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Old 02-22-2013, 04:27 AM   #3991
ROD CURRIE
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Day 70-later

The day at last warmed up and I could push on harder.
Since Irkutsk I'd had no phone coverage. At Alzamay I'd picked up a text from my service provider which said " we notice you're making calls from outside the UK (No shit Sherlock-I've been out here 6 weeks) and would like you to call us within the next 12 hours to confirm your phone hasn't been stolen"
I picked up the message well after the 12 hour deadline had passed and I now had no service wherever I went.
Surely they haven't cut me off?...I'm 5 thousand plus feckin' miles from home and no way of letting them know I'm still alive.

It was now important that I get to a motel with wi-fi, but out in the boonies no one would realistically invest to lay a 400 mile cable for one connection and none of the motels I passed had wi-fi advertised, available (I asked) or satellite dishes to pick up from the ether. Problem.


I stopped for lunch in a pretty motel by a small lake with diving board, fishing jetties and little boats.
The staff were great and the food excellent. I'm just not sure if the other clients relished having someone who hadn't shaved for a week and smelled like a dogs arse next to their table, but hey....watchagonnado?

During the afternoon-it was now baking hot- I came on a huge tailback of traffic, running for 4 or 5 miles. I scooted along the roadside and got to the front. One of these 60 -70 footer semi-trailer trucks was lying on its side fully across the road and smashed to pieces. Some cops and an ambulance crew were trying to get the driver out of the cab. I think it 's been one of those "asleep at the wheel" incidents but I don't hold out much hope for the guy.

Ever opportunist....The Powleece had set up a radar trap just a few miles down the road to snag the motorists when they got round the accident in case they were trying to make some lost time up. No, they didn't get me.
They actually didn't get me anywhere which given their omnipresence on the entry and exit to every town, and many points in between is surprising.

In the early evening I was looking for somewhere to stay when I spotted a couple of motos up ahead. I goosed up the old girl and drew level with the guy at the back-he nearly jumped out of his skin. It was a group of Poles (of course it was-it's always Poles) on ADV-ed up thumpers. I'd just got past them when I spotted a Motel (and cafe as the sign says..this is better than a correspondence course-I may start charging soon) and peeled off to check it out. I hoped they'd follow me in and chat but they maybe had time pushing them and they pressed on.



I approached the desk and asked the very pretty lady the " G " question. "Da!" and she showed me a lovely bright modern room with an ensuite bathroom where stuff worked . Hurrah!...and a bright clean resto that sells beer. . I then asked if I could use the phone to dial the UK. With some language difficulty I realised that I couldn't dial international from here- only local, so I asked if I could use her own mobile and I'd pay whatever it cost. She was wonderful and after some lack of understanding said I could. I called home and let my wife know I was still alive-what a weight off my mind. I also told her to tell the arsehole phone company (O2 by the way) to get my feckin' service restored. More on this later.

I thanked the girl and gave her £20 -about 30 bucks and God bless her she tried to refuse but I was having none of it, from where I sat it was a bargain for the peace of mind.

I had a shower, a meal of proportions that would have choked a pig, a beer or three and went back to sleep like a man coshed.

Todays mileage was again over 900Kms-about 550 miles and took me nearly to Omsk from outside Kemerovo. At this rate I'd have enough time to snag a day off in Ekaterinburg, which I'd heard is beautiful, historic and is where Czar Nicholas and family were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1917.

ROD CURRIE screwed with this post 02-22-2013 at 08:53 AM
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:45 AM   #3992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravo View Post
Now, there's a whole world of possible differences here :)

There are Pyshki and Poncheekee - these are supposed to be the equivalents of doughnuts, however, say, in St.Petersburg the first is the ball-type (possibly with a filling) and the second one is the deep-fried toroid, optionally topped by some sugar powder. In Moscow, the reverse is generally true. Both types are never savoury though, always sweet.

Then there are endless varieties of pirozhki (which literally means "little pie") - made with plain, pastry or sour dough, savoury or sweet, open or closed, mostly baked. There is a deep-fried subclass of savoury ones, usually with a lump of shredded mystery meat inside, called belyash; kind of a mini-cheburek if you like. Big ones can actually be called chebureki, or khychin, in places.

