Posts Tagged With: trucks

OVERLAND TO RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK

We’re on the road again. And Ranvir  points out  how the truck drivers decorate their trucks.The tassels and plumes and artificial flowers are a tradition among drivers. If another driver is assigned that truck, they don’t remove them.  I’ve seen the passenger side, alternate driver, sitting cross-legged in the window. It is built into their genes to sit that way. Each of our  bus drivers has a helpful alternate.  He must apprentice for 4 to 5 years. Ranvir tells us that bus drivers get used to air-conditioning and during monsoon, they suffer terribly in their own homes without it.

We see this group of women and a boy in a small town. Colorful, always. One town we went through, the women had to cover their faces outside because of their in-laws, a stricter Muslim sect, but not as strict as those who require the black hijab that completely covers the face.

And, as always, you find the camel, or donkey treading the same road as these huge, fast buses and trucks. Pretty amazing that there are so few accidents.

Before we left for Ranthambore for another long five hour bumpy drive, we visited a museum with hunting and war weapons. They were all under glass and I didn’t take any photos. Killing instruments best forgotten anyway. This is probably out of sequence because I improperly divided my pictures while unloading.

I know we stopped at a McDonalds on one of the long drives and I was fascinated with this woman’s long, beautiful hair. Inside the restaurant was a group of women who were rewarded for taking skills classes of some sort. They were celebrating with a lunch at McDonalds, something none of them could afford on their own.

I have to cut this short and finish it tomorrow when we reach the Tiger Preserve at Ranthambore. I had good and bad news from my surgeon yesterday. My left shoulder rotator cuff cannot be repaired. I have to have a complete shoulder replacement. But, it can wait a year.  That is the good news.

Ciao

 

 

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INDIA, DEHLI, CHANDIN CHOWK MARKET

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Dehli is the capitol city of India, a diverse, swarming polyglot of people, vehicles, shops and sights. I traveled with my Grandson Theo, who posed with our Dehli City Guide, Manju, as we loaded into bicycle rickshaws at Chandin Chowk Market.

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Here members of our group load in with a pre-arranged group of rickshaw drivers. Otherwise we’d be besieged by any driver trying to pick up a customer. The rules are, traffic is heavy, the driver may make a sudden stop. Brace your feet and hold on tight.

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As we begin, it is a bit disconcerting because our driver is going against the flow of traffic. Doesn’t it matter what side of the street you drive on?

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We are soon in the midst of the traffic and we are astonished at how varied and interesting the traffic is. Cars, along with trucks and people walking, motors, and tuk tuks, the green and yellow motors that serve as cabs are mixed together in what seems an impossible ability to get anywhere.

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Vendors walk among the traffic selling goods if they can.

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This is just business, nothing unusual.

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Traffic is slow. No one gets hurt and at some point you realize that driving a car might just be impractical. dsc09298-copy

These school boys, you know by their uniforms, are not the least bit upset by being crowded into a rickshaw and holding on to the outside.

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There are times the rickshaw is practically touching a tuk tuk and at one point a car was calling up to our driver,  indicating he wanted him to watch out for his side mirror which he was covering with his hand to avoid a miner collision.

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At an intersection we see one of those famous “loads” you see in pictures on the internet. People here work very hard and they carry impossible loads.

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We are getting closer to our destination but traffic never let’s up.

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The rickshaws take us to Jama Masjid, the biggest temple in India where 25,000 people can worship in their square. We will return by bus. More Tomorrow.

 

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SALESMEN PROMISE, BUT THE BOSS DOESN’T DELIVER..

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i ordered a 20 foot storage container from an on-line ad, and sealed the deal on the phone. I wanted it placed by my well to hold yard furniture and other extra stuff while also holding solar panels on its roof to pump my well during this and any future droughts. I explained that before I made my purchase, I had a tight circular driveway area that would only accommodate a truck 45 feet long.  Sales: “No problem.”

Me: I’ve cut trees, had railroad ties dug in, its steep, but my brother has made it up this driveway with his 45 foot rig, unloaded and gotten it back down.  Would you like to verify by looking at my driveway on Google Earth?

