What follows is not a pretty tale. It is a true story however, sprinkled with a smattering of artistic license. A tale with tail so to speak. A story of sex, drugs and rock and roll…with vomit…and more sex. To sprechen in plain Deutsch, it’s a night on the Reeperbahn. So if par chance you are easily offended, or you are blind to the lifestyle to which I refer or you don’t like this type of story…that is to say, if it’s not your cup of tea, brand of digestive biscuit or type of lemon tart, then… piss off and don’t read it. Seriously, I mean, don’t get half way into the third paragraph, see the hookers, smell the vodka, and then realize it’s filled with the things that offend you. I’m telling you in advance…piss off now you silly git.
Wandering….what a concept! When I dropped out of the rat race in 2013, I sincerely had NO idea where I was headed or what I was doing. I mean, there was a loose plan; but in all honesty, I was flying blind. Now here I sit in the fresh ka ka diaper of 2017, just two days old, and I am still unsure, still navigating with a makeshift plan, a concept, an idea…hell man, I’m still just wandering. As I reflect back over the adventures I’ve had with Mrs. R (my wife,) and Mina (my motorcycle) in 2016, I realize…turning my back on traditional society, thumbing my nose at the North American ideals, embracing the wanderlust, leaping unafraid (seriously scared actually) into the unknown and blazing my own trail was the sanest thing I have ever done…
.. sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain.
Our arrival at Keoladeo National Park aka Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan,was a bit of a kerfuffle…that is to say it got our feathers in a ruffle…rather apropos. The hotel is inside the park and the bird militia stationed at the gate wanted an entry fee, so we could get to our hotel…in the park….and a parking fee….to park, at our hotel…in the park.
It came through a fog, droning, haunting, somehow very familiar, yet completely unknown to me, melodic, dreamy…a sitar, a tabla…in my bedroom? As consciousness came to me, I realized what it was. My alarm. The one I use for gentle awakenings, the awakenings that you know the night before are going to hurt. Like this one, 4:10 am…time to get up; today we are off on another bike adventure.
Just before I start to recount any story about Hamburg, there is a pause, a smile, as I am momentarily lost in my own reminiscence. We were destined for love, Hamburg and I. Long before I ever stepped foot off the train, I knew she would be the girl for me. I thought of Hamburg as a seedy tart, a wild and sinful city, full of reckless abandon. Sex and drugs and rock and roll! Debauchery at its finest, at its most pure, and I was right (Danke Gott). But I was to learn she was so much more. So very, very much more. Hamburg isn’t a tart…she’s a lady.
The first order of business while heading south along Quintana Roo C1, was to gawk at the cruise ships. They truly are a marvel. I’m not a cruise guy myself, but they sure are something to look at. The downside to cruise ships of course, if you’re staying in the vicinity of a port area, is that as soon as they dock and the hordes of cruisers come ashore all lathered in suntan lotion, sporting straw hats and dark sunglasses in Hawaiian shirts and khaki shorts, clicking everything that moves with their Nikons (yep, I’ve been known to don this veneer myself…too often in fact), the prices in all the shops tend to triple.