Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
63Trip End Dec 25, 2013
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India? Love it or hate it as the saying goes. Well today I'm unfortunately in the second half of that saying. Still, I guess you'll be relived to know that this entry isn't all about bikes beer and Abba songs.
The mighty Impulse was purchased from ARC motors in phase ii of Oklah just over two months ago and I thought I'd type out a few words about their after sales service.
The intentional gap above was deliberate because service would imply that they had actually done something
Having had several calls cut off over the last few days I asked one of the Asha staff to please call on my behalf. Once he finally got through and conversed in Hindi he was promised that he would be called back later that day. Suffice to say, it didn't happen. Still, at least they weren't being especially bad towards me.
So yesterday I rode once again to Oklah and was told that it'll all be sorted in a month or so. This same excuse, " tomorrow next week 10 days" has gone on and on so I asked to see the manager. He assured me it will be sorted by Weds of next week so we'll wait and see. Whilst I was there I thought I'd pre book my bike for a service so that all will be ticketyboo when Richard gets here next week. The booking manager couldn't get a reply on the phone as the service centre was now shut for lunch. To her credit though she did phone back later that afternoon and said 10 am today (friday).
The ride to Oklah is about 3 kms but it's a terrible terrible journey. I left at 9 and arrived at exactly 10 am. The traffic was horrendous and by that I mean absobloodylutely horrendous. It took 26 minutes to cover just 0.2kms over the Malviya Nagar flyover. Both Alex and I used to commute this way on a daily basis -a few years back- and as we watched the flyover being constructed we naively thought the traffic would be so much better. The reason for this massive snarl up? A lorry with a flat tyre in the nearside lane (of 3).just the other side
Whilst sat on my bike (with sweat running to unmentionable places) I thought of a suggestion for future editions of the Indian highway code (as if one exists).
Whilst driving along - and you see an obstruction ahead in your carriageway - indicate and when safe to do so filter into the adjacent lane moving around the obstacle and then return to the nearside.
I haven't seen previous editions but what I think it currently says is
Whilst traveling along -at whatever speed you like -in whichever lane you fancy (or both if you prefer) whilst blowing your horn continuously for no apparent reason and you see an obstruction ahead (for this example it was a lorry on a pile of bricks minus a wheel) do not slow down. Instead drive as close as you possibly can whilst still maintaining a continuous audible horn tone (the louder and screechier the better) and brake hard at the last minute and when stationary try and filter across causing maximum inconvenience to all other road users
To all Indian motorists reading this..............stop blowing your bloody horns and stay in your lanes. It works - trust me! The manner of driving here is what causes the problems. I have ridden countless miles in loads of different countries and following a few basic rules makes life so much easier - albeit a tad less stressful and boring.
You know it makes sense!
Anyway,I arrived at 10, logged in my bike and got shown to the pre booked area. I then went upstairs to the customer waiting area where I put my earplugs in to prevent hearing damage from the hindi film that was playing LOUDLY. I remained in this tortuous room of pain until just before 12 and then went down to see if my bike was done? Suffice to say, it hadn't moved whilst all around had. I was ever so slightly perturbed by this and my teddy and pram parted company and I went off to find the manager at the showroom opposite. There I spoke with the lady with no name who was clearly in charge but none of the staff knew what her name was. I explained my last two months of poor service and once she'd finished drinking her tea eating biscuits and chatting to anyone who happened to call on her mobile - assured me that my documents will be couriered to me this coming week. We'll wait and see. Anyway, I returned to the workshop and my freshly cleaned bike was being checked over by shakir. I gave him a hand to do the service and having left him a tip ( instead of money I should have told him to leave - he could do so much better elsewhere) I left ARC vowing NEVER to return. They are terrible and it's not just this ferangi who thinks so judging by the look on most people's faces there!
I returned to the asha offices and joined the staff for lunch before cracking on with my painting. Last night I went out for a much needed beer and some food and was cheered up considerably as a result.
I've even polished the impulse and will be fitting some new handlebars tomorrow prior to being back on the road this time next week. I can't wait. The silliness of Delhi has once more got to me again and I miss the mountains and freedom of riding my bike -not being stuck in traffic!
It's time to head on!