(IJCH) Mid-life Crises and the Follies of New Expats
Article Snippet: "These fine specimens of mid-life crises can be seen around town replete with their bag of "magic blue pills" and brandishing their latest barely-legal trophy girlfriend."
From the Author:
I am JaiChai.
And if I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you before, I'm delighted to make your acquaintance now.
I invite you to interact with everyone, learn and have as much fun as possible!
For my returning online friends, "It's always great to see you again!"
Before the lock down, an annual batch of newly retired expats would arrive on the shores of my little, quiet city.
We have no stop signs or traffic lights, but surprisingly, maintain a very low per capita number of traffic accidents.
I rarely ride my motorcycle over 60 kph, with most of my trips between 45 to 50 kph.
In their freedom-crazed, nostalgic mindset, most newbies immediately buy the biggest, heaviest and the highest "gazillion cc" motorcycle they can afford - on payments; even if they have little to no riding experience!
A 750+ cc motorcycle is just a "Death Machine" for anyone without years of motorcycle riding under his/her belt.
*From here on out, I will use masculine references to infer all genders.
What's next for our hapless heroes?
They join a freakin' motorcycle club and begin "reinventing themselves" - a.k.a. basically lying their asses off.
I don't suffer fools or any disrespect graciously. If I can't avoid annoying nonsense, I'm the first one to throw the Bull$hit flag.
I've outed dozens of fake military veterans, Special Warfare Operator wannabes and several, pathetic foreigners trying to pass himself off as a "secret agent" of whatever real or fictional Alphabet agency you care to choose.
These fine specimens of mid-life crises can be seen around town replete with their bag of "magic blue pills" and brandishing their latest barely-legal trophy girlfriend.
Back on topic: Monster Bike + Idiot Foreigner = BAD NEWS for anyone in his vicinity.
He will take selfies around his shiny, three-ton machine. His multi-photo session is fast and furious - lest he breach the limits of his max "suck-in-the-gut" breath holding time.
So, what do I consider a well-rounded, experienced motorcycle rider?
A rider that has been exposed to a fair amount of off-road riding and a few cross-country tours on modern major thoroughfares.
Usually, the more prior experience of riding in "the civilized real world", the less anxiety when embarking on the virgin road trip over the primitive, pot-holed, slick and oftentimes, unfinished 2-lane roads perversely called "highways" in Asia.
Once in a blue moon, a rare smart newbie swallows his pride and seeks out instruction from me or my two friends who grew up riding dirt bikes.
At 4 ½ y/o, I had a gas powered, 50cc dirt bike. By the time I was 7 y/o, I was racing in motocross on a schweet Kawasaki 110cc.
Less than a year later, I got a Yamaha 125cc on my 8th birthday. And so on, with other makes and models throughout my life.
You get the picture.
We KNOW bikes.
My friends and I stress all aspects of motorcycle safety.
It's not "if" you crash, but "when" you crash. That's why we insist on wearing helmets and protective clothing.
After the initial "getting to know your new bike's specs and maintenance skeds", the rest of the 3-day course is all about saddle time.
Students see and feel the effects of subtle head movements and body positioning. We explain FLER (Forward Looking Escape Routes). Counter steering is practiced until it is almost instinctual.
And of course, we teach how to correctly right your metal behemoth without getting a hernia "when - not "if" - you dump it.
It's sad to see these freshly retired, footloose and fancy-free rookie riders ending up in the hospital; or worse, dead from fatal MVAs.
If bodily damage is more than your run-of-the-mill road rash (superficial abrasions) , but actually serious injuries, it's time for immediate repatriation!
Because the medical treatment needed isn't covered by their health insurance. Up-front healthcare expenses incurred outside the host country of the insurance provider are rarely reimbursed.
Any hesitation is a big mistake for another big reason.
Even before COVID-19, International Airlines didn't allow unaccompanied, critical care patients as passengers on long, trans-global flights.
Since 2004, four of my expat friends contracted a staph infection which quickly turned into waxy cellulitis (+4 pitting edema). Then came the gangrene and the beginning of sepsis.
They all were prohibited from flying home because of their advanced condition and accelerating deterioration.
One friend died of total body septicemia, one had a below-the-knee (BTK) amputation and one had a double (BTK) amputation, but the prognosis is bleak.
The last one got lucky.
Since his only source of income was his Social Security benefits, he couldn't afford treatment in a hospital.
*I can neither confirm, nor deny that he was treated by a SpecWar Medic.
After an extended course of massive, high-tier, broad spectrum IV antibiotics and a triple regime of oral antibiotics, he managed to fully recover - save for some clumps of gnarly scar tissue and finger deep depressions where necrotic tissue used to be.
*That's one more nail out of my Karmic Coffin.
Anyway, let me finish this gruesome tale with this statement:
"Apparently the size of a man's motorcycle, wallet or ego doesn't mean the idiot knows how to use a clutch or a kickstand!"
"Really Appreciate You Stopping By. Truly hope to see you again!"
And if you liked my post, kindly Upvote, Comment and Follow.
About the Author:
Believing that school was too boring, he dropped out of High School early; only to earn an AA, BS and MBA in less than 4 years much later in life – while working full-time as a Navy/Marine Corps Medic.
In spite of a fear of heights and deep water, he performed high altitude, free-fall parachute jumps and hazardous diving ops in deep, open ocean water.
After 24 years of active duty, he retired in Asia.
Since then, he's been a full-time, single papa and actively pursuing his varied passions (Writing, Disruptive Technology, Computer Science and Cryptocurrency - plus more hobbies too boring or bizarre for most folk).
He lives on an island paradise with his girlfriend, teenage daughter and two dogs.
(JaiChai 1-28-2021. Simultaneous multi-site submissions posted. All rights reserved.)