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Old 07-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #856
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortclone
You know, I see a lot of people giving ewan and charlie heaps for promoting adventure biking but at least they got their visas SORTED BEFORE THEY HIT THE ROAD.

The reason you guys get delayed is because background checks are done ON ALL TRAVELLERS by the apropriate intelligence agencies before they are allowed to just punt through .

There is no point bitching about the burearacacy just because you failed to deal with it . Asia in general has every reason to treat westerners with caution . End of patronising rant .
It is said that the adventure is in the doing. no one ever said the adventure is in the organizing. Nathans journey in a large part, is about spontaneity, going where you want when you want and dealing with it when you get there. Bitch away, it just adds more spice to the RR.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:48 PM   #857
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Thanks for the street-level view of India, Nathan. I bet you can't wait to get back out into the wide-open spaces and up in the cool air across a few mountain ranges.

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:55 PM   #858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortclone
You know, I see a lot of people giving ewan and charlie heaps for promoting adventure biking but at least they got their visas SORTED BEFORE THEY HIT THE ROAD.

The reason you guys get delayed is because background checks are done ON ALL TRAVELLERS by the apropriate intelligence agencies before they are allowed to just punt through .

There is no point bitching about the burearacacy just because you failed to deal with it . Asia in general has every reason to treat westerners with caution . End of patronising rant .
"Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential." Winston Churchill
Nathan, your RR is the first thing I check when I wake up in the morning, which trumps the fact that I'm closing my business that I've had for 30 years. Your fortitude and your come what may attitude keeps me alive.
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Old 07-03-2009, 03:31 AM   #859
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Methinks "shortclone" has another persona and possible other agenda.
For a 'noob' he sure knows his ADV ...

Don't take the snideness to heart Nate & good luck in a swift
safe passage thru Pak.

Remember to pack oxygen for Dot on the KKH!
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:20 AM   #860
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Phew it’s hot here today.

Got up early, had breakfast with a couple of Canadian girls who arrived last night and then went off to the Chinese embassy to hand my forms in. I got a tuk tuk there and of like any other trip the, we guy tried to rip me off. He started at 80R, that was too high, I said 50, He said 60, I agreed and off we went.

China visa sorted.

But this little tuk tuk episode ties in nicely with an email I received from an Indian guy today. He’d seen the videos posted previously and wasn’t very happy with what I’d said about his country. I watched it back. I agreed. ‘Nuke them all’, was a bit harsh.

I hope here to explain my comments and also, more importantly to apologise.

I suppose it’s hard to comprehend for anyone who’s not paid the place a visit but at every turn, on every Delhi corner someone will try and trick, cheat or lie to you. That’s just how it is and you can’t escape that reality, as much as it might make a Indian reader blush. At times it’s a loathsome place with you left wondering how can so many people treat you with so little respect and dignity. You’re a target to exploit, not a person. Then you see them doing it to each other and you sort of understand.

Take my queuing incident the other week when I got in a verbal scrap with a chap who tried barging me out of the way. It was incredible. It was like a line of animals trying to get to a tray of meat. No manners, no courtesy, no decency. Then there’s the masseuse of Varanasi with his 20R massage he suddenly wants 250R for. More recently a guy at the train station dressed official attempted to get us in a tuk tuk and lead us to a random place far away from where the tickets are kept.

It’s a scam, just like the shit on the shoe ’I’ll clean it off mister,’ or the fake gems to carry home, or the houseboats in Kashmir that don’t exist, or if they do exist double up as hostage cells where people like my ex-girlfriend are given no choice but to pay extortionate 'release' fees or be abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

Even the water you buy is tampered with a drill hole in the bottom for God knows what reason. You can’t disguise all that. It happens to everyone who travels here. Every night in our backpacker hotels we sit and download the tricks that have been pulled on us that day. We laugh, but sometimes we cry.

Same as when I’m riding I can’t ignore that people will drive at me head on giving me the ultimatum of moving or dying. I will never understand that mentality. It was a little like that in Indonesia but there they drove with skill and grace, not a finger permanently on the horn and a prayer to the almighty. In Indonesia you got used to it, but here you’re in constant anticipation of an explosion going off in your underpants as a lorry skittles you into the afterlife. It’s not nice. You can’t disguise that.

