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Old Aug 9th 2014, 01:15 PM   #11
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I'm getting flashbacks! Alone in a foreign country, language barrier, feeling of impending death... Nothing to do but get horizontal and pass out until you can handle getting some help. Thus is the difference between adventures and vacations...

With apologies to Jerry G.,

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it's Going to Be.

Can't wait to ride along!
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 10:40 AM   #12
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Oh yes--on the last day of Ducati Week I got to see the Scrambler, too:



It was hidden in the bottom storage container. Ducati was taking people through 8 at a time after confiscating phones and cameras, but the head of US Marketing sneaked us in through the back in-between visits. I have to say that I wanted one just looking at it. It fills a spot in a virtually non-existent niche. Something that's fun, doesn't take itself too seriously, and something that's versatile. Ah yes--and cool, too. Adolescent without being unrefined I think hits the nail on the head. A swiss army knife. We shall see....but when I saw it visions of South America and Kazakstan flickered through my head.

I got a picture of it (with permission, but only with the cover on).



A few days later a picture leaked to Asphalt and Rubber. And no it wasn't me. Still pre-production, so the details were rather unfinished, but overall, a pretty cool concept that's going into production.



When it comes out, though, I'm guessing I'll do a cost comparison of Scrambler vs. building a TerraCorsa....

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Old Aug 15th 2014, 10:41 AM   #13
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Since I was in the area and had some free time, I drove out to San Marino, which is, according to Apple GPS, a completely separate country. According to Wiki, it's also the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. Not that you'd know unless you were reading Wikipedia, as it has the same not-quite-first-world way of doing things that don't appear any different than Italy's way of doing things.

But it has a cool fortress that made me wished I brought a crossbow.





This is the stuff of visions of Italy. Real-life Robin Hood shit. As a kid I just wanted to merely put my hand on such a structure to verify that it--and the past history of damsels in distress, poisoned kings and noble battles were, in fact, real. But to actually visit a structure was more akin to traveling 1000 years back in time. It's the kind of experience that makes me want to scrape my knuckles across the surface just to remind myself how real it is.



I stood in the top of that tower, alone, peering for miles over the valleys and ridges and fields and trees imagining all the hundreds and thousands of people who had done the same before me for ten centuries. Ten centuries! And I was there, as last witness standing atop the castle. I'll never forget it. There are rare moments in life when we experience something that expands consciousness into regions we've only previously imagined. This was one of them.










Stunning, just stunning.
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 10:42 AM   #14
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One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is becoming an inhabitant. I hate hotels and I don't ever just want to see the sunny side of a city. I want to see the best and worst (and a lot of the average stuff) that it has to offer. One requirement (other than staying as long as possible) is holding these in my hand:



Keys. My first apt. in Milan was relatively cheap and in a very unromantic part of town.



The first thing you notice about Milan is the graffiti--or rather--the tags.



I thought LA was bad, but 6 vertical feet of the entire city is covered in it. It's what would happen if you taught feral cats how to spell their names AND pee spraypaint. I'm all for graffiti art, but scrawling your name everywhere in your own neighborhood is equivalent to shitting in your pasta bowl. I guess people like the look of their own shit and love even more the taste of it every day.





There were those who knew what they were doing, though:



I was sick. Really sick. Conscious fever dreams during the day and during the night, waking up soaked in sweat. At one point I went to the balcony. I was on the 8th floor if you recall. No, never thought of jumping, but at some point the view turned against me.



That's what the view looked like in 'reality', but to my fevered brain it was a predator waiting to be shot.



Aegri somnia, a sick man's dreams. I'll get into the details later, but this journey for me was to do the things I love, to follow my 'passion', which is more akin to obeying the demands of a corrupt nervous system, but none-the-less, the painting captured a very particular and unfortunate moment right at the beginning.
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 10:43 AM   #15
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wow...Beautiful..Europe cannot be beaten on stuff like that..... Hows the bike???
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 10:49 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Stw View Post
wow...Beautiful..Europe cannot be beaten on stuff like that..... Hows the bike???
Been great. I have that pesky--don't start your bike immediately and the oil light will flash while riding issue. Once Ducati dealers open again I'll have to take it in.

Those early days in Milan had me not leaving my apt. but maybe a handful of times--and for only short durations. The fever was just too much. I was on antibiotics, but they were taking their sweet time. I hit up Dr. J (the one and only, from C2C) said to get Augmentin as soon as possible, what I had was basically useless and infections that spread the way mine was spreading can easily get to your heart or brain. You'd never think a tooth could kill, but I won't be postponing any Dental appointments from now on. A friend from SF with a sis living in Milan got me into a Dentist (Dr. Petrelli), who turned out to be an incredibly wonderful doctor with a wonderful staff. Unfortunately they spoke as much English as I spoke Italian, but even without language rather complicated communication is possible. He didn't even charge me for the exam or X-Ray.





After a visit to the Farmacia, I had what I needed:


I was out of immediate danger at least and ticked the "emergency visit to a doc in a foreign country" box.
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 10:52 AM   #17
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By the time I checked into my third (and last) place in Milan I was feeling normalish.



Cool place, too. Was at one time some sort of storage shed that was turned into a loft apt.





The best part? Milan skies poured down rain every night while cracks of lightning hit so close I could hear the after-fizzles of electricity right after the initial crack. (We're talking zero seconds between light and sound.)

I was in the Navigli neighborhood, which was undeniably the best location in Milan as far as I was concerned.













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Old Aug 15th 2014, 10:55 AM   #18
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[IMG][/IMG]





Though at this time my bike still hadn't arrived, I was enjoying the mobility permitted by curiosity, made possible by health.
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 11:06 AM   #19
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[IMG][/IMG]





Though at this time my bike still hadn't arrived, I was enjoying the mobility permitted by curiosity, made possible by health.
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Old Aug 15th 2014, 11:10 AM   #20
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It's difficult to maneuver around Milan without accidentally seeing the Duomo:



It's huge--and looks so heavy that I expected at any moment the ground to crack and swallow it whole.

I went inside and saw that it was 10 Euros to get in. Fuck that. I leaned over a partition and started snapping shots until one of the staff members kicked me out.



What I wanted to see was on top. On the side of the building there's a small entrance where they let you walk up to the roof. They charged for that, too, but that was an expense I thought had some legitimacy to it.





[IMG][/IMG]



















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