Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 297: Finding a Bike in Thailand ....

The girl behind the counter at "Quik Klean" looked a little concerned. I tried to put her mind at rest. I reassured her that it wasn’t my own blood on the shorts and shirt. That didn’t seem to work. I think she was probably more worried about who my next victim would be rather than who the last one was. It took two days instead of the promised one, but still the bike accident girls blood covered 50% of my total clothing allocation. So, neither "Quik" nor "Klean", but at least they were cheap and she hadn’t tipped off the police.

I was out looking for a bike, and there were lots to choose from. The problem with being a ‘Farang’ is that everyone automatically assumes that you’re loaded with money. As you enter a showroom, they immediately direct you to the finer examples at the front of the shop when what I really want will probably be hidden under a tarpaulin at the rear. I first found a nice clean looking Honda Wave 125, all red and shiny. I started it up and took it for a little spin around the block. It took a little longer than anticipated. Beneath it’s shiny new plastic frock, it clearly wasn’t a Honda Wave 125. It was really an old Honda Dream, a Bangkok Rolex waiting for some unsuspecting mug to walk in with lots of money and little idea. That’s wrong, it was less than £200, but for that money, I’d want a genuine Honda Wave 125.... mai pen rai

After several wild goose chases, I eventually tracked down the bike that I really wanted. The Honda Sonic 125 with larger wheels and off-road rims and tyres. On this little beauty, I could be the coolest guy in Thailand. On second thoughts no, I’d still look terribly English and totally out of place. I negotiated the price but the middle ground was still too much of a schlep for my wallet. I walked away with a slight feeling of regret … mai pen rai

At the Yamaha dealership, things got even more surreal. They directed me to a Yamaha Mio 125, with Nitro injection and a price tag of around 20,000, Dollars not Baht. I walked away from that one without any regrets but it’s shame they didn’t allow test rides .. mai pen rai
Then, I got a telephone call from a dealer who had rented me a Honda Click, he had a Honda Wave 100 for sale, just within my price range. I went along to see it. Shiny outside covering a few basic sins, but it would do. 25cc less than I would have liked, but at a price that was difficult to refuse. I handed over the money, some confusing paperwork was signed and I believe, that I now own this Honda Wave 100 S ….. mai pen rai

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