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waiting for the box

I arrive in Panajachel hoping to find bike parts and a few other goodies ready and waiting for me but I am sadly disappointed. This bounty, which promises to revitalise my flagging stead, has been en route all the way from Australia, courtesy of an extremely generous benefactor, for a considerable period time. It might have been a Christmas present, if all had gone according to original plan, but now it’s looking like it might not even make it in time for my late February birthday due, in part, to the vagaries of Guatemalan bureaucracy and the lackadaisical approach of Guatemalan courier companies but also because of my own erratic style.

This box has been the subject of at least a hundred anxious emails and a spate of telephone calls but its exact whereabouts is – at this point in time – unclear.

After a few more phone calls to the Guatemalan office of TNT that elicit a promise that the box will arrive ‘tomorrow’ I decide that I will retreat to the other side of the lake to wait while visiting Tank, a rowdy boy I met during my stay at the Grand Canyon, who is now on a motor-powered Latin American bike adventure of his own.

Before I take off, however, in optimistic anticipation of the imminent arrival of my parcel I strip my bike down in order to touch up the paintwork where it sorely needs it.

My bike clearly needs a bit of TLC.

The poor thing has been struggling over mountains, practically toothlessly, for many hundreds of kilometres now. The chain was slipping on the middle ring as I left Palenque, Mexico, and I limped along to San Benito in Peten, Guatemala, where I flipped it around to get a bit of extra life out of it but it is on its last legs now. I try to keep my drive train clean - I really truly do - but it's something of a lost cause if you spend a lot of time on dirt roads.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Irfan | March 19, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Funny, I saw your story about “the box” one day after I had a similar thing with a box of henna sent to Jakarta. Unfortunately, it had a picture of a flower or plant on it, which meant that it was held at quarantine. Jakarta’s central post office is really so quaint and the process to get the box out was so explicitly Kafkaesque that I couldn’t help enjoying it. Particularly the bit where one document had to be stamped and signed in a certain order by officials of different rank all sharing the same room. Whenever it got to the most senior man, the one carrying it had to give a full salute. A bit awkward, really, when they share the same tiny room day in, day out. Oh, and the parcel sorting room! But I’d need a camera to do that justice!

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