Friday, October 29, 2010

Gear Crisis Update

I think I've fixed our pump problem.

I went down to the only road bike store in town and found a couple of el-cheapo emergency pumps. These pumps were Giyo brand, which I've never heard of, but I've certainly come across this exact pump before. Back home, MEC sells these things under the brand Filzer, and I can truly attest that they are pieces of garbage. Erin had one of these things and the very first time I used it, the plastic handle twisted off in my hand. The pump was still awkwardly usable afterward, but it certainly wasn't any pleasure to do so.

MEC gave me a full refund on that pump. Now I own two more of the things and there's no way anyone is going to give me a refund when they break. But I seem to remember an old saying about beggars and choosers, and how they can't be the same guy, and seeing as how I'm a beggar in the pump department right now, I'll take what I can get.

I picked up two of these things at the bike store and told the non-English-speaking clerk in what I imagine was flawlessly intoned Thai, "I would like to buy two."

He responded with some tonal gibberish that I didn't understand at all because I don't speak Thai, which I later understood to mean, "I'll give you a better price if you buy two." He also might have said something like, "nine hundred," although I can't be sure.

So I multiplied the 550-baht marked price by two and said in perfectly-intoned Thai, "one thousand one hundred?"

He shook his head and walked to the desk to get a calculator. He typed in "1000" and showed it to me. I handed him a thousand and took my pumps.

All things considered, the Thai lessons are going quite well. The trouble is that when I speak Thai to people, for some reason they imagine that I'll be able to understand their response, which I seldom can. Thank the big bang for the honesty of the shopkeepers around here. If this had been Bangkok, or worse, the beaches in the south, they'd have let me bid up the price by several thousand baht, instead of giving me a discount for being stupid.

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