Faster-Than-Walking 歩くよりは早く世界一周!?

Faster-Than-Walking

Taking the slow road round the world, on the cheap, on a postie-bike... 2-up.

"ファースター ザン ウォーキング""歩くより早い"
2008年4月30日オーストラリア・フリーマントルを110ccのちっちゃいバイク1台で出発。
期限なしお金尽きるまで世界一周目指すのーぷらんスローな旅。

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What you lookin' for? Where you goin'?
I've been accused of running away from things for some time now, sadly I've never denied it either. It does feel a lot better when traveling with someone else though, it kind of removes the guilt and helps you focus on what you are running away to.

One reason we raced to northern Thailand was to escape the stifling southern heat, it was starting to get to me,
Another reason was that we thought it would be easier to avoid the intense crowds of incoming tourists as well as the associated high prices.
We also heard the food was better up here.

After experiencing the cities of MHS, Pai and now Chiang Mai I'm starting to seriously reconsider my canterous career in taking flight, at least for such whimsical reasoning.

It is much colder than I expected up here. So cold in fact that I had to wear all my clothes at once in an attempt to keep warm enough to ride into the heavily touristed city of Pai. We didn't stay around too long.
Here is Aki waiting for breakfast on that very cold Pai morning.



The food was tasty as expected but the bill totally emptied our wallet. It being a Sunday, none of the banks in town were open. What to do? we had a long ride to Chiang Mai...
True to form we decide to just up and leave and see what happens.

100kms out we run out of petrol, far from all the things we were trying hard to avoid.
We were cold, miles from a guest-house without any cash.
We did have 4 delicious mandarins left though... What to do?



Trick a passing tourist into buying fruit from a poor mountain girl.

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Holy Under... Where?
You know being in the saddle for sometimes up to 10hours a day can be quite taxing on the body. I have a short stretching regime that I do before getting on that helps loosen me up a bit, likewise I try and move around on the seat during the day to keep things warm. All this action still is unable to stop muscle pain though and I often find myself in need of a good massage.
We spent a bit of time on Bali so I thought it was the perfect place to for me to get some deep muscle manipulative therapy.
You also know that we are packing very light on this trip so the selection, even the condition of clothes that I possess at the moment is pretty abysmal. Most of the clothes were old before the trip even started, some of the items are badly fatigued, my jeans for example have more patches than denim.

Well we get up early one morning to search out a suitable(cheap) masseuse and as usual I have only 1change of clothes to choose from, the other change is still drying. I throw it on, we rush out the door, onto the bike and into the noisy streets. No time to do my stretches but while on the way into town I do my seated calisthenics and before I know it we are there.
In no time at all an adequate place has been found and we walk inside. It's some kind of temple complex and it takes us a while to work it out.
I decide on the type of massage I want and am told to undress down to my underpants. With a ring of a bell I am then directed to a side room down some stairs. Upon entering I'm greeted by a smiling young girl named “Shaiya” or something. She giggles a little and ushers me to the massage bench, I lie face down while she prepares the oils on a table in the corner of the room. Her back is to me while doing this and I try to strike up a conversation, her replies are minimal, mostly ending with short little giggles.

Perhaps her english isn't so good or perhaps she thinks I'm trying to pick her up... I stop the meaningless small talk immediately.

She presses play on the cassette player and with a whirring clunk, smooth ambient new-age sounds fill the dank windowless room and we are away.
She is quite strong and she starts from my neck, slowly working her way down, between my shoulder blades and down to my lower back and...
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ちょっとええ話し。
インドネシア・スンバワ島でのパンクの時の話。

交換を初めて途中までスムーズに進んでたのに

ここで問題発生。

空気を入れても入れてもまったく空気が入ってないんです。
これ以外にスペアのチューブも持ってないしあたり見回してもバイク屋どころか民家すらなし。
原因が分からず暑さと食事をとってないせいで2人ともイライラがほぼ頂点。

そこにバイクで通りかかった地元の人が声をかけてきてくれた。
すんなり状況を把握してくれたようで
タイヤを持って修理屋に行ってきてくれるという。

どういう人かも分からないので不安はあったけどそんなことを言ってもられない状況。
あとでいくら請求されようが仕方がない。
そんなに悪そうな人にも見えないし。(それが怖いんだけど・・・)

とにかく彼に委ねてみた。
彼はカバンとヘルメットを私たちのそばに置いてバイクで去って行った。

不安を抱えながら待つこと15分。
戻ってきた彼は手ぶら。

えーっ!?
ホイールとタイヤとチューブは???