Switch on the TV and you also struggle to swallow the total over reaction towards the recent attacks on Indians in Australia. A systematic and coordinated attack on their students abroad is how they see it, not realising the guys doing the thumping couldn’t tell an Indian from a Pakistani from a Sri Lankan. They just see a small coloured fella and take his money and give him some fist. Kevin Rudd was bang on when he said it was just the ugly face of urban life. It happens everywhere, even to white tourists in India, so it was quite an eye-opener to see Australians so quickly all painted as rascist. You can’t disguise that.

Then there’s the man in the local shop explained how he needed to vet his daughter’s proposed partner, investigate their parents, take two years before he will give her his blessing. The ultimate family man you might think. Then he tells me how tight the pussies of the Thai prostitutes are that he goes there to ‘fuck.’ He curses western culture and our fragmentation of our families and will not accept the flaws that go with his own, not realising the person he’s telling this too is sat there thinking he’s a prick. You can’t disguise that.

But I think that’s the difference, in the west we’re openly critical - sometimes overly - of our methods and mentality of our past. We’re reflexive, examining ourselves and asking constantly I am doing this right, should I have done that, do I need to apologise, give someone a hug and back down. Just like the British have (overly) done with its colonial past. In India and the rest of the countries I’ve passed through however, there’s been much more blind nationalistic pride on display. They never critique their own culture, never accept their wrong-doings or faults of their present of their past. Just insist it’s the best way. Maybe we need more of that in our own countries, I don't know.

Blend all these recent experiences with five hours on a motorbike in the scorching sun and there you have my justification for what was a completely irrational and outrageous rant in the best tradition of all improv rants.

While the points mentioned above will never sit at ease in my stomach, I do not hate the country or its people, and I am sorry if my videos have caused offence. I certainly didn’t intend for that but can see how it has happened. I just sometimes get frustrated by it all and go too far. As I may have done now. So to all Indians and anyone else offended by that video I am genuinely, whole-heartedly sorry.

But just as I’m now holding my hands up and saying fair point, apology needed, I do think India and its people needs to accept the country doesn’t always treat its guests as well as it could, leaving many tourists with a bitter taste in their mouths as to just how badly they‘ve been treated and tricked. Because the truth is it can be a hostile, rude, arrogant and treacherous nightmare of a place, and I would like to think my countrymen would treat a guest better than I have been treated here.

But when the dust settles I don’t hate the country or the people at all. Instead I respect very much their hard work and determination to succeed in a country still lacking some of the modern infrastructure we take for granted in the west, and can, if I’m honest, understand why sometimes this tricking shit happens. Locals see us with money - often too much of it - they have far less and need more to survive. It’s only natural then that they would employ dubious tactics to get a little extra of ours.

As my Sikh tuk tuk driver said today, ’you can’t blame us for trying.’ I had to agree. I don’t blame him, but at the same time he can’t blame me for being pissed off when he tries.

So there you go, another apology from the Postman. Guys, I'm sorry. I love you really.

…. As a follow up to this, I don’t know if other ride reports get the occasional negative comments like I do - some justified like this one on India, others like the man with his knickers in his twist about visas not so - but there’s no way I’m ever going to drop the honesty and openess that perhaps flames the criticism in the first place. So if you have a serious point to make then please make it constructively, like this chap did today. I respect and appreciate that.

But if you’re complaining for no other reason than to start an arguement or shoot me down then piss off and bother someone else.

I don't want to be showered with glory and sometimes get quite embarassed by some of the praise cause' at the end of the day I'm just a regular chap riding his bike between two points. But neither do I enjoy the unneccessary questioning of a trip I've given everything last penny and ounce of effort to. Especially by people who dare not do the same.

Shit, was that another rant? I've got to start breathing more.

nathanthepostman screwed with this post 07-03-2009 at 04:45 AM
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:46 AM   #861
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It works

Just to let those who've stuffed a fiver in Dot's back pocket that it all went though okay. No problem.

Thanks again guys.
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:48 AM   #862
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"
…. As a follow up to this, I don’t know if other ride reports get the occasional negative comments like I do - some justified like this one on India, others like the man with his knickers in his twist about visas not so - but there’s no way I’m ever going to drop the honesty and openess that perhaps flames the criticism in the first place. So if you have a serious point to make then please make it constructively, like this chap did today. I respect and appreciate that.

