write about…

So day one. I immediately make myself known in the neighbourhood by having the angriest taxi driver in Australia (we’ll call him Augustus), and causing a commotion outside the apartment on arrival, when he can’t open the boot of his car. Inside the boot is my case, and there’s no way on earth I was letting that out if my sight with him – he was a lunatic! Despite his erratic speed behind the wheel, he had no sense of urgency in retrieving my case when the boot release stopped working, and just kept shouting at me for slamming the lid too hard when the case went in.

AN: the fact that I was sitting in the car when the case was loaded by the concierge who hailed his cab for me, had clearly escaped him, and I wasn’t going to raise it; I was more bothered about getting the case back than how it’d got stuck in the first place…

Anyway, after his attempts to force the boot open with a pair of pliers had failed for the fourth time, Augustus shouted some more and sat back in his seat, apparently doing nothing but huffing and puffing (as, clearly, that was going to help). Meanwhile, I was scrambling around in the back trying to figure out how to pull the seats down (and discovering that a Toyota Camry does not have fold down seats, nor is there a hatch hidden behind the centre arm rest). By this time, a friendly Aussie chap (Let’s call him Mick) had seen what was going on and decided to come to my rescue, shortly followed by Wally, Donk and a series of other helpful chaps, all determined to show they could fix the situation, only to give up five minutes later once they realised how useless Augustus and his Camry boot lid were.

By this point, I’ve exhausted Google’s discussion threads and YouTube video clips on how to ‘cleverly’ bypass the Toyota auto boot release feature (no, the back seats do not come down, there’s no button in the taillight and nothing in the fuel cap either). I suggest to Augustus that he calls the RAC, or Aussie equivalent thereof? He has no idea what that is… handy. Perhaps his taxi control room might be able to help? He reverts to huffing and puffing some more (helpful) and eventually gets onto the radio to his control room. I have no idea what language they were conversing in, but given the actions he was repeating, I figured he’s still blaming me for slamming the lid too hard and is complaining to the poor Doris on the other end of the radio, rather than seeking advice or help on how to call the RAC.

At this point, I figured out that my biggest issue was in fact not that my case was stuck, it was the lack of communication skills, resourcefulness or simple common sense from Augustus. I therefore decided to flag another similar taxi in the hope that they might be more helpful.

Enter Karl. He took one look at Augustus, asked me what was going on, I told him, he pressed the boot release catch on the driver’s door, wiggled the lid a bit, and up it popped – bingo. As I thanked Karl for his help, Augustus looked utterly bemused, huffed and puffed some more, then asked me if I’d paid? Yes I have! And I’m not paying again!

Is it beer o’clock yet?…


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