I kept complaining about my motorbike seat, as I kept sliding forward into an uncomfortable position.
Trinh constantly reminded me that:
I was bigger than most Vietnamese
It is a 6 million Dong bike (US$ 287) and therefore don’t complain.
But if anything, I don’t have much tolerance for things that don’t work as they should.
So, when I mentioned the possibility of a new seat, I expected push-back, because if Trinh has learned, I do buy a lot of things I really don’t need. But this time, she agreed we’d stop and look.
Oh Boy, it was like Christmas. Though she had no idea how much a new seat would cost.
After our little ice cream stop, we stopped at a seat place.
Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City at least, is full of little shops, store fronts, that specialize in one thing. In this case motorbike seats.
Thankfully, the lady running the place was dismissive of my current seat as soon as she saw it. That softened up Trinh right away so that it wasn’t just me wasting money.
Turned out the big discussion centered around color. Everyone assumed I wanted black, the standard color. But I had two goals in mind:
A better, more comfortable seat
A more distinctive seat, something different, since in the parking garage in my building, even knowing right where I left the bike, I have walked past it numerous times. So, I wanted something that stood out. A red bike, I was thinking red seat.
But that was not to be. They had many shades of red in different materials, but Trinh, ever practical, pointed out that if I make
the bike stand out, it will be a target of police.
Now since it is not still not clear to me if I can legally drive a motorbike with my NYS motorcycle license, I figured I better compromise here.
Thus, we ended up mostly black with a red front and back.
And it’s really comfortable.
This operation took about 20 minutes. They cut the fabric and sewed it to the new form core. Like almost everything I have seen in Vietnam, I was really impressed. I got a handmade, custom seat for 360,000 dong, (that’s US$15).
Yes, I am really happy. If only Dauntless was here, but then that’s another story.
I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge.
Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey.
I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around.
My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between.
I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist.
After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life.
Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal.
Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit.
But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.
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