And of course there are national varieties - pozy in Buryatiya, echpochmaki in Tatarstan and Bashkiria, etc and so on.
(same with pelmyeni - khinkali in Georgia, manty in Turkic and Central Asian territories, varyeniki in the Ukraine, etc)
Mario/Mbravo/All. Thanks for this. It is "Pirozhki" I'm looking for I think...but the belyash fits the description better.

I think the example I had wasn't necessarily the best representative of the type.

I'd better go back and check the rest out
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:57 AM   #3993
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Just reminisce about belyashi - it was popular student food (when I was one, mid-80s, still Leningrad back then) - it had SOME meat inside and cost just 10 kopecks. There was a caveat though - you better bought these things in the morning; the people who churned out batches and batches of the stuff changed the frying oil once a day (if that ) so the evening pies were effectively deep-fried in varnish, and once exposed to the air while lying on the trays, hardened to a letter-opener quality.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:14 AM   #3994
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Desert conditions prevailed at the end of July



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Old 02-22-2013, 05:18 AM   #3995
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Ahhh Motoreiter...as a Russian you probably see it that way, as it's familiar to you and you've maybe done the journey a number of times?
Actually, as TonyP hinted, I'm American, I just live in Moscow. And I've only done the stretch between Irkutsk and European Russia once, and that frankly that was enough for me.

However, I've ridden quite a lot around Russia and enjoy it, but riding all the way across the whole of Siberia gets rather tedious. I like the regional cities, however, so try to stay in them when possible.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:18 AM   #3996
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Russian junk food ... heres a good topic

Belyashi vs Pirozhki s myasom ... Whats the difference. Seems the same meat. Same dough. Same fryer. Only the shape is different. The pirozhuk is elongated, while the belyash is circular.

I remember asking a Russian once while I stood at a zakusochnaya trying to make my choice. He shrugged his shoulders and said I think you get more meat and less dough in a belyash? He definitely wasnt sure. Maybe he was trying to justify himself, since he went ahead and bought a few belyashi.

Whats your take on that debate mbravo? If you were at a zakusochnaya somewhere and had a choice of belyashi or pirozhki s myasom, what would you choose, and why?

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Old 02-22-2013, 06:37 AM   #3997
ROD CURRIE
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Originally Posted by BIKE-R View Post
Desert conditions prevailed at the end of July

Hey Bike-R
I was there 27th..

you weren't one of the guys I passed just before the motel were you? I noticed a POL sticker on one of the bikes but didn't see another.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:47 AM   #3998
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Hey Bike-R
I was there 27th..

you weren't one of the guys I passed just before the motel were you? I noticed a POL sticker on one of the bikes but didn't see another.
We were there on 19th of july.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:38 AM   #3999
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For us that may be what is more meaningful than a new Audi.
Speak for yourself

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Originally Posted by Colebatch
India is a decade or two behind China in economic development and yet they do embrace the adventure motorcycling concept.
Yup. Have you read Gaurav Jani's journals or watched his films? Great stuff. And he's a super nice and humble guy.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:43 AM   #4000
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Note the "Go-Faster" flames on the side of the Lada. This is the same vehicle Prutster mentioned us having seen in a cop-bad guy chase with both cars revving to valve bounce and going about 40mph. I think the flames are aspirational rather than realistic.....

Having grown up in Michigan home of the Motor City I spent a lot of time in the late 50's sticking these kinds of flame decals on everything. Bicycles, model cars etc.....

When I see these pics I wonder what the gearheads in Russia would have done had they had the same freedoms and resources as those of us in the west. There seems to be no shortage of ingenuity given what they had to work with.

Thanks again to all or you for making us aware there is something worthwhile on the other side of the planet.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:11 AM   #4001
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I wonder what the gearheads in Russia would have done had they had the same freedoms and resources as those of us in the west.
Mind you, Russia's got the supposedly largest pile of resources in the world...Still their yearly budget only clicks when oil&gas prices are right. When it doesnt, they just sell more gold, platinium, diamonds or the like...
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:34 AM   #4002
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China ride.

