Jimmy and Raul save the day, “Throat lozenges”, Victor Meldrew says, T-shirt of the day and Blog of the week…


Good morning folks

I trust you had a mighty fine weekend.
Quick round-up from the city of the 5-tone-car-alarm.

“Jimmy & Raul save the day – Operation Clunk Rebuild part III”

As you may or not know, life for the Clunk has been a bit up & down of late.
After 2 ventures up into the Highlands, the poor thing has been suffering.
At first I thought that it was a case of “Soroche” (altitude sickness for a bike that has spent all its life at sea level), but it had become more & more sluggish, in Lima too.
My new friend Jimmy & his brother Raul came around to have a look, both expert Bike Mechanics. Hailing from the Amazon region of Iquitos, now living in Lima.
An initial inspection 2 weeks ago had confirmed my initial deduction: Piston rings (at best. Full engine rebuild at worst!)
In theory these rings should form a snug fit, but open cracking open the Clunk it proved that you could in fact squeeze a bus through the gap!
There was more damage too & the barrel needed re-boring (along with a few other bits & bats with wear & tear of a bike that had just not been looked after).
Jimmy & Raul came round midweek, but we had ran out of time & light.
Determined to get the job done they came round early doors yesterday.
It was good to watch two brilliant Mechanics working quickly & methodologically with the bare bones of equipment, whilst talking bikes & drinking coffee on a sunny winters day. I’m learning more & more about the Honda & its innards.
3hrs later: New clutch plates, piston, rings, rocker arms, gaskets & other goodies that needed replacing. They made light work of it & now (fingers crossed) it should run like a good ‘un. Obviously it needs running in, but a new adventure could be on the cards. Watch this space…

“Throat lozenges”

Flu & a cold are two different kettles of fish, which seem to get mixed up a bit here! The Flu is a dirty dog that lays you low, in bed, feeling like death & aching like you’ve run over by a train. A cold is a sniffle, which can make you feel rough as a bear’s backside, but it’s a sniffle.
The weather here in Lima is a bit unique. In summer it is hot & sweaty (max 30-ish degrees). In winter it’s a bit cooler, but not really all that cold. (It’s not really dropped between 15 degrees yet, but it’s humid, so it feels cooler, but not cold.
As soon as there is the tiniest variation in temperature, suddenly everybody here has “Flu”! This is normally resolved by a trip to the Farmacia to buy some “Antigripales”. Neck a few of these & you will wake up brand-new!
When Lina first went to England she copped for a bit of a cold & dispatched me off to the Chemist to buy some Antigripales. When I returned home with some Lemsip, she was a long way off impressed, (as it is basically lemon tea with paracetamol). I then went to work in Honduras & brought back as many Antigripales as I dared (without raising suspicion as an international Cold Remedy smuggler!) I was curious about what these magic tablets contained.
The ingredients would make Ben Johnson blush & Bez smile!
In a nutshell they are full of minor amphetamines & a big dose of pseudoephedrine. No wonder people feel like they’re floating on cloud nine.
As those of you with nippers will know, it’s a merry-go-round of germ sharing. As Rotherham’s finest would say “To me to you…”

Lina has been grumbling about having the flu & the Nipper has been coughing a bit, so I was nailed on to cop for it. No big deal; asi es, es asi.
Sore throats are as welcome (& as common) to Teachers as they are (were) to Liam Gallagher. I had a buy day ahead so popped to the Farmacia to buy something to keep me talking for the day. I’ve never taken drugs in my life, I’ve got a bit of an obsessive streak (disorder) which causes me to get a bit carried away (over obsessed) with things (including drink, bikes, running, climbing & disco dancing), sometimes as phases, sometimes they last longer.
imageAntigripales? Just say NO kids!

Not quite ready for the hard stuff (antigripales), I got some sore throat lozenges & popped one before my class. 2 minutes later I couldn’t feel my lips, 5 minutes later I couldn’t feel my tongue, 2 minutes later I couldn’t feel my face!
It was a bit like the feeling when you have an injection at the Dentist. Right then you could have taken all my teeth out & I wouldn’t have felt a thing!
I was careful when having a swig of water (try it next time you go to the Dentist!)
I’m not quite sure how much of what I was mumbling was intelligible, but 3hrs later the feeling came back & life was back to normal.
If I could read Spanish properly I probably would have realised these were tablets for removing teeth from horses, or similar :-/

Victor Meldrew says…

I’d like to stress that whatever Victor says is purely observation & not criticism.
Living in Lima this time is very different to my 2 previous stints, in that I am married & I have a bairn! Sometimes the novelty of some things that I used to find interesting has worn off & they get on my wick a bit (that is the Victor coming out in me, a sure sign of age). I’m just trying to get an insight into the Lima culture & to understand better the pace where I live.
There are some things that puzzle me, other things that drive me (& others) bonkers. It’s the things that lack any type of logic, or that could be done differently which I question & if I question this, I either get an angry response, a shrug of the shoulders or just get told that it’s the way it’s done.
Lima is not a place where peace & quiet exists.
I was born & brought up in the Lakes, and despite having moved house 33 times; the sheer volume of Lima is something that I find hard to get used to.
Constant honking of horns, car alarms & incessant noise is the way it is.
Every single day at 6:15am a mini bus hammers on his claxon, on the street outside. Taxis beep optimistically at everybody they see. The limping chaos that is Lima traffic is a hornfest of the highest order.
Electronic stores sell speakers that would probably be too big for your average discotheque & the people love them!
Everything starts later here (& therefore finish later). With an 18mth old Nipper parties are not very common on the calendario & I don’t begrudge folk enjoying themselves, life is short & you only get one crack at it.
It’s when these parties go on until 4 or 5am that my patience starts to wear thin.
For me it is a complete lack of consideration for everybody & anybody else. Yet when I ask people if it’s normal, they just say shrug & say yes.
(The attitude on the roads is “Me first & you, I don’t care, but I’m first”).
Punters use the same speakers when they wake up in a morning.
There is never, ever silence, & that’s a shame.
But I’ll just have to get used to it.
7yrs working at the Brewery has rendered me harder of hearing than I used to be, so I guess this helps.
Victor Meldrew says “Piense Varon, turn it down a bit, eh!”

T-shirt of the day.

Every day I see a t-shirt that makes me smile; whether it’s a misspelling of a brand (FCUK, but with the 2 middle letters swapped around), “WTF happened to music!” or something that just has no meaning. There must be a big factory somewhere knocking them out.
On Friday I saw an old bloke with a top that read “Monday you Ba$tard!”
I smiled, he obviously knew that I was smiling at him (there was nobody else around) & he glared back at me! It made me chuckle anyway.

Blog of the week!

I write this weekly blog on a Sunday night, basically a resume of the week & anything (mildly/semi/hopefully) interesting that may have happened during the week. The mighty TWO WHEELED NOMAD, Lisa & Jase are an amazing couple who are riding from Ushuaia to Alaska on their GSs. I met them when they passed through Lima and follow their intrepid bog religiously.
It takes a fair chunk of effort to update a blog whilst on the move & they do it on a super-regular basis, along with some top class photos too.
It is informative, interesting & highly amusing.
If you want to brighten up your day, sign up for their updates & follow them on their amazing adventure northwards :-)


That’s all for now folks.

Have yersens a completely awesome week!

Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

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