Recently the fuel valve on our motorcycle sprang a leak which gave me (Will) the opportunity to take it in to the local repair shop (or bengkel). Now you are probably wondering why I don't just fix it myself. Well, the main reason is because all my tools are in the US waiting to be shipped to Papua, also by going to the bengkel I get to practice my bahasa and learn new techniques for maintenance. When I go it is more about the cultural experience than the end result.
The morning after the bike started leaking badly I went to the bengkel. Upon arriving the mechanic (montir) told me that it would be no problem to fix and it would take about 45 minutes. Although skeptical I proceeded to watch him defuel the bike and take off the broken fuel valve. He left with the part to go buy a new one. After a few minutes he returned telling me he could not find the part. I said ok no problem. I go to Semarang (big city) on Friday so I will just pick one up then.
This is when the fun began. Knowing how maintenance here in Indonesia is different from the US I waited with great anticipation for how he was going to put the fuel valve back on as a temporary fix.
He began to superglue the part back on and to make sure it was sealed he took his lit cigarette which made an ash/glue compound. Perfect. Lets put fuel back in and check for leaks. Yep leaks all over. If only you could have seen my surprised face. I had a sealant back home which I used to get my bike there for repair so I went and got that. When I returned, part of his cigarette filter had made its way into the ash/glue "seal."
When it was all said and done we de/refueled two times and didn't fix anything. But like I said before going to the bengkel was not about the end result of the bike. I got some good language practice and was able to continue building relationship with my Indonesian friends.
Just this last week Nan and I were reflecting on how thankful we are for our motorcycle and just how far we have come since coming here. It really is a luxury to get on a motorcycle and go wherever we need and not have to wait for anyone. Going to the city takes us about 20 minutes with Gracie, but before with public transportation (angkot) it took close to 3 hours. At the same time we are thankful for the times riding the angkot because we appreciate what we have so much more as well as get the opportunity to learn this culture a little better. That being said, we have learned a ton about Indonesian culture because we ride a motorcycle. To grasp this concept you really need to come and experience Indonesia for yourself.
|Hati hati! (Be careful in Bahasa)|
This picture was taken during the first leak check. Notice anything out of place? Take note of the puddle of fuel on the ground as well as my buddy's cigarette in his left hand. No big deal except it was lit with about a half inch of ash waiting to drop. His daughter is looking on "helping" dad.