Noilly Prattle: Persian Odyssey: Part X – no direction to go but up

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Persian Odyssey: Part X – no direction to go but up

I was in no mood to take any crap from anyone and my thoughts shifted to the reassuring knife in my back pocket as I fingered it.

Ah yes, about the knife. I mentioned a while back that I did carry one for protection and skinning small animals (kidding)--just in case. I had come close to, if not using it, at least suggesting that it was there--once before. During a misunderstanding in a desert village I moved my hand deliberately toward my back pocket while looking significantly into the eyes of a guy who was being, shall we say, a little pushy. But that's another story. Let's get back to the present potential unpleasantness.

I was still somewhat shaken from being forced off the road and the adrenalin was still pumping when three or four guys, as I said, got out of their car and started walking towards me. Still, three or four to one, with or without a weapon, isn't terrific odds and I didn't know what they had. The fight or flight option was open to me. I decided on the latter and, still helmeted and straddling the bike, I kick started it and let it idle while these gentlemen approached. The sprocket was still not replaced and in a seriously damaged condition, but they didn't know that.

They were not friendly, but not overtly menacing either. They spoke no English and I understood very little of what they were saying, but the tone was not suggestive of a friendly “Hey, nice bike. And what are you doing in these parts?” wayside chat. More like a “Who the f... are you and what the hell are you doing here in my country?” tone. I said something to the effect of “None of your damned business and screw you Jack!” in plain English, kicked the bike into 1st and split in a cloud of dust and gravel. Perhaps I'm over dramatizing a little about the flying gravel, but I kept an eye in the rear view mirror for several miles to be sure I wasn't being followed. I wasn't. Exhalation of enormous relief.

A little later, in Ahwaz, I was unable to find a bike shop that had the right sprocket for my Yamaha. Nevertheless, I had reached the point of no return in my journey. It was about the same distance back to Esfahan no matter which way I went. Figured I might as well go on to Shiraz and Persepolis as planned. Hell, things couldn't get any worse. I would have to lighten the load on the bike (dump a lot of unnecessary shite) and keep the chain tight and well lubricated—and pray.

Ah, sorry, no photos this post; you don't have the presence of mind to take photographs of near-death experiences or less-than-convivial encounters with strangers.

To be continued....


Anonymous said...

"A little later, in Ahwaz, I was ABLE to find a bike shop…" I am hoping you meant to say.

Hey, this is like the old comic books that used to come out in installments!!

Can't wait to find out how our HERO gets out of this…and more photos!?

Noilly Prattle said...

Hope springs eternal, but, nope, I meant UNable. You can't make up stuff like this--well, not entirely. ;-