We'd taken the bike down to Chiang Mai to get a full service done by, allegedly, the best big bike shop in the region, a certain Mr Net.We'd left it with him and said "make it perfect". He speaks perfect English and said he would "make it so". 10 days later he called to say it was done so we went down to Chiang Mai in the car. We stayed with our friends Carl and Nam and their two little girls ( aged 2 and 4 - a bloody handful but fun, a bit). We picked up the bike on the Tuesday and, on Wednesday we were set to return home. Fortunately our friend Richard asked if we could takes his wife Jen and 5 year old son Robbie with us which was great as it meant Joy had company driving the car home. The story starts on the Wednesday morning as we set off on our return. There is some bad language, well quite a lot actually. We're leaving Carl and Nam's' place. Joy is driving the car with Jen and Robbie as passengers. I'm following on the bike cos I haven't a clue how to get on to the highway that takes us to Chiang Rai and then home. Carl and Nam live way out in the sticks surrounding Chiang Mai. So, we set off. "Hail fellow and well met. Thank for everything, see you soon we hope." Off she/they go in the ute and I dutifully follow on. 30 minutes later at the dead end of a gravel road she stops, as do I. I wait........ finally, she gets out of the car and asks me if I know where we are? You know how hot it gets when you're cloaked up in bike gear and sitting in the mid morning sun on a concrete road? I respond calmly, 'I haven't a clue." Smile. She looks. She'd expected tantrums but none were forthcoming so it might be OK to "discuss" the situation. Discuss, Discussion ? Bloody discussion? I'm sweating my bits off here and the bike is over heating. ( Yes, i know I should have switched off.) And you said you know where we're going! No bloody way and tantrum starts. Fortunately an old bloke on a bike rolls up and I bailed him up."Where the **** is Doi ****ing Suck It " ? I think he was a bit scared cos he gave gestures to me rather than information to her. Anyway we finally made it to Doi Suck It and turned right onto the highway. I let her pull out and followed and then decided to give wee Robbie ( the 5 year old) a bit of a laugh ( his fat little face had been glued to the back window from the start) flashing my lights and blasting my horn I opened her up. 40, 60, 80, 100, 110, (something isn't right) 120, (still isn't right) 140, ( Ah, it's cured itself) 160, ( no it bloody hasn't) and that was it. She (the bike) kept on going but the "hickups" were there, as before, but in all gears at all speeds. Then all the electrics failed. indicators, instruments, lights, the lot. **** it. I open her up and hammer it. The idea being to get as near to Mr. Chet in Chiang Rai as possible. Mr. Nat has screwed me. Overtaking at speed on a curve when the powers dies hurts. Horrible ride. A very jerky and quite nerve racking hour or so later I got to Ban Nam Ron. Sulphuric explosions of hot water from natural springs in which people boil eggs and buy tourist crap at vastly over rated prices. They also sell cold drinks. They arrived 7 cigarettes later. I advised them of the situation and they immediately went shopping. I assume they assumed that the nightmare of the bike meant lots of recovery time which was best spent buying crap. One's ire was riz. Off we go again. The bikes is ****ed, all over the place. One minute I'm accelerating smoothly then suddenly I'm dying. Tense, it was. Finally make it to the bakery restaurant place that is really good about 30 km before the Chiang Rai highway. Pull in, park up, have a beer. They arrive. I explain as best I can that we are going to Mr. Chet in Chiang Rai and the bike will stay there until it's fixed. Now, I hadn't clearly thought this through. Two Thai ladies and a young Thai lad who wields a mean fork, in a restaurant that does delicious food and fancy cakes and pies and stuff. They've got menus in front of them and waitresses hovering and I'm expecting some kind of attention and response to my bike problem??????????? I went to the loo. I went and looked at the aviary. I went and looked at the river that rambles through the grounds. I went back to the table. The 3 Thai dishes plus the 4 different American type desert pies ( pumpkin, lemon meringue, cheese cake and blue berry and the savoury chicken pie with short crust pastry were nearly gone so I helped finish them off and then presented my plan. We call the odious Mr. Nat in Chiang Mai, to whom we'd paid THB 6,600 to make the bike perfect and tell him where we are. Hopefully making him feel a tad guilty and responsible. We tell him we're going to try to get to Mr. Chet in Chiang Rai and we'll talk then. Mr Nat laughs enthusiastically and say it sounds like a good plan and maybe the master fuse has corroded ............. I hang up. We call Mr Chet who is happy to see us when we like and to let him know if we need rescuing ( He seems a top bloke) Joy leads off in the car as I've no idea how to get to Mr Chets'. A long way before I'd expected we take a left. Bugger, it's a Thai "short cut". 45 minutes later we cruise blindly past Mr Chets road. I slam on the anchors, spin it around and aim for some semblance of commonsense and tranquility. Pulling into Mr Chets' yard he appears with a big smile and a glass of ice cold water. I'm in love. I strip off the gear and dismount ( the bike, not Mr Chet) He looks me in the eye and I give him my technical diagnosis; "It's ****ed. I hate the bitch. Destroy it, please. I'll destroy the bloke who sold it to me later." I sit down, he walks off and comes back with an ice cold beer. I'm doubly in love. He looks me in the eye and says, quite quietly, "no worry, I fix, give me key". It was a bonding moment. A moment of pure connection, understanding and, dare I say it, love. Then the ladies arrived with the 5 year old boy who's mad about bikes. The next hour is a blur. The ladies gossiped, wittered, chatted, babbled and giggled. The small lad poked into holes and gaps, turned throttles and taps, spun wheels and spokes and generally got lost in a circus of bikes and bits. I slumped, removed my boots and then my jeans. Sitting in knickers and a t shirt I waited. Mr Chet did exactly what I wanted. He took the bike for a spin. After all the gossip and helpful translations, technical opinions and sublimely inane comments from my friends he just jumped on it and left. Fifteen minutes later he returned declaring that Mr Nat in Chiang Mai was a crook. He called Mr Nat. Mr Nat said that maybe the carburetor membranes/rubbery bits were corroded thereby causing the erratic performance. "You reckon" said Chet "then why the **** didn't you change them?" "By the way" he continued. "Your prices are 3 time mine, why do you persist in ripping off foreigners." That was my translation of their telephone conversation. It might not be totally accurate and probably includes certain aspirations and hope on my part. Anyway. the bike stayed with Mr Chet. We'll go back in a week or so when he's done a proper job on it. Got home safely and will now drink a couple of beers. Happy days.