I go through various stages of hope and despair. With the internet, social media, all the information we have available, you would think that people would be more intelligent in 2016, and that society would progress at a rapid rate. But then when I see that people can’t even agree that the government (police) shouldn’t kill it’s own citizens, that sitting down during the national anthem to protest that, calling for equality, creates a hateful backlash, that banning muslim women from covering themselves on beaches is a vital part of a “liberal” western country’s war on terror, and hearing this talk of the “savages” in Africa, and that being the reason for it not being further developed, I sort of lose hope.
I mean if adult people in the rich and educated western world can’t even get past the very basic principles of the value of human life for example, how does one even move on to then understand the basic facts of history and why the world is the way it is?
History is written by the winners, and growing up in the west it’s easy to get the feeling that we are just right and better at everything. Slavery ended a long time ago, get over it. Why hasn’t someone figured it out over there in Africa? Well maybe because anyone who did or tried to has been killed by the west. Yes that might be part of the reason. There are an awful lot of examples where someone comes along and has this radical idea, that hey, you know how our country has all these resources, how about we make sure they benefit our people! We can end the suffering by becoming more independent…Boom, gone, that doesn’t fly in the west, we would lose money. Sorry
In 2003 when I was 19 I saved money, working two jobs during my gap year before university, and went to America for three months. After discovering RC Racing I realised that the coolest tracks were in America, and many of the best drivers too. Something clicked one day and I went from “I wish I could go there” to “I will go there”. It really was as simple as that. I feel like most people never make that connection. For some reason I did and it changed my life. Since then my default way of thinking is “I will”.
I had this tiny Suzuki swift death trap I rented because it was the cheapest car available from “Super Cheap Rental Cars”! Also the only place I could rent a car at 19. It had a cassette player and I recorded the above Sum41 album on a tape, and played it over and over driving mostly to KZ Speedway. Still an awesome album! I just saw Sum41 are finally releasing a new album after years, can’t wait.
Since I listened to that album for 3 months straight, every time I hear it, it brings back great memories. Stuff like:
I stayed at a youth hostel in Huntington Beach. I went to the beach once. I shared a room with a Japanese surfer and a German guy training to become a lifeguard. I wondered what’s that smell in the hallway? Smelled weed for the first time. I met Robban Gus and John Jesus Sandberg on the front porch on the first day at the hostel. I arrived there with Timo Blonde Jesus Jalas. After a couple of weeks of the 4 of us, and another 2 weeks with the 3 after Timo left, I was left alone. We had stayed at motels together, but now I moved back to the hostel. I have never ever felt as lonely as the first morning I woke up and stood in the shower looking out at the sunny weather, thinking I’m in heaven, but I’m all alone. I could have cried, seriously, it was bad for a bit.
I didn’t have a cellphone, or a navigator, just a map, and quarters for payphones. I didn’t call my parents for 2 weeks, and when I met Jukka Steenari the first thing he said to me was call your mother now. She had called him. I’m such an asshole. Luckily the freeways in LA are simple to navigate. I can’t believe all that I did just with a map.
I went to the local library to check my email and post shit on sgrid. I went to Kinkos to print stuff I needed, and get online too, and I met Ralph who worked there, who thought what I was doing was so cool that he would let me do everything for free. Ralph was cool.
I went to the track almost every day, SoCal RC Raceway for 1:10th and KZ or Perris for 1:8th. I met Jimmy Pierce and Notch and they took me racing with them. I wasn’t alone anymore. Yay! I collected racebucks at SoCal by racing 4wd:-) and cleaned the tables and floors at night so I could race for free. I saw the first B4s being tested. I shopped at the 99cent store lol. The biggest burgers at burger king and Mcdonalds were 99 cents too.
Because I was willing to step out of my comfort zone, because I was willing to put in the work, working in a warehouse, and then taking the bus to McDonalds for the night shift there, because I thought “I will” instead of “I wish”, I had 3 of the best months of my life, which kickstarted my journey which has taken me to where I am today. 34 countries visited, my own RC car brand, and worldwide sales.
I still don’t have much, I’m a single 33 year old with no money, living in my parents basement, but I do still have that same determination. That determination will either take me to a lonely grave or unreasonable success. Time will tell which it is. In any case, I will have lived my life, not existed through it.
“Most people are reasonable, that’s why they only do reasonably well” — Paul Arden
This has been the first big road trip for me and first time being abroad without my parents, if not counting Sweden, and it has been pretty amazing. I have gone to the last two Euros with my family with a caravan so the start felt pretty normal going through Sweden except that it was Joseph that I was traveling with not my family. One of the cool things Joseph has is his #rcgypsy style. No nights staying at a hotel only staying with some friends. One big difference to traveling with my family is that me myself and Joseph, we do not like to plan things too far ahead. That is something I really like. You are driving through Italy and you see a really nice town next to the Mediterranean sea and you decide to go there and buy and ice cream and enjoy the view. Or you realize that some friend lives nearby the road you are going and decide to go eat breakfast with them.
