Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
21Trip End Mar 25, 2009
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Where I stayed
Checking the international version of craigslist, I did manage to find a royal enfield, overhauled engine, new electricals and paint, etc. etc. Just perfect for someone with my particular needs. My ticket has come in, and I am now off to Mumbai to check it out. If all goes well, I'll ride the 3k kilometers to chennai and park it there for the duration of my couple of weeks in sri lanka, to ride again north on my return.
Through my connections here in Delhi, I have managed even to find a reasonably priced storage place for the bike where they will make it ready anytime I wish to return. That is, of course if the damned thing makes it the whole way. Looks like a good deal, I have been back and forth on e-mail with the owner, cracking jokes and the like
Ahh, to ride again. The smoky wind in my hair, and a hair's breadth from death at every moment. Indian roads. Well, I have done it once, and will do it again.
One week is quite enough in Delhi--I don't even know how I survived a month here last year. Perhaps it was the drugs, maybe the sickness. In that department, I have just gotten over the "delhi crud," the nagging and persistent cough that creeps in 4 or 5 days after arrival in this place. Coedine cough syrup and sleep work wonders for this particular ailment--when you finally wake up, the virus has run its course and you are ready for the day, albeit with a bit of an opiate hangover.
Mornings at the magic table are still the same, the same regulars hanging out with a constantly changing guard of temporary hangers-on, getting their education at the University of Pagal-Ganj.
The Main bazaar itself is always the same, full of touts trying desperately to bring you to "my shop," and this has perhaps gotten worse, as with the failing world economy many opt now to stay at home. The streets are much thinner with tourists than in years past, and this makes for a bit less entertainment as we watch them fall for the same scams over and over
The beer is still bad, and the liquor worse, so I've been shying away from these as well, my stomach and liver a little less accustomed to grain spirits and glycerin than in previous years. Live and learn. What a drag it is getting old.
On the bright side, I finally feel as if I have caught up on sleep finally. Having no watch, I don't really know what time it is when I wake up, but usually it is around 8:30 or so, at which point I search out my coffee and perhaps breakfast. If one does not shop, there is really nothing much to do but spend time reading, writing, sleeping, or on the internet. At least my plan has finally taken some form now, and I know what to do with the rest of my time in India. Chennai on the 10th, then a quick couple of weeks under a palm tree in sri lanka, then a ride back up the coast to delhi, perhaps visiting some old haunts along the way, and onto the big silver bird to fly away once again. One more year passed.
My newfound friend Andy, a boisterous Englishman, has had a special customized enfield built for him by the only reputable mechanic in Karol Bagh, with knobby tires, a swept up exhaust, and motocross front forks. He has left this morning for a 6 month or more mountain adventure. Makes me wish I had some more time, but hell, maybe next time.
And so it is. Plans take shape when one lets them, and one will always know the right way when it presents itself. But only if one listens to the subtle voice often drowned out by the din of the modern world.
In the wise words of Andy: "The best thing to do in India is nothing. . . "