Thursday, March 24, 2016

This isn't the End. . .quite yet

Written from Hanoi, the evening of March 24, 2016, after a day of rain, sometimes fairly heavy.

This won't be my last word on the subject, I've been plotting and planning a final fond farewell for a day or two now, thinking through my opinions and options and how to present them to you, but that isn't this.  Or, the other way around.  This is sort of a free bonus post, wasn't planned, just happened. To explain:

I was walking down Hang Bac Street (the continuation of Hang Bo Street, which is where I live here in Hanoi), looking for supper a little earlier this evening.  I'd made up my mind it would either be a Doner Kebab, a local specialty sandwich, with what amounts to pork gyros on a squished and toasted flat bread, completely smothered in slivered cabbage, onions, tomatoes and so forth. . .with what might be a garlic and yogurt dressing, or might be almost any white sauce, with garlic. . .inexpensive, messy as all get out and really quite good.  I eat a lot of them when I'm in Hanoi. . .OR, alternatively, it might be a rice, vinegared cucumber and chicken leg sort of supper from the tiny new restaurant just a bit further down the street.  It's the sort of decision making I have to do here. . .the $1.50 messy sandwich, or the $2.50 chicken leg and rice.  Either one was at the end of my hike, within a few steps of each other, and I was busily turning the matter over in my head as I stumped along dodging mayhem from all directions (evening on Hang Bac. . .very very busy) WHEN SUDDENLY, something bit me on the leg.  That was a shock and I jumped back to see who it was.  That's when I saw this. . .
Holy Cow.  She has a nasty bite, but I guess she was offended I was walking by without paying my respects.

When I realized what was going on I got down on one knee and apologized.  She looked the other way.  Check out the plunger style rear suspension. . .not much travel there!  On the other hand, with that much ground clearance, you wouldn't want a whole lot of suspension travel.  Tough rump.  That's what's wanted.  Oh.  Look at the saddle springs though, they'll smooth out the ride I bet!  Can you say "bounce"??

How 'bout that bar-end clutch lever??

No speedometer, but it looks like she won't blow up before 10,000 rpm or so.  Wow

Aha. . .here's a hint.  Either she borrowed the badge or she's a Peugeot.

She's being crowded on the off side, hard to get a clear look. . .

Note the dual exhausts. . .but it's only one cylinder, look for the intake manifold!

Omigosh, look at that. . .a SUICIDE SHIFTER!!  I didn't know anybody but Harley and Cushman used such things.  But I'm fair to middling ignorant. . .my oh my.  Left hand clutch, right hand to the shifter, make the change, grab for the handlebar and the brake!  Oof.  

Yes, that's what it is all right.  Can't tell how many speeds she has though, no markings and maybe no detents.  H'mm.
So, I found some photos on the interweb and it's pretty clear she's a 125cc, two stroke single cylinder Peugeot from. . .er. . .somewhere between 1951 and 1960 and I'll bet closer to 1951.  I couldn't find another one on line with the suicide shifter, but this does look factory original.  Otherwise the identification is pretty solid.  It's a good thing I didn't meet the lady until the night before departure. . .I'd have spent the past week trying to get her into my luggage.  Or something!  She did apologize for the nip by the way. . .sort of flirted, the longer I stood around taking photos.  Flattery.  It works.
This one didn't bite.  In fact, she had a strong preference for ear scratching and back of neck rubbing, and thought my right hand needed a bit of a wash. . .or was that a kiss do you think?  An old geezer walking into the temple tried to tell me it was a bad idea to pet dogs I didn't know.  Didn't know WHO???  I had a dog for a kid sister for criminey sake.  Don't pet dogs. . . good grief.  Poor guy.  Probably a lonely old geezer at that.
Oh.  And we went for the chicken, and a yogurt and mixed fresh fruit dessert.  You should have been there.