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Honey, I’ve left with someone else

28 July, 2016

Honey, I’ve left with someone else

I was talking with a female friend of mine about infidelity in our society and how it appeared to be accepted in certain countries (I don’t mention countries where you can be raped, stoned or killed for being unfaithful) What I mean to say is: it is easier to make a comment to a group of friends that you have been unfaithful to your partner than saying that you have an open relationship.

The problem comes when, after publicly speaking about being unfaithful, the other person in the relationship comes into a party of the same group of friends and you, knowing what’s happening, don’t know how to act. Do you only greet the person or do you warn them that the tusks/horns may hit the door as they come in?

Since I arrived in Vietnam, I’ve been riding on another bike, a 110cc, that I bought second hand right away after landing in Hanoi. I know many of you would wonder what happened to my inseparable Athena. I would have loved to have brought her here, but it would be nearly impossible for me. To make that happen, I would have had to hire a tour (similar to the one I did in Burma but without the government minders) of which its costs would have taxed me around 200 dollars a day.

I wanted to travel through Vietnam a bit later in the journey, but I’ve taken the opportunity that Athena is undergoing maintenance works in Bangkok (where the nearest Enfield store is located) because of wear and tear through the km travelled. So, I decided to move forward the plans to visit Vietnam with a one month visa and 300 dollars in my hand to buy the bike that I will resell before I leave.

The bike options you can buy are not that many. You can summarise your options to scooters and Chinese copies of Honda bikes of max. 120 cc. Bikes with more powerful cc or imported bikes can cost double as other countries because of the heavy import levies. So, having in mind I couldn’t buy a powerful bike, therefore not being able to carry much weight, I am rolling with a minimalist amount of gear in a small rucksack and a bag packed with laptop, some clothing, a camera and two lenses.

Buying a trusty motorbike in Vietnam is a bit like winning the lottery. There are some forums online where travellers sell their bikes, or notice posts in guest houses or hotels, with none of them carrying any type of warranty since the bikes had many owners. I decided to go to a shop that sells new and old bikes, so at least I could have some back up warranty with a second hand bike. I thought it was best to do that instead of buying it from someone else with the uncertainty on how a bike would have been treated (or mistreated) before.

Without Athena, on my temporary partner, I feel as if I’m travelling on a bicycle with an engine and I can’t go very fast because the brakes are not that great. People’s driving skills here are pretty reckless and there are also plenty of loose animals around like dogs or buffalos crossing the roads at all times.

Thus, in the same way as we meet people in our lives that can change our way of looking and understanding things, riding on top of the small bike has made me reflect more about distinguishing the indispensable from the necessary.

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