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Old 07-19-2004, 01:42 AM   #241
Komet
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I would say get the medical situation resolved first and plan the trip for later...but that would dampen your spirits. So, be careful...and take care of yourself as much as possible. Think before you act and try to keep strenous activities to a minimum. Good luck.
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Old 07-19-2004, 02:31 AM   #242
Pete Rock
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SV:
Guess that what you´re gonna do after Germany may not be on your mind yet, but would like to ear about it, Europe? Africa?

If you have to leave Mongolia or Russia on a hurry without your bike you can probably get it inpounded at an oficial customs office while you´re away.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-19-2004, 09:11 PM   #243
scottw
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Glen: Looking forward to seeing you in Ulaanbaatar soon. Pete (from Berkeley) left yesterday for the Gobi. He should be back in Ulaanbaatar in about a week.

There are non-stop daily flights out of Mongolia to Seoul and Tokyo, so medevac is possible in an emergency.

That Siberian road (dirt track) is a long, hard haul. Don't push yourself too far.

See you soon.

-Scott
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Old 07-19-2004, 10:55 PM   #244
Slice
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Glen—

First, a friendly reminder: It's time to update your avatar. Mmm... maybe something in red, no?

Second, and more importantly, I feel your stent pain.

Here's some food for thought that might keep you on the road a little longer.

I, too, went through a similar experience almost two years ago now, when a single left kidney stone (my first) hit me like a ton of fucking bricks, mortar included. It was Christmastime, we were about to head down south from Asheville, NC to visit family in Mississippi, and there I was, on the floor, vomiting, sweating, and finally hightailing it to the emergency room.

I told the doc I had to get to Mississippi with my family, come hell or high water. He said he wanted to pulverized the bugger (same operation as yours, I presume). So I had the operation, it was successful, and I told him I had to head south. He said I should get a stent installed, just in case some of the fragments were too big to pass. "You don't want to be in a car in a 10-hour ride to Mississippi when that happens," said the doc. So we installed the stent. You, my friend, only know too well where.

That bugger was in me for over three weeks. I won't describe the inconvenience; you already know all about it. Suffice to say I was ready to rip off my pecker at the end of the ordeal.

Now here's the funny thing.

We return to Asheville after the holidays, and I beeline it to the doc's for oh-happy-day stent removal. What happens? I'm waiting alone in a little room, and this old dude walks in, low-key like, somewhat unkempt, and tells me he's going to remove the stent. No "procedure," no special drugs, no nothing. By his attitude I can tell that we're about to do nothing more unusual than, say, pull off a Band-Aid—only deeper.

I'm nervous, so just before he bends over to pull, I ask, "Will this hurt?"

He leans real close to my face and in a calm, friendly, quiet manner, he replies, "Ain't going to hurt me one bit." I laugh, and at that instant he pulls. (Tricky bastard.)

I will say, it was not painful. But the sensation was so unexpected it took my breath away.

Now I'm thinking. This guy that pulled that thing out of my body was not some highly-paid, highly-trained, over-educated doctor. He looked to be the same guy that swept the floors at night. Don't get me wrong: He was a real nice guy. And he had obviously pulled a lot of stents in his day. But I got the distinct impression he didn't go to school to learn how to do it. And there were no drugs of any sort involved, no special swabbing of special parts with special tinctures. No nothing. Just a single latex glove on his right hand, and me with my pants around my ankles. The fact is, it was no big deal to remove it. Just pull, and there you go. Nothing to wipe up, either.

So the old guy leaves the room, I'm pulling my pants back on, and I realize. "Shit. I could have pulled this thing out sooner—on my own." I would've saved myself a glorious few days of discomfort.

Now, I'm not making any recommendations here. But let's say you get stuck in the middle of nowhere, and those little snakes start a bitin' your insides. I imagine it wouldn't take much to get 'em out. Just pull.

If you do rescue yourself in the field, make sure you save the little buggers. You can post a picture of them. Maybe weave 'em into a necklace for one of your Russian darlings, have her wear it, and post that.

Mine was pretty cool. I kept it for a year or so, then finally threw it away after the umpteenth time my wife screwed up her face and said, "Ewww. Why do you keep that thing?"

She didn't understand. That stent was a part of me. Granted, for much longer than I wanted it to be. But a deep part of me, nonetheless.

—Andy
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Old 07-20-2004, 01:51 AM   #245
strikingviking OP
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I would love more details on pulling that stent out. I thought they had to do it by going back up Johnson with another tube and reaching for it. Please send me details locovikingman@yahoo.com
One stent has to stay because of the size of the stone. If it moves, it will clog the ureter and then I am fucked. Right now if it moves it is no sweat because the kidney in question would still drain. Pulling the other would be a relief for sure.

Scott, I will see you in about two weeks. I have considered returning to the US but only as a last resort.
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Old 07-20-2004, 07:34 AM   #246
joemk12
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So let's see world traveller by day, gastrointestinal doctor by night, ya that's the ticket !!!!! Glen, you are a wildman good for you... the rest of us have gotten soft and gusshy riding these keyboards.

Reading your book TWTT you just escaped Bolivia and have found nice roads in Chile just awesome reading. I think your next adventrue should be doing the Paris - Dakar and just laugh at everyone complaining about the harsh riding environment !!! Sheesh they have support teams following them with parts, food, and a place to sleep, on second thought you'd be bored stiff doing that fagetaboutit....

