Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Clutch Cable and a Side of Fries

Advance Australia Fair! Friday night was the big Australia Day celebration at the residence of the Australian Ambassador. Being an authentic Australian celebration, we enjoyed “shrimp on the barbie” and beer, beer, beer. Those Australians know how to have a good time and do it in a noisy way. God bless the Down-Under.

Saturday night our local rock band “Wetter than Seattle” performed at the Rusty Anchor Bar. My friend Helen now sings with them and she was great! I stayed there pretty late, but I was glad to get out of the house, ‘cause I had rented “The Descent” and just finished watching it before I went up to the show. Disturbing. The band was a lot of fun, though.

Sunday I spent the whole day on Nahlap Island Resort; hiking, reading, schnorkeling, eating, sleeping and singing. Traveled there with Damien, Mary, Shaun, Helen, Ben, Jo and Eileen. The whole day, seven hours of it including the boat ride, cost $4/person, wow!

My car has new brakes in it, but now the clutch cable is on the verge of breaking. My mechanic said I paid too much for my brake pads, and recommended I order my clutch cable from Joy Hotel and Restaurant. I wasn’t sure I had heard him correctly (he has a strong Japanese accent), so I approached the front desk with trepidation and asked to order my car part. But sure enough, they ordered it for me and it should arrive next week. Where else in the world do you order auto parts at a restaurant?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Strange Doings Are Afoot

Yesterday at 12:30pm I was walking from my office to the Administration Building, a five-minute walk.

It was pouring rain, so when a college van pulled up next to me, I gladly jumped into the passenger seat.

The driver was a maintenance employee. As we were riding, he turned to me and said, “Are you missing anything?”

“What do you mean?” I replied.

“Like your cell phone?”

“Huh? How do you know?”

“Because I have it.”

”What? How?”

“I found it on the side of the road. I left it at my house today, but I will bring it tomorrow.”

And, true to his word, he was at my office door at 8:30 this morning with my prodigal cell phone!

Don’t ask me how it got onto the side of the road, I hadn't been walking or riding my bike with it when I lost it.

And how did he find it? I didn't lose it at school, I lost it near my house in Nett.

Yesterday was the first time I have ever accepted a ride between my office and the Administration Building, and it happened to be him that picked me up.

Cue the Twilight Zone theme music.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

No Complaints

I am currently emerging from a wave of mishaps. Perhaps I was cursed or something, but check out this list of things that have gone wrong within the past week:

1. My refrigerator lost its cool, twice!
2. My checkbook went through the washing machine and disintegrated!
3. The brakes on my car sound like scraping metal (this actually began more than a week ago, but I’m still waiting for the part to arrive).
4. My cell phone ran away from home and won’t come back!
5. The thatch on my nahs is being blown apart by the tradewinds!
6. My lap top computer refuses to turn on even after I bought a new battery!
7. My bicycle has lost gears 1-7 and 15-21!

This morning I was riding my bicycle (using gears 8-14) to the causeway to go running. It was still dark outside, so I was riding down the narrow road with the jungle rising up pitch black around and above me.

I reached the causeway and saw it stretching dark gray in front of me with the ocean silvery in the moon light on either side. With experiences like that, how can I complain about machines not working?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Fixin's of Island Life

The brakes are going out on my car, so I’ve ordered new ones. It takes two weeks for them to arrive from Australia.

Janhabi is on island this week, so she is driving me around so I don’t crash and die from failed brakes.

Monday morning I was helping her get out of my driveway since it is hard to see with all the jungle.

As usual, the dogs were in the road chasing cars. I yelled at TC for chasing cars and he backed away from me right under the front wheel of a pick-up truck as it passed. The wheel went right over his torso, yet he immediately hopped back up and seems fine now.

Earlier the same morning as I was riding my bike home after running at the causeway, I ran over Nina with my front bicycle tire. After a yelp, she bounced right back also.

This morning I awoke at 5:45 to find that my fridge and freezer were not cold. I called the repair person at 6:15, he arrived by 7:30 and had it fixed by 8:30.

Check out the e-mail I got this morning from the US embassy:

"Due to a Tsunami warning and a subsequent warden e-mail last Saturday evening, the U.S. Embassy was unable to contact many individuals. Fortunately, the Tsunami was not severe and only a warden e-mail was transmitted."

That ain't the kind of thing you want to hear when you live two feet above sea level. And what's a "warden e-mail"?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Last Sunday I rode my bicycle up to Palikir and explored the jungle paths between the Capital complex and the College campus. I took two pictures which I will share with you now. Posted by Picasa

This pick-up truck had fallen about 30 feet down from the road. That's quite a steep cliff beside the road without a guardrail! Posted by Picasa