Day 186- Royal Enfield Mechanic

Trip Start Aug 23, 2009
Trip End May 23, 2010

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Flag of India  , Tamil Nadu,
Thursday, February 25, 2010

After arriving to Chennai I started my motorcycle hunt right away..  I met a Royal Enfield mechanic named Dominique and I end up hanging out with him for the day at his motorcycle shop and it was quite an experience.  He invited me to eat lunch with him and it was brought to him by his employee who he calls his servant.  It was a vegetarian meal with one dish made of potatoes, another made of carrots, and the third a rice and gravy mixture.  The crazy new experience about the meal was eating with my hands.  I had no clue how to go about it so I just repeated what ever Dominique did.  It was actually pretty fun, I felt like a little kid playing with my food.  Rice was everywhere all over my hand but I looked at Dominique’s hand and it was the same.  In India they strictly use there right hand to eat with due to the fact that they use their left hand to wipe there ass with. (ie. They don’t use toilet paper either).  For me the one hand method was too difficult so hopefully he new I didn’t wipe my ass with my left hand or at least never again.
    Another cool thing about hanging out with Dominique is that I got to see a lot of his culture.  For instance when he was closing down his shop he had his employee to go buy some flowers and inscents to perform his Friday night ritual. Every Friday he places flowers around his shop giving respect to certain memorabilia such as a picture of his mother, his teacher, and his tools.  After that, he proceeded to light on fire what looked like a giant spoon filled with wax and half a coconut shell .  He let the coconut fully burn down to ash and then inserted crushed up inscents into the spoon and proceeded to blow smoke all over his shop.  I asked to take pictures but he kindly denied but he didn’t refrain from answering my question of what this was all about.  He said he was giving thanks and respect to his tools and his shop.  If I recall correctly he said the “god of metal”. 

    The reason why I was there all day was because I was waiting for his son to come to the shop to show me his bike that he has for sell. The bike I am buying is a 1994 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet,  it’s a classic and even though mine doesn’t look the best it runs pretty well.  I have seen others that have a fresh paint job and they look awesome.  I would say they look very similar to a  Harley.  Even though they are super cheap they are highly regarded around these parts.  You can buy and brand new one for around $3000.  After his son arrived Dominique took me around the neighborhood teaching me how to ride the bike.  I am definitely a beginner at riding but what made this bike even more difficult was that everything is almost reversed.  The back brake is on the left side, the gears are one up and 4 down, and there is an automatic neutral lever close to the gear shifters.  After 30 minutes of riding I stalled over 4 times and scarred Dominique like crazy.   Overall it was a great day and hopefully tonight I wont get eaten alive again by the mosquitoes.  I probably have at least 100 bug bits all over my body. 

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Thiagarajan on

Can you share where Dominique's garage is located? I have a bullet 350 1986.. Jus wanna get it serviced.. -Thiagarajan R

cwienke on

I dont know his address but here is his phone #91710332255

prvenkat49 on


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