Ride On..

Joe
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Old 07-20-2004, 04:21 PM   #247
Slice
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Glen— You've got gory-detail mail.
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:32 PM   #248
nachtflug
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hey striking viking I'm on my US tour, in vegas. two weeks but its the best I can do. heading to ouray tomorrow. from one world traveler to another, cheers and all that.

hey, I was thinking about your movie. I can play the lead if you're interested, I know a little karate and juijitsu. think about it, hope your trip is going well.

kisses kisses kisses.

nachtflug
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Old 07-21-2004, 01:34 PM   #249
traveltoad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachtflug
hey striking viking I'm on my US tour, in vegas. two weeks but its the best I can do. heading to ouray tomorrow. from one world traveler to another, cheers and all that.

hey, I was thinking about your movie. I can play the lead if you're interested, I know a little karate and juijitsu. think about it, hope your trip is going well.

kisses kisses kisses.

nachtflug
I can't believe you're out here on the West Coast (or at least, close to it) and you didn't tell any of us !!!
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Old 07-21-2004, 08:15 PM   #250
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Hey Fluggy I know that you like brunettes so I got this one's number for you.
Olga 45-22-23
One thing about the Russians though, the life here is so hard that people age faster than normal. Most Russians I meet are ten years younger than they look.
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Old 07-22-2004, 08:01 AM   #251
monkey boy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
Hey Fluggy I know that you like brunettes so I got this one's number for you.
Olga 45-22-23
Wow! I want one too. Mail order might not be such a bad thing afterall.
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Old 07-22-2004, 03:51 PM   #252
westnash
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Syphlis

Did you read that it has finally been established after all these years that Lenin actually died of Syphilis and that it had been rumored inside Russia for some years but no examination was ever allowed,,,,,,he had been in severe pain and razy for a couple of years before dying.
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Old 07-22-2004, 04:35 PM   #253
Enfilade
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Cry Phillip Dean Christian

"At my going away party, an old friend, David Christian, handed me a 3x3 inch, yellowed photograph of a smiling young child. He told me with misty eyes, “This is my little brother and since he never got to go anywhere, please take him with you.” I didn’t understand this until David left and I read the writing o­n the back, “Phillip Dean Christian 1948-1951.” With that thought in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate this new adventure to Phillip and will tape his photo somewhere o­n my bike where he will be protected from the sandstorms of the Sahara, the snows of Siberia and the driving rains of the tropics, but still enjoy the journey. Stay tuned, I think you and I and Phillip are about to experience something great together."

Read this at your Website and it tore me up. Can you share the picture of Phillip with us.
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Old 07-23-2004, 04:15 PM   #254
traveltoad
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Old 07-23-2004, 05:38 PM   #255
Django Loco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
Free At Last, Free At Last
It’s the same all over. People wanting to build things, people wanting to sell things and people wanting to buy things; what stands in the way is usually government. The fact that I will spend several thousand dollars converted to rubles traveling across Russia is insignificant to bureaucrats following their extensive, petty rule books. Travelers avoid Russia because between a complicated visa process, to strict regulations regarding registering your whereabouts every 72 hours, few find it worth the hassle. But alas the last major hurdle has been crossed.
locovikingman@yahoo.com
Congrats on running the gaunlet and still having any money left over to
spend at all. I wonder if they'll ever figure out its their own people doing
the vehicle scams (in colusion with local customs and immigration
bureaucrats) and that foriegners, left alone, will happily get
drunk and stagger around their country in a happy haze and
doing very little beyond spending money and taking photos.
What a missed opportunity.

Perhaps the answer is to do a bit of pre-greasing of skids before
departure ala The Investment Biker guy. Been years since I read
his book but as I recall he schmoozed embassy staff with
stories of bringing in foriegn capital et al. (Well, he did write a book.)

He was able to get fancy embossed documents to wow border thugs and
local tin pot bureauracrats. Couldn't hurt. He collected all kinds of documents
attesting to his importance, on official stationary in the native language.
He even got the State Dept. to help him: TIP : thats their job! Surprise!
As an author and an "official" Adventurer" you are a businessman. It
is within the Dept. of States purview to assist US businessmen in any way
they can.

Others have done this as well. Riding for some noble cause or another
usually does the trick. Or being a rich fat cat with money to invest really
helpls too. Journalists too, are sometimes cut slack. A Dept. of State
stamp can work wonders. I even brought a gun and ammo into
Argentina during a very unsettled time, but with the right docs
I was golden.

Having visited some out of the way locations myself with certain
unnamable NGOs I know we always employed this technique.
We usually had a govt. schill meeting us at the airport, bribes were quickly
paid, minimal paperwork was dealt with and we were off. This includes
Cambodia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Equador, Ghana, Bangladesh and others.

Perhaps using the celebrity of your book you could attain some more
officious documents to smooth transit from one shit hole to the next?

I was curious why you would start your trip in Japan rather than just picking
up a nice used bike in Germany and riding east to Russia? My buddy
has a rock band (in Berlin) and travel to Russia every summer. No problems. Bikes are cheap and plentiful in Germany. I hate shipping bikes, always try to avoid
it when possible.

Best of luck, health and safe travel,
Que le via bien
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