So we went to Western Australia just after Christmas. It’s a big state. We needed a car.

Hired a little Nissan Pulsar from Avis at Perth Airport.

Everything was going smoothly until Day 2.

Luisa, my Mother and I had ventured to Perth from my hometown of York to visit my 95 year old Grandmother and my big brother.

After doing the family rounds we were on our way back to York but decided to stop for late lunch at Midland Gate shopping centre out on the eastern side of Perth. I had Mexican. It was delish.image

We pottered around and looked at a few things after that. I bought some shoes and then we got set to head home.

We were walking back to the underground car park when I started feeling for the car keys. I couldn’t find them.

“Have you got the keys ?”

“No, I thought you had the keys.”

Nobody had the keys.

And then in a horrible moment, Luisa said to me….”Did you get the keys out of that cardboard tray that your Mexican came in ?”

“No.”

We sprinted for the foodcourt. We went straight to the rubbish bin where our lunchtime rubbish had been disposed.

THE BIN WAS EMPTY !!! It had been emptied.

We tracked down a staff member quickly.

“How long ago was that bin emptied ?”

“10 minutes ago.”

“Where does the rubbish go from there ?”

“I’m sorry to say it goes straight to the compactor.”

Oooooh noooooo.  The keys were no longer. They were gone.

We rang Avis and the woman on the offshore phone service explained to us that the individual outlets don’t keep spare keys for each car. She suggested that we would have to pay to get the car toed back to Perth Airport and that as it was December 29, it was quite possible that there would not be another car available.

We were parked way down in the underground car park. I’m buggered if I know how they would have attempted to tow it out. At the time I was thinking they may have to wait until the car park was less full because there’s no way they’d be able to get it out. I was thinking of damage to the car and the cost of towing. It’s all adding up to well over a thousand dollars…and at the end of it all, I’m not sure how we’re getting back to York.

Finally we got through to Avis at Perth Airport. I spoke to Andrew. Andrew suggested to me that he thought there was quite a good chance they would have a spare key.

“Really ?”

Yes, he just had to go and look for it. He’d call me back in 10 mins.  That 10 minutes seemed to last for an hour.

Andrew found the spare key.

YIPPEE !

How much ?

$400

Sounds fair to me.

We taxied to the airport and then back to Midland…and drove home.