Monday, 12 December 2016

Selling a CBR250. Ganja and Snakes.

Selling a CBR250

Things happen for a reason. My last school forcing a shit sandwich down my throat was a clear sign. Time for a change. Compounding that was a 600km MaeHongSong loop that felt like I was just going through the motions. I've ridden to every province in Thailand and it's beginning to feel old. When you get bored of riding here you know it's time to move on.

Pit stop in MaeHongSong. Stunning. I had a coffee in Pai quietly observing the hordes of backpackers. What's happened to Western women? Most of the ones I saw were over-weight, over-tattooed and sporting ridiculous head-half-shaved haircuts. Looked like masculine lesbians on day-release from prison. Urgh.

The bike hit 77,777km on the way. I sold it to a lad from school. It was hard letting it go. We've been together for almost 4 years. We rode from Bangkok to Singapore to China. Had some great times. I'm sure he'll have a lot of fun with it.


I was forced to deploy a more environmentally friendly transport solution. One day I rode it 22km to SuanRatchapruek. Cost 1,300bt from Tesco. Less than 4 tanks of CBR petrol.

Although pedaling through this was awkward.

Buying a scooter

I still had to travel around Chiang Mai to tutor for a bit of pocket money. I could either rent or buy a scooter. Renting a decent one is about 4000bt/month. I figured I'd need to use one for 2 months (looking more like 3 now). So why not simply buy a cheapy and let Wan have it? So that's what I did.

I met a clueless American girl down a dark alley (good move on her part) to look at her bike. She was asking 12k but accepted 8k. I paid 3k too much as I soon discovered. She'd had it 6 months but didn't seem to have much idea about it. The ownership documents weren't in her name and the tax had expired. The brakes and lights needed attention but I could sort everything the next day.

The next morning I had to be up early to ride 60km around Chiang Mai for tutoring. I would sort the bike afterwards. However, the engine seized after ONLY 5km! If only SHE'd ridden it another 5km - lucky bitch! She'd NEVER put oil in it! It also meant I had to skip the tutorials (and $) that day.

Look at the state of that piston.

Spent another 4k replacing the piston, valve seats, brakes, lights, front tyre, battery, fuel gauge and oil filters. The tax and putting it into Wan's name brought it up to 4.5k. Phew.

I enjoyed helping my mechanic mate Sit do all this. Well, I enjoyed drinking piss while he did it.

Being a geek maths teacher I had to create a table of all the salient (to me) data points of my three motorbike purchases in Thailand.

Honda Phantom TA200
Honda CBR 250R
Suzuki Step 125 Auto
First Registered
June 2005
July 2011
Sep 2006
Province bought
Nakhon Si Tammarat
Chiang Mai
Province sold
Chiang Mai

Date bought/sold
Oct 2009/Jan 2013
Jan 2013/Nov 2016
Nov 2016
Age when bought
4yr 4mth
1yr 6mth
10yr 2mth
Time owned
3yr 3mth
3yr 11mth

Age when sold
7yr 7mth
5yr 4mth

Price paid
Price sold

Seller’s nationality
New Zealand
Buyer’s nationality

Km when bought
Km when sold

Km ridden

Total time
7yr 2mth

Total km

Round the equator
2.95 times

Three times around the equator? Woah.

So here it is. 12.5k spent and finally ready to go. I've already ridden over 1000km on it. It's an automatic so there's nothing for your feet to do. Took a week or so to get used to it.

It's way more suitable for riding around CM than a CBR. The basket makes trips to 7/11 a doddle. There's nowhere to store things on a CBR.

Out and about

Now that Malcolm is back from 8 months in an Antarctic scientific research station .... we've been on a few scooter trips. Him on his revamped 10 year old 110cc Honda Wave and me on this Suzuki toy. To think we've been all over the North on our 500cc and 250cc bikes. It was quite a change pottering along at 50-60km/hr.

Been to sleepy Lamphun a few times. Down the 106 and back up the River Ping.

Pottering around the MaeRim area I stumbled upon some monks building this row of Buddhas.

Snake Fangs

Fancy a day at the races? I never knew there was a race course in CM (behind the Rama 9 park).

