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May 21st, 2011 | Asia

Running Repairs and a Walk in the Park…

Since arriving in Luang Prabang in Laos, I have been chasing down a spare catch to repair the one that broke on the diabolical roads of Northern Laos…

I had located one in Bangkok, but was unable to collect it on the day that we were there… Servicing of the Big Fella and arranging to have our visas extended had taken up far more of our time than I had bargained for… I have therefore ridden through most of South East Asia with a 25 kg pannier hanging onto the bike by means of a few cable ties and a length of nylon strapping that I found in a dustbin in Vientiane…

That was until today….!!

Nik, the manager at Motorrad Sales & Service, had managed to locate the correct catch, and with Rory’s help, I had it couriered down to Johor Bahru…

The maintenance crew assist with the repairs to my pannier... See...!! It's not all play, you know...!!

With the new catch in place, I had one less worry...

With the help of the condo’s maintenance crew, I had the old broken catch removed and replaced with the new one, and now have one less thing to worry about when riding on rough roads… The cable ties I have been using have tended to break whenever we rode on rough surfaces…

We then raced into town to get to Dracula’s House before they closed, and sat down with the Nurse in Charge, to go through the results of the blood tests we had taken a few days previously…

We sat down together in a small office and waited expectantly while papers were shuffled and two large green folders were placed in front of the nurse…

It took only a few minutes for her to advise Rory that he had a clean bill of health, and had nothing whatsoever to worry about…

He took this news as if he had just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medical Science… For a second I thought he was going to leap over the disk and kiss the nurse…!! His previous tests had driven him to choose a healthier lifestyle, and today’s results were his dividends…

Once Rory had calmed down, the nurse turned to me and with a rather smug expression on her face, said,

“You on the other hand, are a different matter…!!”

“Ha…!! It’s his sugar, isn’t it…!!” exclaimed Rory with a certain amount of glee…

“No…..” said the nurse, turning to the first page of the four page report, “His sugar levels are perfect…”

“Impossible…!!” shouted Rory, almost leaping out of his chair… “He eats more sweets than he does food…!! And he ate a big packet of M&M’s in the early hours of the morning before we did the tests…!!”

“Ha…!! Tattle-tale…!! Told you that too much sugar is never a bad thing…!!” I said triumphantly…

The nurse gave me a stern look and then turned over the page…. There were an awful lot of highlighted sections which she tapped with a stubby finger…

“It is your cholesterol levels which we have to concern ourselves with…!!” she finally said in a grave voice… “You need to get regular exercise, cut down on things like coffee, sugar and alcohol, and lower your stress levels…” she went on to say…

“That’s easy for you to say when you don’t have to deal with Malaysian Shipping agents…”, was all I could think of in reply…

She handed me a few pamphlets to read, and then dismissed us both with a cheerful smile as she made ready to see another patient waiting in the reception…

On the way back to the car, Rory kept muttering about my sugar levels, apparently disappointed that I had “passed” this part of the test…!!

“There must be a mistake, maybe they mixed your blood up with somebody else’s…!!”

When I suggested that perhaps mine had been mixed up with his, seeing that we took the tests at the same time, he finally quietened down, probably to consider the possibility that he had a cholesterol problem…!!

The he surprised me with, “The nurse said you need exercise, so lets go for a walk…!!”

“Yes, but she didn’t say “Start Immediately”, did she…?? I need time to digest the results with a large packet of deep-fried crisps and a beer or two…”

Walking around the Sultan's Palace is not without it's apparent health risks...

Rory suggested that we visit the grounds of the Sultan’s Palace, where large sections of it have been opened to the public for recreational purposes… Many areas are off limits to visitors, but a substantial part of the estate can still be visited without being shot at by the ever present guards…

The Sultan of Johor, is the only one of the nine sultans of Malaysia, that has his own private army… All paid for by the ever-despairing taxpayers…!!

Narrow tarred roads wind between copses of trees, and the vast lawn are regularly mowed to make the entire area a haven of peace and tranquility…

Rory’s “15 minute walk” turned into one which lasted almost an hour, as we strolled amongst families enjoying picnics, and many other joggers and walkers… Naturally, I would have liked to do some jogging myself, but I was wearing flip-flops you see…

Our walk took us past an abandoned old school; an ornate bandstand, where I am sure the Sultan walked their horses, judging by the track that circled it; on alongside a zoo, where I replied to the roars of a huge male lion, and got him moving about in his concrete pen… I stopped egging him on when other visitors began glancing nervously about, and urging their children to stand closer…

Tarred roads criss-cross the immaculate grounds... A great place to take long walks in...

The Sultan's Bandstand... Built on a hill, and surrounded by acres of lawn...

From among the tall trees, the steel and concrete of Johor Bahru can be seen...

Rory got in among the fruit, eating a number segments from the Jackfruit that grew closer to the ground... He might still have been there had I not shouted that the Sultan's guards were coming...

We came across a Malay Wedding party, the bride and groom dressed in matching Turquoise outfits… I got in amongst them all, chatting and laughing, and telling the bride how beautiful she looked, all the while ignoring the look of suspicion in the groom’s eyes…

Malay Wedding party... Gorgeous Bride and suspicious Groom...

As you can see, the girls enjoyed my comments about “bride-snatching”…

She put up with my banter good-naturedly... He wasn't so sure...!!

Rory was planning to do one of his 30 km runs the following morning (while I planned to take the lift down to the ground floor of his building to check my emails…) and by 9.30pm, he retired to meditate before sleep, while I watched a movie on my laptop…

Before I dropped off to sleep, I considered that fact that I had not had any medical complaints on my trip so far, apart from the odd cold and one serious dose of “Galloping Gut” in Syria… I had to admit that I had not followed the healthiest of diets and should probably begin paying more attention to the “fruit and veggie” sector… And maybe sell my shares in Nestle…!!

My final thought however, was of the two bars of chocolate waiting patiently in Rory’s fridge…

©GBWT 2011

 

3 comments to Running Repairs and a Walk in the Park…

  • Vince Ricci

    GB… you ARE the King. Keep it up!

  • Mark Behr

    Nice – enjoy the sugar!

  • Charmz

    At the end of the day you cannot cut out the sugar, not after 40 odd years…..your body will go into complete shock and then you will have problems……everything in moderation is the key word. Fruit and veggies should definitely be on your shopping list GB. We are all happy to hear the results are OK.

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