Here follows a little narative , feel free to skip on the next pic post.
On Good Friends
When I started this trip I had my reservations. The other two had been friends for more than 10 years. They had shared a year of solitude on an antarctic island, they had stayed friends through a new wife each and four new children, through severe differances in political and religious forays, and most importantly they were riding buddies that had shared some hard core trips that even included some jail time in foreign countries.
What were the chances that I would be allowed to fit in, to find a place and be able to enjoy all the experiences to the full? When I say I had my reservations it may be an understatement. I did not expect to be accepted in the partnership or brotherhood, call it what you will.
What I did intend to do is to take advantage of the opportunity to do Kaokoland by bike. I had once been there before and I had no misconceptions as to how physically demanding the trip would be. I was prepared to also take on whatever mental demands would be made of me. Growing up in Africa fortunately does equip you with some measure of fighting mentality. Wow, this sounds a bit self indulgent. What I'm trying to say is; I was willing and expecting to deal with both physical adversity and a possible acrimonious exclusionist social situation.
The very first incident , relating to interpersonal relationships and behaviour, that stands out in my mind, happenend in the bus on that initial 24hr trip from South Africa to Namibia.
We are in high spirits, I've got an MP3 playing on the radio and the volume is turned way to the top with the sub booming boomingly. Hennie is driving, I am sitting on the back seat with head bobbing in time with Nardus on the front passenger seat. The music is so loud that we have to open some of the windows. I see Hennie fiddling in his pocket and watch incredulously as he takes out a set of earplugs and proceeds to fit them in his ears.
That is a level of tolerance I have never come across before. It impressed the shit out of me.
It was really only setting the tone of things to come. The rest of the trip was a model of good neighbourliness. We got along like none of us could ever have forseen. There was absolutely no butting of heads. None, not once, not an iota, nothing, fuckall, zilch, not even close. All decisions were more or less taken by consensus. It was like every one of us had the trip as priority and nothing else.
It is now two years later and we have done many trips and rides together since. I now know that the importance of the trip was not the the only reason that things went so well. There is more to it and I think it's name is tolerance.
We ride enduros together and there is nothing that denudes you more than being pushed past your limits of endurance. It makes you humble. Often. Also, on our dual sport trips we get to share a myriad of good (what a sad excuse for a word) experiences. Lastly the use of happy substances on these longer trips encourages a lot of honest discussion. Accordingly we have gotten to know each other pretty well. Once you know how someone is put together, your expectations of him adapts thereto, and you can not be dissapointed as long as he acts in character.
And maybe that is what breeds tolerance, and tolerance is the one thing that will allow you to be an inherently content person.
Dammit, this is getting way too deep.
I'm sure I' going to regret posting this tomorrow. But then, that's tomorrow.