Another crazy day in the STORM World tour! We are living the day in extremes which actually represents this entire tour. From driving extreme distances, long straight boring roads through an empty desert to the extreme chaos when entering the university.
Today we had to drive 600 km, which is a challenge on itself, but when knowing you have to drive this distance on one straight road (with only 2 curves, the entrance and exit) it is killing! Imagine driving from Eindhoven to Munich in one straight line through the desert without passing a city or seeing anything interesting… Luckily halfway we drove through some mini grand canyon and saw some sand dunes. It was somehow also a special day! Instead of swapping the batteries, we used both motorcycles and switched them during the day. Really good to know that both machines are working properly and can be used anytime. Great job done by our technical guys who fixed the last issues during the night.
With only 100km left a police escort was awaiting us at a toll gate. Two police cars with sirens and flash lights were guiding us through the city and the university. When entering the city our convoy got even bigger since a traditional school bus (even more flashing lights) and a car with camera people hanging out of it joined. They guided us to the university where more than a thousand students were ready for us.
So after a quick dinner, our PR team made themselves ready for a presentation. They entered the cantina and WOW, a crazy amount of people sitting over there. However, nobody was able to speak English… luckily we had our translator with us, making it a bit easier. Everything seemed well organized until the translator suggested to take pictures and it became one big chaos. All the boys and girls running to our team members and started to take selfies and pictures.. feeling like real movie stars, right? Well, it was fun for 5 photos, but after 800 pictures you start running away but they keep tracking you. So there we were, standing outside for a demonstration with the motorcycle when the students could only think about taking pictures with us instead of looking at the bike! Hard to imagine they have almost never seen any foreign people around here, explaining their reaction.
Two hours of photo taking later (and blinded by all the flashes) we could finally have some resting time at our 'luxurious free dormitories'. Meaning 8 people in a small room sleeping on wooden plates, seems to be normal here? .. Hopefully we survive the night since there are a lot of crazy adventures ahead!
Finally, the STORM World tour would not be complete without some bad news (or challenges as we like to call them!). Personally, I was also busy these days trying to arrange some new packaging materials. Due to some logistics problems the container with packaging materials sent from the Netherlands (before departure) is still stuck at sea. The transport company by whom the container is shipped has been declared bankrupt so it is not sure if the packaging container (with motorcycle flight case) will be in time in Shanghai for the plane. Still one and a half week left till we arrive in Shanghai… to be continued.