The life of a young #rcgypsy
The race in Landshut Germany was my first race without my dad being my mechanic. Luckily some nice German JQ drivers wanted to help me and I got through the finals pretty well. Tomorrow we will drive to Spain after a cool training week in France with the Medjoubi family. They have been really nice and gave us a place to sleep. The week has still been really hard. Wake up early go to sleep late. Whole week wrenching and driving and breaking in my and one of Joseph’s engines. I wanted to get confident for the euros and decided to drive with my base setup and just get as many laps in as possible and as the track was really hard it was really nice to just drive and only think about that, not to try different setups all the time. On Thursday however, I decided to change my car and got it really really good and now I am even more confident for the Euros.
Amazing feast at the Medjoubi family! This week we prepare for the Euros together!
One of the funniest moments of the week was Joseph’s frustration on Monday when he did not get his shit together. He was sitting on the rostrum just looking at his transmitter and then he asked me to go turn his car around. After that I decided to give him a friendly hug every time he looked sad and somehow he got everything sorted out. This trip has also taught me many things about Europe and seeing some new cities and small villages has been pretty cool too. For example in Germany we went to a local beer garden and in Italy we went to get an ice cream by the sea. Today Rayan showed some places here in Toulon and some other places nearby. It has been a great trip and a great experience. Also huge thanks to all the people who have let us stay with them for a night or just a quick visit: Mervyn, Dieter, The Medjoubis and Max Johansson. Also thanks for my pit crew in Landshut and Joseph for letting me go with him even though I hit him every time I see a yellow car. TRANQUILLE!
Oh that glass of watermelon juice that Mrs Medjoubi brought over to test us looked so tasty but wasn’t touched.
Today we decided to take part in Ramadan here at the Medjoubi household. During the Muslim “celebration” I guess of Ramadan, no food, drink or fornication is allowed from sunrise to sunset. Well two of those actually mattered for us. Ramadan lasts for a month, but we aren’t here for a month, but got in the spirit and joined for a day. I think it’s crazy to choose to suffer for your beliefs but to each his own. However, it does make you appreciate the simple pleasure of eating and drinking once the sun goes down. Something many people don’t have regardless of the sun’s position.
We spent the day wrenching and preparing our equipment for the Euros. Tomorrow we take a day off (company work instead) and then Sunday we drive to Spain!
Today we left for the South of France. We drove through Southern Germ…Bavaria, through the model railway looking Swiss scenery, through Italy straight to the Mediterranean Sea. The view along the coast was so amazing that we just had to stop in one of the towns. We pulled off the motorway and drove down to the sea. We were hoping to sample some Italian pasta but 3pm isn’t a good time to get a bite to eat in Italy. We settled for some ice cream in a bun? Ice cream sandwich anyone?
Standing on rocks that went out a way into the sea, looking back at the beaches and people on each side, the playing children in rubber boats, and the idyllic vacation style existence, it just seemed so incredible to think that on the other side of the sea, just 1000km away or so, there are people making life and death decisions.
You know, somehow I think these people aren’t going through all that shit just in order to get some fucking benefits.
People are packing into boats, fleeing war and other forms of shitty existence, and in the last two years, about 500 000 people have arrived to Europe this way. And who knows how many don’t make it. In 2015 in just one month, April, over 1300 people died or went missing trying to make it to Europe. You know, somehow I think these people aren’t going through all that shit just in order to get some fucking benefits. Get real. Would you leave your home if you heard Alaska was offering free housing and a daily free massage? I doubt it.
Amazing feast at the Medjoubi family! This week we prepare for the Euros together!
Today we learned that even though we were pretty confident that we were in Germany, apparently we are in Bavaria. This is very different from Germany we were told. The dialect is different here, and probably the Bavarian sausages too. Bavaria is the place to be if you believe the locals. So far we can’t really complain. Had to do some work in the morning, then visited the local track for a rebuild and shake down for tomorrows race, and then finally took a couple of hours off chilling in the pool. Unfortunately it ended bad for Max who shot me first in the eye, and then in the balls with a water AK-47. The double take out resulted in some serious payback which ended with Max being traded with the local farmer for some sheep and a chicken.
In the evening we went to a Bavarian Beer Garden, for some magnificent Germa….Bavarian meat and potatoes, and of course the local village beer. They know how to enjoy life over here. Looking forward to racing tomorrow!
The Ostbayernring in Osterhofen
Epic full throttle burm at the end on the straight
This was really the first real day. Yesterday we just drove to the boat. Today we got up at 6am when we arrived in Stockholm and drove about 4-5h to Eksjö where our maniac team driver and Swedish JQRacing representative lives, Max Johansson. We had breakfast with him and his grand parents, and headed to his home track. After turning some laps with Max’s car we then continued for another 8h or so through Denmark all the way to northern Germany, where we stopped at Mervyn Mulleräs house. He has his own marketing /graphic design company Marshland Media and is responsible for JQRacing’s team image, and RTR boxes amongst other things. So if you want to look as cool as us, you know who to call! 🙂 Had a BBQ and bullshitted into the night. Now it’s time for some rest. Tomorrow we have another 9h or so to drive, to the south of Germany!
Opel started falling to bits!
This is what Sweden looks like.
#rcgypsy breakfast of champions at the Johanssons!