Welcome, and stuff.
Especially for a cruising WE. Technically this should have happened a month ago, but when we picked up the bike, the clutch cable had snapped and we had to cancel.
This time, the clutch is fixed, the sun is shining, and so are the chromes. Harley Davidson Heritage Softail. 350 kilos of classic Harley. Maybe not my first choice when it comes to styling or torque, but for comfort, this is probably as close to a sofa as you can get. And since this is Claire’s first real biking experience, I thought maybe it’s best if she doesn’t hate it after ten minutes. Read More
We left an overheated Perth and arrived in a much cooler Hobart after a very uncomfortable flight, delayed of course, thank you Jetstar. The minivan was waiting for us. I do say minivan as opposed to the camping-car advertised on the website. The Youtube video showed a brand spanking new vehicle, with room enough for a football team and the comfort of a hotel room.
It started with Claire being really tired, so I loaded up Troopy with all the camping gear, a full fridge, and instructions for her to leave on Thursday morning, direction: out of the city. Basically, go to Nanga Mill, in the Lane Poole Reserve, where we always go. Spend a few days in the woods, sleep as much as you can, there will be no cell phone, no TV, no Internet, no noise.
And so she went. She only had one instruction: activate the Spot Messenger so I know her GPS position and I can meet her on Friday night after work. She also had to turn on the UHF radio on channel 28 every 15 minutes so we could communicate once I got in range.
It’s almost 9 AM and it’s already hot. And I mean, real freaking hot. It’s 34 degrees outside, at nine in the morning. Crazy. Last night I went to bed at around 10, and it was still 36. We hit 47 at one point according to my phone (well it isn’t a real thermometer but it reads weather updates via the 4G connection). It’s a strange couple of days, everybody tries to lock themselves indoors, or go to the shopping malls, or the cinema. Anything to avoid the heat. I guess a lot of people are at the beach, but I find it hard to imagine anyone lying there, getting their tan, so they must be all in the water, therefore the fist few yards of sea must be absolutely packed. You couldn’t even swim if you wanted to I bet. Anyway, I might go down and check it out myself later this afternoon. For now, the crappy aircon unit in the house blows some vaguely coldish air in the living room and it’s bearable. But everything is hot. The walls, the floor, every object you touch, cold water comes out boiling hot from the tap as it’s been sitting in the pipes for a while. Last night I laughed when I brushed my teeth because my toothbrush was hot when I put it in my mouth.
So last night I went through an interesting phase. I was blind.
Not completely blind, but almost. I could make out shapes, and colours but everything was blurred. Like seeing through a dirty glass bottle.
I probably shouldn’t have used these drops, but they were my last resort as my migraine, once again, was killing me. For about three weeks now, my immune system has decided I had a virus in my eyes. But I don’t have a virus. So my immune system is “eating” my eyes. It’s quite painful, so the ophthalmologist I was referred to has prescribed two things to kill this iritis (it’s called either an iritis, or an uveitis, look it up but don’t be alarmed by the Wikipedia picture, I’m nowhere near as bad). For the first week I had to use homatropine drops, which has a freaky side effect, it dilates the pupil. The effect is pretty weird, I look like Montgomery Burns in “The Springfield Files”. (for those who aren’t Simpsons fans, let’s say I look like I’ve smoked a looooot of weed, or taken LSD, it’s really freaky).
It took a lot longer than expected, and a lot more money than planned, but finally, Troopy is parked outside, home and hosed.
So what happened ? Well, the guys in Thailand had one job : clean the car for quarantine inspection. Well they botched it. As a result, the first inspection was a disaster, and the AQIS decided to strip the car and clean it thoroughly. Boy did they took their sweet time. I have the result of the company that specialises in cleaning vehicles for import, twenty three hours worth of labour. That’s how long it took, apparently so, because quite frankly I could have done the same in half a day. But let’s not argue.
When we first drank the homebrew, back in July, it was, let’s be honest, bloody awful. The colour was good, a light amber ale, slightly cloudy, nothing wrong there. But that’s just it, it lacked everything else. No body, no head, no nothing, and if you drank the whole 23 bottles you’d still be legally allowed to drive. Even in Iran.
And so I brewed beer.
Well it’s rather easy really, especially when you receive a home-brew kit for St Valentine’s day… And you have great friends to help you out.
So, the kit. What is it ? Well it’s a 23L plastic container, it’s 30 x 75cc bottles, it’s a thermometer, a few ingredients, and a spoon.
Sterilize the container and all the parts that will come in contact with the beer, mix the ingredients, add water and wait.
Well at least that’s what the brochure says. In fact it’a little more than that.
May 11th – 18th
It took well over three months to plan this. Between the contradictive information about whether or not Troopy was allowed to remain on foreign soil for so long, between getting the right price for the right job, I finally booked the tickets to get her home.
I barely slept on the plane, was it the cramped seats of Tiger Airways, or me being eager to sit behind the wheel, I don’t know. Once in Bangkok I took a mor deu sai ráp jâhng, a 125cc motorbike-taxi. They’re quicker than a normal taxi, cheaper than a tuktuk and a lot more frightening than the bus. Traffic in Bangkok is insane. Not only because of the number of cars but also because nobody respects any rule. Red lights mean nothing, traffic is syrupy anyways, right of way mean nothing either, the only rule that applies is “go forth my son”. And that’s what people do, regardless of how big or small the vehicle they’re driving. Read More