November 21, 2012 by farbolino
Today I took Gertrude to a local shop here in Ho Chi Minh City to have some of the problems I mentioned in the last post fixed. So I rode over to District 1 with Kyla (my host) and we went to a shop that she takes her bike to. When we arrived I didn’t even know where to begin, so we started with an oil change (60,000 dong). Then the most important thing for me to fix was the fact that the bike would stall out when stopped at a light unless I was giving it gas, which was hard to due while holding the brake lever. They added a piece to the carberator and adjusting the rpm’s at idle (40,000 dong). Since gas was leaking out of the gas cap every time I went over a bump or through a pothole, that was third on the list. New gas cap solved the problem (20,000 dong). Then it was just down to the small stuff. The rear rack was rattling, so they bolted it down. The kick starter was loose and missing the rubber sleeve over it. The exhaust was tightened up, and the chain was checked. The wiring for the headlight was fixed. And finally a new spring replaced the old one on the kick stand.
They fixed everything within half an hour, and all said and done, it cost me a total of 165,000 dong. Converted, this comes to $7.91 or (6.17 euro). On top of all this the guys who worked on it were super friendly and kept trying to ask me questions. Unfortunately I didn’t understand most of them. I also needed to pick up a bungee cord to hold down my backpack, which I found around the corner for $1. Before I went home for the evening, I stopped at my favorite smoothie place and had a mango smoothie. Tomorrow on American Thanksgiving I’ll start my way north, and I’ll start by being thankful for cheap parts and labor in Vietnam as I’m sure to need plenty of both with Gertrude . First stop: Mui Ne…if I make it.