Should you find yourself lost and in need of directions, there is not a great deal of point in asking for any. Even if you speak fluent spanish, (which in noway do I.) you will not understand where on this big beautiful world you are being sent. The same thing goes for asking how long it takes to get somewhere. If you don't believe me, then simply take this test. Ask three separate people the time to a destination. I can assure you that three different answers, ranging from two hours to two days will be given. The best part to this game is when you find yourself on a dirt road and they see your on a bike. The time is sliced at least in half. Now I am not sure the skill level of the riders who commute in Baja and other such places, but I am here to tell you, it is impossible to get to wherever it is in the time which you will be told. I am not trying to imply that my dirt skills are that great, however I did try many times and still am trying, to reach the destination in the allotted time frame given. Even when riding with complete disregard for my bike and personal safety, I could not come in close. Not once have I managed to beat the locals clocks, and to be honest it is really undermining my confidence. Come on! What the hell! The locals I ask are normally on beat up 125cc bikes with no suspension, no breaks and all kinds of shit onboard.
2. BOWEL MOVEMENTS:
You will shit yourself! It may just be that you are going for a surf on a empty beach and you are to lazy to pull your pants down to cop a squat. Maybe it will be your refusal to buy water in single use plastic bottles and you convince yourself that the bucket of water next to a well, is pure glacier water. The chances are, said bucket will do more then refresh your parched palate. Free bucket water for the most part also comes with a free bowel cleanse. But fuck it right? No one likes going to a beautiful place only to find plastic everywhere. Yet answer me this, who does not like craping their pants at a beautiful vista? Now here comes the good news. You have made it to a toilet, taken your time and really enjoyed the dump, only to find? Yep, no paper. First comes the panic, which does not last long, for by this point you have already shat yourself at least half a dozen times, so the thought of a stinking crack is not that bad. But you will be dammed if you let this lack of paper ruin your feeling of joy. So with a swift kick of the cubical door you pull yourself up into a bow legged waddle over to the basin, while trying to act like nothing out of the ordinary is happening, as you stumble passed the two people pissing in the urinal and try to warn the person waiting for the throne, in some of the worst broken spanish ever heard, that there is a distinct lack of papel higienico, you back your ass into the basin for a solid wash down. With a smile from ear to ear. Knowing you are giving tourists a good name.
Now I am not the most efficient person on earth, that title belongs to my dad. I come in a close second. But Latin America is one of the funniest places I have ever seen for efficiency. Lets start with the boarder crossings. Why all the photocopies? By the time you are done at the boarder you pretty much hold enough paper in hand to transcribe war and peace. Would a simple stamp in the passport not do for the bike? But who has ever heard of bureaucracy being simple? So maybe I started with a bad example. This picture may do a better job of expressing how things are done.
But now I think about it this might be high efficiency, why cut the grass back? just paint around it.
4. THE POLICE:
Most are not out to rip you off, it is only the ninety seven, point five percent of them who are. If one should wave you down. You have three options.
1. Stop. Sounds kind of boring right?
2. smile and wave as you go by. Most of the time nothing will happen. As they can not be fussed about much.
3. Stop, take a picture of them, get in a heated augment, tell them to "get fucked!"Twist the throttle and take off in a cloud of dust. This option will make your heart rate go though the roof and may or may not land you in prison. Should you end up in prison, don't panic! The book deal will make the pain of all those long nights with Lil Loco drift away.So that pretty much wraps up what I have learned thus far on the journey though the Americas. Life is great here. Don't trust the prime time news. If I have not been killed yet, I highly doubt that you will. So get of the couch and go experience the world. Or stay on it and wait for my next thrilling update.