Bike-Ride To Australia Tuesday 27th-December 2011 Calcutta. After filling up at breakfast, I went for a shave. I’ve got more hair on my chin than on my head after getting scalped the other day! It’s so cheap it’s easier to get somebody else to do it! And there’s a man just outside the hotel.
After my shave, I serviced my bike well I changed the oil in my gears. I don’t have a standard derailleur. I’ve got a Rohloff Speedhub, which I was very sceptical about when I brought the bike! But now I think it’s brilliant! Once I’d changed the oil and checked the bike over, I went off for a ride. The chain needed cleaning, and I didn’t have anything to clean it with.
Out on my ride, I found a motor factor, or rather India’s version, a little street stall! As soon as I pulled up, I drew a crowd. I explained what I wanted and what I wanted it for, not knowing if they had anything. Somebody, who knows if it was the stallholder or not! But they came out with some petrol, that’ll do I thought, I just need a brush to apply it. But India being India, I didn’t need to find a brush. There was somebody there that, for a few rupees, would clean it for me. That was fine with me. It’s such a messy job. I’m more than happy to let somebody else do it!
It’s Clean, But!
I let them get on with it, thinking they would use a brush or something similar to clean the chain. I wish I hadn’t! There’s no doubting they did a good job; it was just the way it was done! There was no brush or anything; instead, he used his hand! He would dip his hand repeatedly into a pot filled with petrol and rub it on the chain until the old oil and dust had gone! All I had to do was re-oil the chain with the oil I carry!
I’ve now got my visa for Bangladesh and will leave straight after breakfast tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll make it to Dhaka either Friday or Saturday, where I’ll have to stay for a few days while I sort out a visa for China. I’m also hoping to meet up with my good friends, the Barrs. They’ve been cycling in Bangladesh over Christmas. Hopefully, we’ll get to spend New Year together.
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