November 14, 2013
First chai break.
I didn’t leave until 10:30am. I just about stayed the day add read. The hotel, abet a shit hole, was away from town thus no ‘traffic’ and it had a good restaurant.
I found that I learned a lot by following a bus earlier. When to honk, when not to plus everyone hears a bus horn and can see it’s size thus following it I am almost guaranteed to have a clear roadway.
I should be in West Bengal and Darjeeling by nightfall.
There is an albino working at the shop next to the chai stall. They are calling him a ghost. I said, “Same as me!” and pinched my skin. He is the second one I have seen this trip. I don’t see any handicapped women only men. They must be killed at birth. They are not supposed to sell petrol that is not put directly into a vehicle. I had to convince them to sell me one litre of petrol into a water bottle when I picked up Suu Kyi at the airport [she was emptied for the plane ride]. Kitchen fires.
The petrol here is bad. Suu Kyi burps and farts. She is running well. I forgot to check her tyre pressure this morning. I will do it after the chai. There is a compressor across the parking lot. They charge 10 Rs. for air.
The hotel guy brought me a chai and a smoke this morning. He doesn’t smoke so he would have had to buy it from the stall on the highway. It would have cost him 10 Rs. When I left I forgot to pay him. I turned around and found him in his room and gave him the 10 Rs. for the smoke. I could not have wiped the smile off his face with a 2x4. He did remind me before I left but I forgot.
Before I left the first time bought 30 more zip ties At 10 Rs. they are expensive but are indispensable. I just wish they were thicker. I can break them if I pull hard enough.
Some bum wants me to buy him chai. Hope. I just checked the pressure; 38 on the front and 40 on the rear. Perfect.
Another chai break and I am in love with the note book again. I had two half rolls for shit roll and I lost them somewhere. Not good for me. I had to take a shit really bad this morning. I looked frantically for anything. I didn’t want to use one of my polypro socks. I ended up using a cloth bag that I ripped in two. I have enough for one for shit but by then I should be in Darjeeling and will surely find some there. I will buy a few rolls.
I have never seen as many people on or in one jeep in my life. They are used as mini busses here. I thought Burma was bad. They are even on the hood leaving just enough room for the driver to see. It’s like a high speed circus clown show. I wish my GoPro was working. Maybe I can find a micro card in Darjeeling.
The road. The road has two lanes one way and two lanes the other with a boulevard separating them. It would be great if the contractor, who resurfaced it, to save money, put sealant down before applying a new layer of asphalt. It is separating. The new layer is only about one or two inches thick but when there was a pot hole in the first layer it is now one to two inches thicker. The contractor needs to be hit in the nuts with a sledge hammer. Not the short handled version.
Hitting a pothole this size would spell disaster. I do have a new front wheel built by Woody’s Wheel Works. The rim is an Excel, the hub is billet aluminium and it’s been super laced using think spokes. But still…
I bend the stock rim doing about 140kph going up the Bachelor Hills road and hit a pot hole on the front side of a cattle guard. I tried to hammer it back into shape but I didn’t try very hard. It was during the depression and I had to get back to bed.