Hi you all, hope you had a great weekend. Thanks for your comments. Here the story continues…
Ok, so I made it to India, not really knowing how to continue from there. By then, I had been on the road for over one year and my attitude has changed quite a bit already. So I was kinda groovy about the situation. I haven't always been this easy-going. Well, I'm German – not proud of it, but it says something about me – it tells you how I have grown up in an efficient, success-oriented, always-planning society. Before I went on this trip I would have gone nuts not having a plan or a way out. This is what I was taught growing up; Have a plan and work hard, otherwise you'll not get anywhere. And it was a tough, long and partially stressful transition until I realised: in this world (the adventure travelling world) I cannot plan meticulously in order to get somewhere. Just the opposite seems to be true. I came to the conclusion, that if I plan in advance, I am going to plan twice (at least) And that's frustrating. So I adapted a whole new approach to dealing with problems and challenges that came my way. But more about this later.
I'm just thinking about what key event helped me transform… I guess there must have been countless occasions where my expectations had nothing to do with reality, or in other words with what I really experienced and learned on the ground. Ultimately, this is what changed my point of view. However, a really good example would be traveling through Iran. Which I had done some month before. Just before I was to enter Iran, the elections were going on. The people of Iran were not happy with the outcome. They felt betrayed by the government and hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of every major city. I sat in East Turkey reading online newspaper articles about how the military and police was arresting people by the thousands and occasionally shooting some to death. Journalists reporting about this were arrested and not heard off again. International journalists that were sent out of the country were the lucky ones. And I was facing this mess without an alternative route. I was especially concerned crossing the border since I was traveling with suspicious equipment such as laptop, camera, audio recording device and even a satellite modem… you know stuff I need for making the movie about the adventure. I was very anxious to be seen as some kind of reporter and get in trouble at the border. But my visas were about to expire so I had to go. I packed all my suspicious gear at the bottom of my bags. I hid my satellite modem in the bike, next to the battery, hoping that they would not find it and then approached the border. The next thing that happened was something I didn't expect. First, I was the only one crossing the border at that time. No one else around. I was greeted by the authorities who were very friendly, they helped me park the bike in the shade and offered me some tea on their couch. Then one guy took my passport and documents and ran it through the departments, collecting all necessary stamps. Then we had another cup of tea together and I was send off without anyone even looking at my bike or luggage. That was it! One of the easiest border crossing I ever had. Probably the second easiest one, right after the one of Malaysia. Entering Malaysia was so easy I didn't even have to get off the bike. It was like going through a toll-booth. But I'm getting off track. I spent a great deal of time in Iran, I travelled extensively in that country and I had a fantastic time. Yes the people are very unhappy with the policies of their government, but everyone I met was so hospitable and friendly and open-minded.
Okay I gotta run. Tomorrow more about Iran and how I got out of India. Cheers, Dan