If you missed out, click here for Part 1 of this interview.
Quest: Has your accident stopped you from continuing with motorcycling? Have you gotten right back on the horse, or in this case, motorcycle?
Zuba: Yes it has. I told myself right at the start that I wouldn't think about it until I was in a physically fit state to even contemplate the idea. I figured not thinking about it would stop me from tearing my hair out.
Quest: I'm glad that I could help further develop the psychosis, by bringing it up again.
Zuba: Living with one of the blokes who was riding with me when the accident happened, plus still remaining in contact with my motorcycling mates has meant that it's never far from my mind and I have only had positive dreams about it. It's not something I am committing to right now.
Quest: You seem positive about all of this.
Zuba: If I never ride again then I have some awesome memories to look back upon. I also feel like I may have cashed in a lot of my luck chip in this smash. One shouldn't really 'walk away' from an intimate encounter with a 40 tonne truck wearing nothing but a bit of cow and fibreglass and it's not something I would want to go through again.
Quest: So, you've picked up another hobby--photography. How is that working out of you?
Zuba: Really well, actually. Photography is something I have total creative control over. I bought a digital SLR to learn how to operate a proper camera with the idea of using it as a stepping stone to a medium format film camera, which I bought fairly recently. I'm now looking at courses to further my skills and eventually turn it into a professional gig. The learning process has been a lot of fun and is still continuing. I'm at a point now where I can make judgments on camera settings without using a light meter which I am employing in street photography where those skills are so important in being able to get a shot. I love the unpredictability of street photography and the 'hunting' nature of it.
Quest: Physical/Occupational Therapy- physiotherapy -- how is that going?
S L O W
About 90% of it happens in the first 10% of the time and then it just sort of plateaus out. I'm down to one half day a week now. It's still intense and painful and incredibly tedious. I still struggle with motivation but keep telling myself that it's a necessary part of my road to recovery.
Quest: You seem to live life in the fast lane. Risk-taking seems to be the norm. Am I correct in that assessment? Would I be accurate in saying you have a "need for speed?"
Zuba: Risk taking is definitely part of my life. Not so much for the sake of risk, more for the personal challenge. In reality, you risk things every day. Crossing the road is risky even for the able-bodied. Choosing to walk down a particular side of the street at night can be risky. Some people's ideal of risk can be other people's idea of norm. It comes down to subjective opinions, personal experience, and knowledge. You have to know yourself before you can make a decision involving risk. As for speed, we all get some sort of a buzz out of it don't we? I used to be involved in rallying when I was younger, never as a driver but as a navigator, official, service mechanic. It was a lot of fun but you have to prioritise things in your life.
Since the accident, have you quenched this need?
Zuba: Maybe, but I still get a buzz out of driving a tasty winding road, even if it's within the speed limit. I just don't slow down that much for the corners. More of an exercise in fluidity and feeling the machine work the road. Not everyone can comprehend that, but those who do will slowly nod in understanding.
Before the accident, motorcycles were a big part of your lifestyle. Ass chaps, leather abound... Were you one to wear a helmet? Any other required gear?
Zuba: In Australia helmets are compulsory so yes I did wear one. It saved my head and that little mushy thing inside it. It's quite ironic that 6 months before the smash I won $2000 worth of protective motorbike gear in a competition sponsored by the TAC who are now paying for my medical expenses and income support. I highly rate the use of good quality gear as it can make a huge difference in those times when you actually need it. I don't rate arseless leather chaps. So wrong!!!
Quest: Are the cops/troopers your enemy on the road? Do you avoid the fuzz?
Zuba: Nah, not really. They have a job to do and like anyone else they are people too. Some are complete tools and others not. Luck of the draw really.
Quest: Do you and your motorcycle gang invade nearby towns and villages? Are you a part of any gang?
Zuba: Never been a part of a gang. I've ridden through many towns with my mates though. Does that count? Moomins M.C. is the closest to a gang really and that was only fictional.
Quest: Is there motorcycle etiquette that we as drivers should know about? What about amongst other motorcyclists?
Zuba: Probably the best thing one could do to motorcyclists is to be aware of them. That goes for motorists and pedestrians as both can cause a collision. We tend to look out for big things that can harm us like cars, buses, trucks. Bicycles and motorbikes go unnoticed, especially when you're driving your SUV with your phone glued to your ear. Generally speaking motorcyclists are a friendly bunch who will help each other out. Except for the poser types.
Quest: Now what is this about haggling and Jews and Americans? You mention something about J.A.P.s, Jewish American Princesses, in your June post. You say, "not to sound racist, but...." you go on to make a very bigoted statement. Explain yourself.
Zuba: I looked back at that post and to be quite honest it was a bad segue from one story to another. I don't think it was racist although it may have come off that way. Anyone who knows me will testify that I don't have a racist bone in my body. The reference to 'Jewish Princess' was more about the spoilt nature of the little beastie rather than her cultural / religious background. Let's face it, any western tourist trying to screw a couple of petty cents out of a developing country's street peddler will naturally breed contempt and trying to haggle with a duty free shop sales assistant is just plain conceited. Any bad behaviour by tourists will naturally breed contempt for their country of origin. Ummm, that's about as explanatory as I can get on that one, make up your own mind.
Quest: You even take a swipe at Americans saying that you understand why people would aim 2 planes into the towers?
Zuba: Maybe a bit harsh. Refer to above answer. I do however believe that due to the U.S.A.'s foreign policy over the years it's not a total surprise. One could draw a start line in 1898 when the U.S. declared war with Spain over a false claim that the Spaniards destroyed the U.S. ship Maine, which enabled the U.S. to occupy Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.
"There is no room for any outside influence other than ours in this region. We could not tolerate such a thing without incurring grave risks... Until now Central America has always understood that governments which we recognize and support stay in power, while those which we do not recognize and support fall. It is difficult to see how we can afford to be defeated."
--Undersecretary of State Robert Olds (referring to the establishment of a military academy in Nicaragua in 1929)
Saddam Hussein? One minute he's a friend then the next a foe. I don't blame the people of the U.S. more its governments and lobby groups. Don't even get me started on Baby Bush and his buddies. Did I just dig a deeper hole?
Quest: Yeah, but nothing you haven't dug yourself out of before.
Click here for Part 3.
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Thursday, October 25, 2007
If you missed out, click here for Part 1 of this interview.