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this is interesting - the question is: why not? also, what about adventure motorcycling in China? there's gotta be some great tracks to be had there, but I've noticed a serious absence of China adventure reports on this forum.

is it a matter of the political climate being restrictive against overland travel, either by Chinese residents or foreigners? something else?
Try this for an entertaining report. Be warned, you have to be very patient with this one if you want to read the whole trip, also there are links to some pretty gruesome videos of mob violence.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=618066
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #4003
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(snipping most...)

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I say deep, because I am often amazed that even in a common western setting there is such a diversity in cultural preferences and ambitions.
as always, Walter, great commentary. you touched upon a few topics that here in the US would be considered "politically incorrect" to discuss, and I think that holds back American understanding of the world, and of ourselves as well.

the US culture in general (what's that I just said about stereotypes) has shifted to such a level of political correctness that it's difficult to have a candid conversation about such basic facts that, on a per capita basis, you'll find more Polish than Chinese ADV riders. so, with the discourse stalled at the gate, we are much more reluctant to explore why this is the case, and therefore such insights as Walter's would be viewed as awfully shocking, and not taken with the value it contains.

and I've succeeded in thoroughly hijacking the thread... moderators, please go ahead and move this discussion to somewhere more relevant - and let's get back to reading about Rod's trip west, and the Norwegian folks' trip east!
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:49 AM   #4004
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Originally Posted by Colebatch View Post
Belyashi vs Pirozhki s myasom ... Whats the difference. Seems the same meat. Same dough. Same fryer. Only the shape is different. The pirozhuk is elongated, while the belyash is circular.

I remember asking a Russian once while I stood at a zakusochnaya trying to make my choice. He shrugged his shoulders and said I think you get more meat and less dough in a belyash? He definitely wasnt sure. Maybe he was trying to justify himself, since he went ahead and bought a few belyashi.

Whats your take on that debate mbravo? If you were at a zakusochnaya somewhere and had a choice of belyashi or pirozhki s myasom, what would you choose, and why?

OK, let's see. There's at least three parts to this problem - theoretical, technical and practical :)

Now, the theory tells us that belyash as such is a Tatar word, and is related to a certain sort of Tatar meat pies. It also tells us that it has to be fried; in Russian, belyash is a pirozhok; it is just one of the many types possible.

Technically, your picture from zakusochnaya is slightly off, exactly because belyashi would be fried, and a generic pirozhok s myasom would be baked - granted, it might be difficult to see under often non-optimal lighting conditions :) I can also tell from experience that belyashi usually have kind of juicier stuffing, while a baked pirozhok would have drier minced meat inside.

Finally, the practical part tells us, iirc, that the proof is in the pudding. That is, I would consider the specimens before me and choose the ones I'd decide are better for me. There is a general preconception that belyash is a "cat-n-dog" pie, relating to the mystery meat status of its stuffing; it also kind of looks greasier and less healthy. But in reality you just take a look, sniff and buy what you like more.

Also, you have to take into account the geography. In Bashkiria or Tatarstan I'd take belyash without thinking twice. In St.Petersburg... I would lean towards pirozhki, but consider the specimens laid out before me, as above.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:06 PM   #4005
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Thumb China is coming...

Quote:
Originally Posted by agentsteel53 View Post
this is interesting - the question is: why not? also, what about adventure motorcycling in China? there's gotta be some great tracks to be had there, but I've noticed a serious absence of China adventure reports on this forum.

is it a matter of the political climate being restrictive against overland travel, either by Chinese residents or foreigners? something else?
I completed 20 days of motorcyling in China back in 2010. I never did any kind of ride report because I didnt think people would be interested?

It is extremely difficult and expensive to do it "legally"... That being said, There are many ways to avoid these kinds of problems with the right assistance. I was fortunate enough to have the right contacts to make this happen and it was an experience I will never forget.

Colebatch is once again accurate on his understanding of cultures in regards to the Chinese. But, a change is very much happeneing in China as we speak in regards to Motorcycling...

I was able to make my journey based on my business involvement in exporting thousands of motos to china over the last 6-7 years. They have very strict regulations on engine size and models allowed to be imported... But the demand and supply is rapidly getting larger. There are lot of politics involved... but a change is happening I can assure you the next 10+ years will show a lot more motorcycling in China.

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