as you may know, we have like 30 cats that live with us. well, to be honest 4 inside and (counting ...) 4 or 5 that live outside. 89% of those cats have been spayed or neutered (thanks, bob barker. love 'ya buddy). but 11% of those cats (read: one) has not. and whether or not it's actually him, we blame any spraying on him. and yesterday, he apparently sprayed all over my panniers. you remember my discount panniers, right? the ones my mom sowed into a sweet backpack? micky the cat went number one all over them.
so i stuck them in the wash last night and someone (thanks eliot) put them in the dryer for me last night. this morning i pulled them out. now, granted i don't think that those bags were supposed to be washed but i sort of expect all-terrain bike bags full of camping gear that - in many ways - i'm staking my life on for three months. i say this because this is what my discount bags looked like this morning when i woke up:
basically every piece of stitching holding the zippers to the bags came apart. to be honest, the zippers sucked anyway. seriously the top bag would either not zip, or, once zipped, would just come apart. let me highly HIGHLY recommend you not buy discount panniers. seriously, just spend the money on something decent. i ran up to bike world and picked up some smaller (BUT RELIABLE!) trek bags. sadly, i cannot afford the amazing Bontager recycled tire-material bags (drooooool) or Ortlieb waterproof bags. but someday ... next trip maybe.
after that i came home and spent a long time repacking and reworking the bags. i actually took a lot of stuff out of my bags. me and eliot set up the tent and lay our sleeping rolls out. i got inside, turned on the realistic ® radio and put on the jazz station. i lay there for quite a while just letting it all sink in.
we headed out to Whole Earth Provision and picked up some small nalgene bottles for iodine and stuff, we each bought some pepper spray (read: cobra repellent), permethrin and some expensive technical socks. i bought a clif bar, too. purchased a small journal at borders and headed back home. i sprayed all my clothing down with the repellent, then i was pretty beat so i crawled into bed.
i woke up in kind of a panic about india. i follow this sine-wave of terror and elation. this manic day-to-day ride is taking its toll on the mind and the body. i spend alot of time thinking about why i'm leaving behind a job, a good income, friends, a comfortable bed and my cat. i'm starting to get run-down. i even began to get a cole-sore today on my upper lip, which i used to only get around finals time or before i went to london for five months. eliot is slightly more flatulent than usually so i think he's got it, too.
i got up and re-packed, tossed out even more stuff (there's so much dead weight we're carrying) and loaded up the bike again. it's heavy. i haven't been biking as much as i should, haven't trained enough. i don't speak the language. i still haven't figured out what to do with all my stuff when i leave. i don't know what i'm going to do when i get back, even what city i'm going to be in. the guard on my gears broke. the little screws fell all over the floor with little bits of plastic.
i don't even know how to change a spoke on my bike.