6500 Miles


6500 miles.

11 hours ahead of me.

On the shores of the Caspian Sea.

And I get a call, “WTF should I do??”

Oh, FUCK me!

His dilemma, 11 hours ahead of me, was to risk the ferry voyage without a pre-issued visa or not.  People have done it both ways – with and without the issued visa. But the risk is a deportation out of the country, on the $250 ferry ride back out of the country – and another $300-400 for the fine for trying to get into the country without the visa.  The risk overall? $1000 and the need for an alternate plan to get to Asia via car.

When he called, it was 2 am in the morning for him.  He had arrived at the port after a 14-hour ride in 105+ degree weather.  He found out if he bought the ticket, he could be on his way across the sea tomorrow morning.  And that’s a big deal because the ferry doesn’t run on a schedule.  If he misses it tomorrow or wants to visit the embassy for a visa, it could be Monday or Tuesday before the ferry goes again.  Big deal when he has a short window (and visa) to get through another one of the countries.

“What should I do??”

I gave him the low-risk answer.

“But but but but…”

Ok, well what do other teams say.

“No real evidence from this year – but everyone says to not worry about it.”

So, don’t worry about it.

“But but but but…”

Ok, so do it the right way – call about the visa you are worried about – get it arranged, then go.”

“But but but but…”


I have 6500 miles around the world from him.

I’m 11 hours behind him.

I have no real insight as to the technical details of this trip.

What does he want?

Fuck, I even asked – “what do you want from me??  You want a guarantee of something – I am not the one to give you that as this is not my trip.  Seriously, what do you want from me?”

He paused. Then he commented that he was hoping I could google something and find the answers he could not.  But fuck, so I find something that says “go for it” does that mean it is the right answer? No – it’s still his choice. It could still go sideways.

I realized my biggest frustration.  This is not my trip.  The choices and decisions have never been mine. They are all his.  I am back here holding down the fort.  I am back here dealing with my own stress – dealing with (sadly) the stress of others.  I am down here feeling like I should be able to handle all of this shit – but my stomach hates me and sleep is fucked up and I watch the tracking just like everyone else and do my best to keep the fears damned up so I don’t entertain them.

And here I am – doing my best – only to get his stress too.  Stress I don’t need. Stress I don’t want. Stress I cannot handle especially given more own stress.

I finally told him to go to bed.

“It’s almost 3 am – go to bed.  Good decisions are rarely made at 3 am.”

He finally relented.

I had to walk away.

This week, for him, has been hard.

But what he forgets is that seeing people I care about – people I love – go through shit that stresses them out and frustrates them, well, I feel it.  It causes me not to sleep among other things.  So when I have a chance to help, to have him take actions as though he is brushing it aside, well, that’s frustrating on a few more levels.

I don’t know.

I’m 6500 miles away.

There really is nothing I can do.

I cannot read the situation – read the moment – and offer any real advice.

All I can do is watch and react.

And try not to wish for a device that reaches through a computer screen and smacks someone across the head.

Alcohol is good, right?

What do you think?

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