S: “No, we don’t need to look. Our drivers are experts, they can get into the tightest spots. They’ve never failed to deliver and we’ve never had a complaint.” The picture above shows the rig with his second container on it.

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Mine was dropped off on the road because not only could the bigger truck not turn into my driveway, but the truck was aimed up the canyon and we had no idea how, on our one way road, that narrows as it goes up the canyon, he could even turn his rig around. With some careful maneuvering, spending some hairy time with one wheel in a ditch, with my son’s help, he got backed up my neighbors driveway which has a wide sweep and was able to crank it around and get in position to leave in the opposite direction.  The container got dropped on my road on a wide pull-out another neighbor built next to his place.

Did I tell you that two nights before the delivery, I was given a number in case I had any questions.  I repeatedly called but the BOSS never answered and his mail box was too full for messages.  I emailed sales staff, explained again, don’t send a double rig, NO, YOU CAN”T BRING A BIG RIG UP THIS ROAD. NO! NO! NO!

I was tempted to send it back, which would have impacted the driver negatively. Instead,  I paid a  tow service to pick it up and deliver it to my site. The driver finally got the BOSS on the phone. He was nasty. Son Doug negotiated with him to pay half the tow bill.  The driver had come all the way from Los Angeles area.

(Sales: “We are located in Oakland.” )

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My little storage container is seated perfectly where I wanted it. But, it took four hours of hassle to get the job done, with many phone calls, waiting on the tow service, whose staff at Sam Berry Towing,  nicely moved their rigs around to get to us within thirty minutes. It was worth the extra $55. The salesman promise but the boss doesn’t deliver as promised.  The name of the company is Storeitmobile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ICONIC FOODS ALL OVER THE U.S.

Marina Koren just wrote a piece for Smithsonian Magazine identifying the 20 most iconic foods that, according to her, the locals adore and travelers flock to. We’ve done a lot of traveling and eating our way across country. We’ve found some wonderful places. Let’s see if her places and ours have crossed? I expect her choices are big city spots, where Jim and I take the roads less traveled.

The world’s largest drive-in diner, The Varsity of Atlanta, GA. serves the varsity dog. Order a red dog for pile on the ketchup, yellow dog, heavy on the mustard, heavy weight, with chili. And sides, bag-a-rags equals chips and one ring is a single order of onion rings.  Hmm! I’m thinking the lingo is part of the appeal. Sounds really delicious.

Faidley Seafood of Baltimore, MD serves up the crab cake sandwich, described as a huge half-pound lump of crab mixed with saltine crackers, old bay mix and mustard, deep-fried for five seconds and served up with the usual tomato and lettuce. I’d go for that in a hip-hop second.

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(Crab cake picture by Flickr user JPellengen)

Bostonians apparently love their Union Oyster House, but it is the history of the place that is interesting. John Kennedy loved his oysters there in the longest operating restaurant in the country. Daniel Webster washed his oysters down with brandy a looooong time ago.  It would be hard to pick the best oysters because, after all an oyster is an oyster and what ever you put on it is to taste, though they cook them many ways. The place also claims to have invented the toothpick. Now, that is classy.

Camp Washington Chili of Cincinnati, OH. has been serving up a greek formula chili over spaghetti and piled high with cheese since 1940. You can also order it with onions and  beans, called a five-way. I’d love to try their five-way chilie. It is now on my bucket list along with that crab cake.

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(Image from Getty images.)

Ninfa’s of Houston where fajitas were invented by Mama Ninfa and has since spread to every Tex-Mex restaurant in America. Served with a generous flour tortilla and pico degallo, it is a real hit since 1973, but we all have our favorite Mex restaurant that serves fajitas. Chicken, beef or pork, they are available almost anywhere. So, I won’t cry if I don’t get to Ninfa’s, but she deserves a 21 gun salute for inventing the dish.

Oklahoma Joes Barbeque of  Kansas City. Not being a heavy meat eater I can’t quibble with all of the awards this place has received for its brisket, sausages, lamb and other meats that are smoked on the grounds with white oak. So, I’d have to give Joes a “Let’s Go!” So far, we’ve been to Baltimore and Boston, but not Kansas City.

