Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank god I can understand "you put diesel fuel in your bike you <expletive> idiot.." in Albanian....

Yep.. that's right, I did.

Impatient during my long slow trip through Albania, I decided not to wait for the attendant to fill up my bike and went right ahead and filled up to the brim with "Benzine" which, in every country I had been to so far, is unleaded fuel... hmmm, not Albania. Having filled up, and being keen to move on, I had my money out and ready to pay when the toothless, grease covered attendant came charging, arms-a-waving in a tirade of passionate Albanian poetry.

I thought I'd offended him, or committed some sort of faux pas by filling up myself, so apologised profusely and tried to pay... this wasn't enough though.

Thankfully he was able to explain through pointing, a short game of charades, and a bunch more swearing, that I'd filled up with the wrong fuel and we'd have to empty the tank!

A quick shout over the fence, and all of a sudden three other men appeared. These three were almost comical - the greasy rotund mechanic looking guy with a well groomed but overly large goatee and trustworthy smile (several teeth included), the smooth clean cut Danny Zuko style sleazy guy in the car, and the ADHD napoleon complex cheeky dumb little guy that everyone just seemed to laugh at... myself included - though I am quite sure they were laughing at jokes he was making about me!

The mechanic looking guy syphoned the bad fuel out of my tank and into a bucket, and then I happily let the attendant fill up with a full tank of unleaded... after tentatively starting the engine, and mechanic guy revving the b'geezus out of it, it seemed to run fine. Phew!

After a few quick thank you's, lots of laughing and some genuine smiles and handshakes, I was back on the road, putting gingerly along what was to be the last of the decent road for a while...

Aside from some pretty nasty piston slap under 3/4 throttle for just a minute or two as the remnants of the diesel was burnt, the bike's never run better!!

I'm forever thankful for the help those guys provided though. The attendant could have easily sent me on my way, and given the roads I encountered just a few kilometres later, I would have been in big trouble - I'm quite sure I would have done some serious damage to my engine had I ridden off, in a hurry to get through the rest of the country, at full throttle!

Lesson learnt. Have patience, and let the attendant do his job!! Apparently all we need is just a little patience...

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