Yesterday was the first day riding my "ladies motorbike" (which I christened Badonkadonk Junior, but has already been shortened to Donk) around Juba. Now, I am VERY proud of myself for sorting this all out on my own. I went and picked out the bike, got a mechanic to come look it over, went and registered it with the traffic police, got a number plate (only took 4 days and one slightly form fitting t-shirt!) and had Donk delivered from Yei to Juba all by myself. It was exhilarating, made me feel independent, yay!
So yesterday, I go to pick Donk up from the people who brought it up for me. They tell me there were some issues in transit, battery acid leaking etc, but all should be ok. Fine. I get out and, I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous. Its been a looooong time since I've ridden a motorbike on bad roads, so I'm a bit shaky. I go maybe 15 yards and.... Donk dies. Won't start back up.
I had to go find a group of guys sitting under a rattan lean to who looked greasy, convinced one of them to come investigate Donk and, eventually, clean out the carburetor. On the side of the road. In the scalding heat. With me in a pencil skirt and my little L.L. Bean boat bag over my shoulder. Was quite the sight. But we got it fixed.
I've now done the long trip out to where I'm staying twice, and am feeling more confident. I am COVERED in dust at all times now, of course, but that's to be expected. Overall, I'm extremely pleased and feeling very very free.
And yes, I am wearing a helmet.