The Big Durian

Getting to Jakarta seemed like a fairly straightforward ride, and generally it was.  Decent traffic, some pleasant detours, and a dash of deja-vu.

Along one country road that paralleled a canal I was thinking about how Dutch the scene seemed (not surprising considering the canal was built by the Dutch while Indonesia was still a colony) when I passed a lock that sent me to a completely different part of the world and my riding there- Suriname!  The style might have been Dutch, but the feeling was far closer to the Northeastern coast of South America than anything in Europe.

Along with being transported by the sight I was again reminded of just how lucky I am to able to have these moments.  The idea that I can see a Dutch style lock and be reminded not of The Netherlands, but the tiny country of Suriname in South America was more than just satisfying- it was one of those times where my ride gets framed in my mind as a whole.  As THE journey of my lifetime that it most surely is.

Then it was time to take a bite of Durian.  Jakartas nickname is amazingly well chosen- an acquired taste that generally revolts, disgusts, and intimidates newcomers to the amusement of its aficionados.  From the time I hit the outskirts, it took 3 hours just to make the 20 odd kilometers to the BMW shop- even with a full GPS map!  When I finally got there, I was done- my riding clothes were soaking from my sweat, my patience was losing its grip on the last thread keeping me together, and my body was aching from hours of stop and go traffic on a heavy bike…

This was my welcome.

A few liters of water for me later and my final drive problem had been found- The Moronoccans had installed the wrong sized seal inside the final drive and it had finally failed (it still lasted over 80,000km, so I guess I can’t whine too loudly).  The drive itself was fine!  So, the guys found me a hotel for the night, replaced the seal, changed all the bike fluids for free (!!) and sent me on my happy way the next day.

Not quite such an acquired taste after all I guess.


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