I saw this sign in the middle of nowhere and had to do a U-turn. Sticky rice with snake? After consulting my dictionary it's actually sticky rice with snake fangs. I was curious to try some but it turns out that Snake Fang is just a brand name. So they're merely selling Snake Fang branded sticky rice. A bit like Tony the Tiger Frosties. Got me hopes up for nowt.


I've been out of work for 10 weeks. 2.5 months. It's been delightful chilling in Chiang Mai. The days seem to blur into one another and my only anchor are the weekends. Saturdays I look forward to tutoring and Sundays I hook up with Brendan. He's one of the most committed teachers I've ever seen (far more so than me) and his passion for nature is contagious.

Coffee in Samoeng.

Fuck You

I've been in Thailand almost 8 years. I can read, write and speak Thai reasonably well. However, I always thought a vegetable called Fuck You was a joke.

It's ฝักยาว in Thai which I would transliterate as Fak Yao - but it sounds close to Fuck You which always makes me laugh. Here I am in a field full of Fuck You.

It's similar to saying you're 'practicing' something in Thai which could lead to this conversation:
Tam arai yoo khrap     "What are you doing?"
Fuck you                     "Practicing"

The ridiculous sunglasses are to keep wind and flies out of my eyes on the bike.


Further on we stumbled into some massive industrial scale greenhouses stuffed full of Marijuana. The supervisor let us in and I felt like Leonardo Dicaprio walking through the marijuana fields in The Beach.

Impressive smell.

Here's the boss. She's TaiYai (Shan) but has lived in Thailand for over 30yrs. Twas a good laugh here.


In 73 days I've been pissed 14 times. That's 1 in 5. Too much.

One day I was with Da when we stumbled upon this illegal bare-knuckle fighting near where I live. The police never arrived during the 10 minutes I was there.

Paddy and Zenin (his new Chinese gf) have been helping me practice Mandarin before I go to ........


My first taste of Asia was Beijing in July 2006. It blew me away. I loved it and I always saw myself in China after that. However, I got sidetracked in Thailand. In 2009 I failed in an attempt to work in China. In September 2016, just before I quit my last school, I was offered a role in Xi'an. It was double my current salary with a FREE apartment near the school, a flight home and a $1500 completion bonus. There'll even be someone to meet me at the airport!

I love Thailand (I really do) but sometimes you have to use your head instead of your heart. After my retirement catastrophe I need to bank some $$ again. Every ONE month I work (and save) in China I can come back here and live stress free for FOUR months!

I accepted in September and TWO months later received the paperwork to apply for a Zvisa at the Chinese Consulate in Chiang Mai. However, some idiot had addressed the invitation letter to the Consulate in HongKong instead of Chiang Mai. I begged the Consulate staff to process the application but they refused.

One incorrect word derailed the whole process. So after 10 weeks we're back to square one. I had to post the incorrect documents back to Xi'an where they'll correct the mistake and send them back to me. I'm guessing I'll be heading to China around the end of January which means I'll have had 4 months of chilling in Chiang Mai. I'm not complaining.

When you work full time as a teacher you kinda could be anywhere. You're in a school 8-10hrs Monday to Friday and the weekends fly by. You might as well get paid well for it.


HIV negative. Thank f*ck. Part of the medical check to apply for the visa. The Doc said: "shipshape".
The Optician said: "shit mate".


In 73 glorious days I've spent a whopping 34,000bt ($1k). Around 470bt/day. This includes accommodation, food, beer, petrol, the odd massage and even a gf. I could happily support this lifestyle for years. Perhaps I will once I'm 50.

Since Wan moved out (preempting my move overseas) and found a decent job to support herself, costs have declined even more. In the morning I drink coffee and do something educational. Afternoon is lunch and a spin on the bike. Evenings is a 5km run and exercise followed by an al fresco dinner. Life is good. Sabai Sabai.

The next post should be from Xi'an, hanging onto the coat tails of China's economic boom.


  1. An excellent read, Mr. Hepple. Always enjoyed your entries.

  2. You're always ditching girls like socks. Wan must be heartbroken.

    1. Everything's impermanent. Status, wealth and relationships. Attachment leads to suffering.

  3. Hurting others leads to suffering as well

    1. Yes. She should consider that the next time she monkey branches to another man.
      Women aren't always the victim.


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