Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Let me be the first to tell you, the jungles of Peru are no place for a vacation. It's hot, it rains all the time and there isn't a single Fatburger for miles. Miles. The public transportation system out there is absolutely atrocious; it basically consists of a bunch of people walking together... single file of course because you have to stay behind the guy with the machete who's clearing out the path as you go. As a general rule, I always listen to the guy with the machete.
It's just miles and miles of mountains and wildlife and the occasional Starbucks. All that tramping about at altitude really stokes the ole appetite. But remember, like I said, no Fatburger. Just a tip though: the people out there get really, really mad if you kill something, skin it, cook it and eat it, especially if it's a rare four-fingered yellow tree sloth. They're all like "Hey, there's only four of those left in the wild!" and I'm all "Relax, I couldn't eat that many if I wanted to." Seriously, those things are huge.
So then they're all about the blow-guns with the poison-tipped darts. Yeah, it looked cool in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but unlike the movies, they don't all miss when you're running away.
Actually I hadn't meant to be there for that long at all. I had flown to Lima to pick up my mail-order... I mean my new girlfriend. I didn't pick her out of a catalogue or anything. I totally met her on the internet. The company has a webpage.
So anyways I was wandering around the airport trying to find someone to carry my bags for me, which is really hard in Peru because everyone looks Mexican down there. Societies that don't sort class (and job availability) by race simply make no sense to me.
I walked outside and these three guys offered me a ride by picking me up and throwing me in the back of their SUV. I thought it was weird they didn't even ask where I was going before they started driving. I wanted to complain when they pulled that black cloth bag over my head, but I remembered I was a foreigner in their country and I should try to respect local customs.
That will teach me not to speak up, though, because it turns out I was being kidnapped. Not only that, but the people kidnapping me were totally rude about it. They kept calling me yanqui and spitting on me and everything. So basically it was just like that time I went to Atlanta, only not as humid.
They marched us through the jungle (remember the guy with the machete?) for like an hour with no breaks. The bottled water they gave out was so obviously generic store-brand, I just refused to drink it.
One guy tried to run for it but, like I said, he got he poisoned blow-dart treatment. He didn't die or anything, but he was in a very poor mood the whole rest of the way.
I had a much better plan of escape. I call it Accidentally-Fall-Off-A-Narrow-Mountain-Path-Into-A-Ravine-Without-Dying. In retrospect it wasn't the safest plan ever, but it's nearly blow-gun-dart-proof, as plans go.
To make a long story short, the rest of it is pretty much cliché. Boy regains consciousness. Boy fights off hungry pack of wild Amazon dingoes using only his guile and the .357 he forgot he had tucked in his waistband. Boy seeks shelter in random mountain cave from incessant goddamn rainforest rain. Boy meets "girl", the wild, naked cave-dwelling hermit. Boy clubs naked social pariah over head with rock and drags her back to civilization, keeping her sedated with a complicated cocktail made of local roots, berries and amphibians. Boy teaches girl electrical engineering so she can go get a job to support him and their children. Boy stays home and blogs all day.
In case you haven't guessed by now, everyone, that boy was me.
You wanted to know something about Mrs. Pops, well, there you have it. The story of How We Met. It's unconventional in the romantic-comedy "meet-cute" sort of way. Rest assured that this story, unlike romantic-comedies, will not end with me running after her at an airport so that I can declare my love for her just at the last second before she boards the plane. First of all: gay. Second of all: I have had her name added to the FBI's No Fly List. They'll add any foreigner, no questions asked. She ain't going no-place.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.7