彼が言うには、どうやら新しいチューブに穴が空いていたらしい。
今それをバイク屋さんがお直ししている。
そして彼はもうひとつの釘の刺さった方のチューブもついでに直したらいいと思いとりにきたんだと。

ここまでいい人度が高すぎると逆にますます不安が。
で、思い切って「いくら?」と尋ねてみた。
彼は「ノーノーノー!」

?????

マジで!?どういうこと?
彼は英語はそんなに話せない。
私たちはインドネシア語が話せないので意思の疎通が難しい。
お金を受け取らないなんてそれはないやろ。
理解できてないだけなんだ。と思ってこれくらいかなと思う相場金額を渡そうとしても
彼は受け取らず、チューブを持ってまたバイク屋へと去って行ってしまった。

何がなんだか訳の分からないまま事が進んで、とにかく彼を待つしかない。

そしてさらに10分後。
彼がタイヤを持って戻ってきた。

この安堵感。。。

かなりほっとした。
彼ほんとうに良い人でした。
半信半疑のまま彼に委ねて訳の分からないまま事が進んで
でも結果すべて良かった。

結局彼はお金を受け取る事なく単なる親切心で困ってる私たちを助けてくれた。
修理屋でいくらかかったかも告げることもなく。

人って色んな人がいます。
インドネシアに入って観光客からふんだんにお金を稼ごうとする人を沢山見てきたので
一心に疑ってかかってた自分にちょっと・・・。
でも知らない土地で簡単に人を信じるのも・・・。

でももうちょっとリラックスして考えてみよかなと。
彼、リャン君みたいな人もいるんだから。

リャン君には本当に感謝。
ありがとう。

感謝感激のあまり忘れそうになってたけどこの状況で一番の問題は
東ティモールで買ったタイヤのチューブ!!
最初から破れてたなんて。
良い勉強になりました。
これから買うときはもっと慎重にならないとだめですね。

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Starbucks Don't Tell Ya
What possesses developed nations to try and assist in other less fortunate country's affairs? Some would say that its what should be done, a form of sharing the wealth be it financial or logistical. Others would say that these nations are unable to help themselves and need anything we can give.
International treaties exist to help developing nations develop, most of them I would guess require richer nations to send off a fat cheque at regular intervals followed by perhaps a visit every now and again from some sort of important official. Of course these visits are not spontanious nor secretive, the country's officials are given early warning of the pending arrival likewise the Aid agency is given enough time to get things (to appear) in order, much fanfare and celebration is almost always on the cards too.
Do these broad treaties, rich aid agencies and generous nations actions culminate into positive changes occurring on the ground where the need was supposedly pinpointed? Does the money given by individual donations actually reach the people it was meant to?
For a country so young, Timor Leste's history book is thick with turmoil and torture. The Dutch and Portuguese arrived to help out in the 16th century, converting and controlling as they went, the island's position being ideal for a trading centre and the natives being ripe for the christian faith. Numerous bloody battles were fought with no clear winner but the Portuguese Mestizos held power for near on 400years. The Japanese came in WWII with promises to free the nation of Portuguese rule if they would first join the march against the west, we are all familiar with how that one ended. The Indonesians took over while the rest of the world was getting high in the 70s. They improved the roads so their armoured trucks could traverse to the outer territories more easily and more schools were built to teach the kids to forget their native language Tetun. The real trouble started when the Indonesians pulled out in 1999, its as if they ripped up all the roads they laid and burnt down all the buildings they built. Since then there have been any number of militia/gangs/loose political parties trying to get a foothold and get the country moving forward, being pulled in so many different directions materialized a violent yet stagnant reality...
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My Emotional Clutch

The simple equation of time and money is steadfast and true, the universal powers dictate that with an endless supply of time, great things can be accomplished for a very economical price. The reality being that with the vast amount of time at your disposal you have the freedom to choose, barter, consolidate and conive the best plan to limit your monetary expenditure and get the job done (right).
The adverse is also true in the other dimension, should you be one of the lucky few with a bottomless pool of wealth to dive into then the same higher powers have probably struck you down with a dearth of freetime to play with. You eye off your poorer cousins, admiring their relaxed demeanor but in the end you are able to offload, albeit top dollar to complete the transaction and hurriedly get on with other more pressing issues.
There really is no room in this intergalactic riddle for a third option to the equation, it appears in all aspects that both stanzas are present but just not in the same place at the same time. If there exists light-years of available time there aint gonna be any untethered dinero flying about, likewise, if theres a moon-sized chunk of cash in close orbit then its certain the pilot wont be stopping to smell the stella roses...
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