I’ve lost many things so far on this trip.
A tripod left behind when I stopped to do a handstand on a bridge, a glove which I took off whilst riding just so I didn’t have to stop and unscrew the top off my water bottle which is also now lost. As is the top from the second water bottle. So now both are full of dust.
In Brisbane a cap bought by Raylee blew away in the wind and was never seen again, same goes for a pair of fake Raybans which I left at the side of the road when I stopped to take a picture in the rain. By now they’re probably on someone else’s head, as is the One Ten Motorcycles hat that Joe kindly gave to me when I purchased Dot back in Brisbane. I lost that in Sumatra and rode 30 kilometres back to where I’d last had it hoping to snatch it back off the head of the little Indonesian boy who’d found it. I found neither him nor the hat.
Same with the right glove from a pair kindly donated by Rowan on the day I left in Sydney. Somehow I lost that in reception at the hotel-brothel in Medan. Maybe, because they were made of leather and decorated with metal studs, they’re now being used to smack the glowing bottoms of western business men on a weekend away from their wives.
Now I’ve lost my bike keys.
I don’t know where I last had them or where I could have left them. I’m staying in a hostel up in Malaysian Highlands and have traced by tracks back in to town and along every table in the Indian restaurant where I’ve been eating every morning noon and night but no sign of the keys to Dot’s heart. Not even up by the waterfall where I walked yesterday with an Austrian girl who jangled when she walked from all the jewelry jabbed through ears and or stuffed up her nose. Maybe she mistook my keys for a Malaysian tribal nipple piece and the next place I should check his her bra. God knows I’ve looked everywhere else.
So now I’m slightly stranded, stuck in a town where tea grows all around but no one knows properly how to make it. The water’s never boiling, the beakers are never mugs and the milks never liquid, always powdered. So you end up with this tepid glass of weak watered tea the type you get in Starbucks or some othe fancy coffee chain where you stand and stare as the moron puts the milk in before the bag’s mashed.
But i’ll survive for a little while, even without my keys because it’s very nice up here. The weather’s cool and English, the hills are green and rolling and every night a big group of us sit around a campfire chitting and chatting about this and that, like where we’ve been and where we’re going. It’s sad when someone leaves but there’s always someone else to replace them. Last night we even bought some tin foil, bananas and a bar of Dairy Milk and chucked it all on the fire.
A fitting pudding to the fantastic Indian – a meal not a man – we’d just eaten in the town. We always go to the same restaurant and talk to the same waiter. We found out last night that he earns 120 quid a month, most of which he sends home to the wife and kids he has back in India. Both of which he hasn’t seen for three years. That made us sad and all realise how fortunate we are to be sloshing about this beautiful country while people like him slave away to feed us for peanuts.