A Latvian mechanics view

 
 
The time spent at the border has been used as wisely as possible before my next attempt to cross into Russia tomorrow; tasks such as researching for the show, getting some well needed sleep and some minor repairs on the now much loved truck. The local mechanic was introduced to me by the owners of the hotel I am staying at in Ludza and in his words 'this piece of shit made it here' frankly both the truck now named 'Betsie' and I were offended. Actually after consideration the guy had a point the body and rolling gear are in perfect running order but it seems everyone with a hammer and 'not a clue' has been having a go under the hood. To my amazement he found my lingering compression problem; it seems a small connector module from the air filter to the supercharger had been broken off and simply glued back on resulting in sporadic vacuum loss - impossible to track if this mechanic had not accidentally broken the glue fixing off himself as the piece is very hidden and there are very few Mercedes Sprinters in this part of the world. This tiny problem about 4mm in size caused Betsie to keep on losing 50% of her power at all but the wrong times like hill climbing with a fleet of angry arctics behind me. I really am in the middle of nowhere and the locals know how to make things happen without the right parts to hand unless you are prepared to wait a week, so here is my next problem it seems my rear number plate has broken off somewhere along the way making my border crossing impossible for yet another reason, so after fabricating at the mechanics workshop and with a little photoshop (yes you heard me) I photographed the front plate jigged the image to fit an A4 printer; broke the image in 2 and joined them with you guessed it Cellotape and hey presto I have a new rear plate. Lets hope with enough snow and crap build up that the border security don't notice my 'temporary plate' tomorrow. I do have to confess that my snowed in monastic sabbatical is starting to be enjoyed even if a little forced upon me; solitude is very much part of my practice so with a little mental adjustment this forced border stale-mate has slotted in to the process. Life will always put up walls to our best endeavours; it is up to the individual to view these walls as nothing more than tall places to sit and contemplate the universe.