Monday, February 28, 2011

The Process of Planning

It's probably no suprise that a trip of the magnitude of our little journey to India requires a fair amount of planning. Planning is Important. Planning is the difference between returning home flushed with success, a trip worth taking taken well, and spending three weeks in jail because you don't have a visa.

The problem here is that neither Rob the Racist nor I are the planning type. You know the type - hyper-organised, everything managed down to the nearest second etc etc. Boring and predictable. Micro-management. More accurately, neither Rob nor I like planning and we're rubbish at it. We're more likely to spend the trip in Tihar prison in Delhi (one of the largest, most overcrowded prisons in the world but one that does have a website) glaring at one another and loudly and exasperatedly proclaiming "You said you were going to sort out the visa!".

That is, until we hit upon a solution to our fatalistic attack of the casual. We realised, drumroll please, that you cannot plan if you are hungry or thirsty. Ergo, planning should be done over food and drink or, more accurately, over beer and pizza. Problem solved. Planning sessions have now become twice weekly occurrences planned, ironically, well in advance. We are now, or should be, the best planned expedition on the planet. Space shuttles have been launched with less time spent "planning".

The real problem with this approach is not our magpie-like ability to be distracted by pretty much anything, but instead the fact that we do really try to plan things. We spend the first hour of the evening (approximately three beers worth) discussing things like gear, routes and bike rental. We then spend the next three hours talking about interesting things like climbing and girls. Three hours equates to about five or six beers, which means that we tend to forget whatever we spent planning.

The upside of this is that we have to have another planning session to discuss what we have forgotten. As you can imagine, we're starting to relish this planning malarkey.

The outcome of three "planning" sessions this weekend is that we now have roles. Rob is to be head motorcyclist-ist and he-who-knows-how-to-repair-motorcycles. Seeing as he is actually a motorcyclist-ist, that should be fine, except there's a slightly worrying look of uncertainty, like a poodle being shown a card trick, every time I mention that he's probably going to have to do things like repair a bike or fix a flat tire. My role, and one that I am suitably qualified for, is, basically, to look impressed at all the motorcyclism, pretend to know what they're talking about and try not to die*. And, if I manage to do all of those, I will be rewarded with the privilege of editing the written output of the trip and being blamed for no-one being willing to publish it.

I'll do my best not to mess that up then, shall I?

* I've spent 31 years trying not to die, so I guess I'm qualified.

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