Not everybody we meet on the
road is happy to see us. When this is the case, the most we
can hope for is that the person will be indifferent to our
presence. Sometimes however this is not the case.
Three times over this trip we have had to result to physical force
to protect ourselves or our property. All three times have
been with drunks.
starting the trip, we certainly had to prepare ourselves for this
eventuality due to some of the types of regions that we are going
People are not always so pleased to see
Though not shying away from
this fact, it is not a thought that is relished due to the fact
that we have not been in such a position for many a year.
opportunity to destroy this record of good behavior came
unfortunately in a town called Oos-tatar about 500km east of
Yakutsk in the Russian far
east. Woken from my sleep two dark figures framed the
doorway of my room. Smelling of liquor the two had obviously
been drinking - a fact that became more apparent when one of the
men stumbled over and grabbed my arm roughly, whilst spaying me
with seemingly aggressive Russian verbiage.
understanding a single thing that was being said I feigned still
being asleep and tried to ignore them. Undeterred, our
inebriated friend continued to tug at my arm whilst becoming
noticeably more aggressive. Obviously the situation could
not be ignored and the two were helped out of the room
before I could return to slumber.
Mongolia, where in Soctovo a car full of very drunk youths pulled
up to the restaurant we were eating at and invited themselves to
our table. Becoming increasingly belligerent, they followed
us out to our bikes where the largest of the group - a stocky,
tattooed young man - started becoming physical. Again he had
to be dissuaded from doing so which was a point that took a little
while through his drunken haze .
the third incident happened at a gas station on the return to
Ulaan Baatar also in Mongolia. An even larger and formative
man, who was no less drunk than the previous, took it upon himself
to move Matts' bike so he could fill up their truck before Matt
had the chance to do the same. When we objected to this,
fearing damage to our bikes, the situation turned very violent
very fast and also lasted longer than before and it was a while
before it was safe to remove ourselves from the situation.
we have only encountered drunk individuals who have taken it upon
themselves to form a physical connection with us. I am
grateful that this in turn has made the situation easier to deal
with once raised to that level.
We have not
yet encountered that other breed that has mal intent on their mind
without the help of alcohol - something that to me is infinitely
To try to
put this in context however it must be stressed that these
incidents are in a very small minority to the large amounts of
interactions that we have over the course of the trip and not only
could, but does happen through out the world when careful or not.
Also a number of episodes are diffused without becoming
confrontational in such a unrefined way.
But it is a
part of the trip and these are things that we must be prepared for
whilst at the same time hoping that if such an incident would
arise it ends safely