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Canters Jewish Deli has been open since 1930 in several different locations in Los Angeles, but his half-pound of pastrami on rye with a side of pickles has been the must have sandwich as well as 22 other signature sandwiches people love at Canters.  Canter is originally from New Jersey, so eat your heart out New York.  (Photo by flker user Nat Gray)

Makes my mouth water just reading this stuff. I’ll report on some of the rest of her choices later.

We left Scotrun, PA. in the middle of a storm.

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It lasted about an hour before clearing.

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We crossed over the highest peak in the Pocohana Mountains at 22,250 feet.

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The country is green, green and beautiful with plenty of rivers.

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Most of the drive was on the interstates with too many trucks and this narrow, scary passage in a construction zone. I was glad I wasn’t driving. We ended up in Clarion, PA. at a Moose Club for the night. It is hit the road time again as we press for Michigan to meet friends and old haunts for me.

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A BEER SWILLING DERELICT

I have a tree hanging dead in another tree. Six trees with heavy over-story hanging above my roof, upstairs deck and guest-house. My tree guy called and said he couldn’t make it on Thursday. Aha! A free day. I quickly decided to attend a meeting in the Bay Area, roughly 120 miles away. So down to the service station I go to have my tires checked.

Ray, from Nash’s Chevron in Angels Camp, drew two circles around spots on my tire where the steel is showing through.  “I wouldn’t drive this car to the Bay Area”,  he told me. Shoot! Couldn’t get new tires to match until Friday. I return home. Oh, well, I can take the truck to the Bay.  I don’t drive it very much. I struggled to open the hood, it is old and tight. Yikes!  I found chewed acorn debris inside the engine- not a good sign.   Couldn’t get the lid off to check the coolant. Left front tire practically flat. Checked my tag, yipes!  I’m over-do for service. Luckily Ethan at Nash’s can get me in at 4:00.

I slowly drive to Pinacle therapy with my soft tire, late for my appointment and apologizing. I hate it when I’m late, I’m frazzled. But, Theresa Locke is the greatest. She get’s to know you and your habits, and can define intricate muscle movements. Its about caring and time and evaluating. I can’t say enough good things about  Theresa. I have such confidence in her as does everyone who meets her.

And her staff is terrific, too. Dulcie, Lea and Jessie, allowed me to take their picture. Lea hammed it up and gave me some good advice. You know how guys go to the barbershop and discuss the game or their car problems with the barber?  Well, Lea gave me some good advice as I told her my woes. “People on the prairies, where they have problems with prairie dogs, leave their hoods open and the rodents won’t chew up wires and stuff on the engine.”  What a team, and good advice.

This is what Lea really looks like.

Back to Nash’s. Jeff has the station on a new computer system and he gets me entered into it. Nash has been taking care of my vehicles  for 30 years.   It is nice to have someone you trust to do good work and always take care of your needs.

The good news is the tire is fine. It  just needed air from sitting too long.  Bad news is the oil pan plug has been replaced so many times with a bigger and bigger plug to prevent leaks, it is going to need replacement next time. And, “I wouldn’t drive this car to the Bay Area with that plug. Better test it on a short trip,”  Ethan told me.  He drove it around town about five miles. It was dry and without a leak.  I promised I’d watch the gage and pull over if necessary.

I’m a bit red-faced. This is the rat’s nest Ethan found sitting on top of my air conditioning filter. Red faced also because my truck was so dirty. It sits under trees with leaves and twigs and bird droppings and rats…arrgh!  Ethan told me, you just put a bar of Irish Spring in your engine well and the rats won’t bother it again. Even better advice.

The full service car wash in Angels Camp had just closed.  I settled for the car wash in Murphys where you have to get out in the heat and vacuum the inside yourself and wipe down everything.  Some days are like that!

I went home and couldn’t wait to get in the door and swill down a nice cool brew. I shuddered at how dirty and neglected I’d let my trusty truck get. It needs some tender loving care instead of being owned by a beer swilling, neglectful derelict.

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