Saturday, February 05, 2005

on camels and wind.....

camels fart. alot. quite stinky, really. sometimes their tails stand out straight behind them and kind of flap in the wind when they fart. they walk single file so the person behind them is not spared the full effect of this. they also make deep loud strange chewbacca noises and blow raspberries and spit up white and green froth, especially when they're flirting. nonetheless i like them. so do lots of birds that like to climb on them and eat their bugs, dung beetles that come out at night and roll away their poops, and more little birds and chipmunks that scurry out of sparse desert chapparal to steal more poops and run back into the bushes with it. in the morning, on a desert safari, as a man in a turban and handsome white mustache makes some tea to share with you, you can admire all the tracks in the sand of the various creatures that visited you and your camels overnight. there are also tracks and bird poo all over your camel. then, after some eggs or porridge and reloading of blankets, camel food, saddles, etc., you climb back on (ignoring the bruised spots from the day before), the camel stands up (and up and up, they're really big), and you ride off across the desert in a motion not unlike a slow motion mechanical bull. you sit and rock and drink water and pull your scarf across your face to block the sun and watch birds and goats and other camels sometimes, or rocks and sand and scrub other times, or silently in your head prove and disprove the existence of god and souls other times, question your culture and your response to other cultures and then decide that you're thinking too much, wonder about the shapes and colors of the rocks beneath the camels big strangely spongy paddle feet..... i'm pretty sure we went through a broken coral garden with fossilized shellfish at one point...... sometimes you go through a village and play with the kids and admire the puppies and baby goats they show you.... sometimes you stop and sit and chat or be silent with the camel driver......
all in all it's pretty cool. then you come back to the smallish town you left from 4 days earlier and it seems loud and busy even though you've been living in one of the most crowded and noisy cities in the world up 'til last week, and you realize how your pace has slowed with the slow camels and quiet, smiling driver (you don't usually think much about the existence of souls, for instance) and you feel grateful and happy that you went on your desert safari and cleansed a bit of your inner space of mumbai madness but your butt hurts and you smell worse than the camels and you go to a hotel for a shower and move on to the next adventure.


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