But if you’re complaining for no other reason than to start an arguement or shoot me down then piss off and bother someone else."

Nate, VERY well said. Visitors to another culture are not cash cows to be milked. One of the reasons I have no desire to see India (that, and the fact I worked with Indian engineers in a factory, who treated me as if I were employed there to serve them )
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:59 AM   #863
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I hear what you're saying Upweekis, but I probably ought to just clarify that the last para was directed more at those picking holes at my insubstantial plans and not the fella who very rightly brought to my attention an issue he had with my critique of India in the videos.
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:59 AM   #864
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Nate?
Just look at this way, you are in a very big city yes? Is it a 'City' thing do you think?

In my limited travels over the years, i've always found that City folk can be kind and generous but, as a rule, not as often or to as great an extent as country folk who, lets face it, just have more time to kind and generous with. The exception being the States where anyone I ever interacted with was helpful and polite to a fault, be it in Sacramento or Arbuckle, Eureka or Flagstaff, Naples or Daytona, I dunno why..


The rat-race (in any country) changes the way people behave, and not always for the good..

Just think of the difference between London folk and Folk in Dales or The Highlands of Scotland. Chalk and Cheese..

Ride on and safe matey, Both you and Dot will be right, for sure..
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damoace screwed with this post 07-03-2009 at 05:10 AM
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:05 AM   #865
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Shortclone: You've done too much crapping in this thread, read the posted rules in Ride Reports.. Your comments have been punted to the thread graveyard. The simple rule in Ride Reports is if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it, or take it to PM.


Nate: having traveled in the Third World extensively, I'm sure you realize by now that no matter how poor you think you are, the locals view all westerners as a walking ATM machine and all trickery and scams are fair game to extract dollars from you.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:11 AM   #866
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Managed to cancel my donation and resubmit with the 121 e mail addy. Just keep saying it like it is Nathan!
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:17 AM   #867
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Shortclone: You've done too much crapping in this thread, read the posted rules in Ride Reports.. Your comments have been punted to the thread graveyard. The simple rule in Ride Reports is if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it, or take it to PM.


Nate: having traveled in the Third World extensively, I'm sure you realize by now that no matter how poor you think you are, the locals view all westerners as a walking ATM machine and all trickery and scams are fair game to extract dollars from you.
I get it . honest straight talk to help this kid avoid some potentially perilous pitfalls Is not okay ?
Hmmmm. Good luck Nate . I just dont want to see you martyred to the cause by guys who encourage a careless attitude in a dangerous country .
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:19 AM   #868
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It's a good point Damoace, and perhaps an accurate one. That's why I apologised for my comments and accept they're not universally applicable.

I think the point is when travelling your opinion on a place is governed by the most microscopic of interactions with the people and the place. For each traveller the intersections are different and you can only base you judgement on those you've encountered. This of course means your impressions are sometimes skewed depending on whether you've had good experiences or bad.

Meet different people and sure, your opinion is different.

But I want to move beyond the whole 'impressions of India' thing. I said some things in the video that were too harsh and have tried to justfiy the more moderate points with examples of these interactions. I'm now sat in my local internet cafe having a laugh and a chat with the local guys. If I recorded a video now it would be much more positive.

So please, accept that I say some things on video I don't always mean and to debate further how they the thoughts and words came about is to just keep pouring sour cream on one of the lower points of the thread.

Can we just move on as I'm not too proud that someone's been offended by one of my vids. Ta.
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:28 AM   #869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortclone
I get it . honest straight talk to help this kid avoid some potentially perilous pitfalls Is not okay ?
.
Your words of wisdom are best sent by PM to avoid a shitstorm in Ride Reports from Nate's "defenders". This is Nate's report; his perception is his reality. That's what's great about the Ride Reports forum.. someone else will ride through the same area and have a totally different perspective. But keyboard roosting gets out of hand very quickly and then we are called in to clean up and issue time outs to the offenders.

Now back to Nate's adventures... (Enjoyed those Rishikesh vidoes! )
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:38 AM   #870
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As always, either negative or positive; comments do not explain the entire truth behind an incident. Your words are your own and i'm sure they've been chosen thoughtfully. As a resident of this city, i may not agree with everything you have said but i respect that you are saying the truth.

Keep going my friend.
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