Monday, July 22, 2019

Day 20: Died Laughing. RIP.

March 20: While sitting around in the common area, Ernie shared a disturbing story. He had gone out during the night to poop and returned to his tent putting a bunch of used toilet paper by his tent temporarily when he went off to check out one of the scorpions I had found. But later, when he returned to dispose of it properly, the toilet paper was gone! Maybe the wind blew it somewhere? Maybe an animal dragged it away? So he looked around the tent for it but found nothing. The used toilet paper was simply gone.

Except it wasn't. Tim spoke up and said that he found a pile of used toilet paper next to his tent. Ernie had put the toilet paper in front of Tim's tent rather than his own! We all laughed uproariously, and Tim concluded his story with, "I thought maybe it was a warning or something."

A horse head on your pillow is a warning. A pile of used toilet paper next to your tent.... I'm not sure what that means, but it didn't seem like a warning. But we all laughed about the incident, except perhaps, for Tim, who probably found it less than funny.

"It's easy to get the tents mixed up," I agreed, sharing the story of invading Kicki's tent last night which everyone else got a laugh out of.

Eventually, breakfast was served. We ate and got ready for our day of hiking. The morning was already warm and the day promised to be an especially warm one.

We hiked a short ways down a road, then next to a dry creek bed that looked like it was used as the town's dump. Other hikers joked that I had my work cut out for me picking up all that trash, but I didn't pick up any of it. It was kind of hopeless near the towns and I could fill up a bag of trash in minutes then walk all day with it? No, if the people of the town wanted to clean up their town, they could do it themselves. I preferred picking up the trash out in the wilder areas where there wasn't anyone else around to do it and there wasn't so much of it that it didn't seem hopeless.

Now that my trash bag dealer, Puk, was gone, I had resorted to bugging the support crew--particularly George--for trash bags. So I had a new supplier. But I'd generally wait until the last half of the day to pick up trash so I didn't have to carry it as far, and away from towns where locals couldn't pick up the trash easily (at least if they wanted to).

We left the town, following a quiet, paved road when Helena--who was walking near me--suddenly shouted out, "Bloody Nora!"

I wasn't sure why, not at first, at least, then she shouted out that a bee had gotten into her waist pack and I could hear it buzzing. BUZZ! BUZZ! It sounded like a giant bumblebee, and Helena seemed terrified of it.

She smacked at the pack but the buzzing continued, and she started unclipping it from her waist and holding it out from one end with her fingertips--like a dead skunk hanging by its tail--trying desperately to get it away from her. Qussai, one of the guides, rushed to her aid and grabbed the pack from her. The buzzing continued. I was a little surprised the bee hadn't flown off already. It must have been mad at this point with all the drama being shook around and slapped inside the compartment. Maybe it was injured and unable to fly out anymore?

Qussai set the pack on the ground and the buzzing continued. Bzzz!

Carefully, he started pulling her stuff out the pack. Several of us nearby gathered around to watch. A bunch of papers, maybe a wallet. Snacks and I don't know what all, and the buzzing persisted. Why hasn't that bee flown out already?

Finally, Qussai grabbed something and called out, "I got it!" Crouched over the pack, I couldn't see his hands very well, hidden in the shade cast by the crowd of people around him, but he stretched his arm high into the air and an object suddenly shined in the sunlight: a vibrating toothbrush.

I died laughing. It was so unexpected. The drama, watching the reveal, the vibrating toothbrush in his clenched hand.... I totally lost it laughing so hard. Tears came to my eyes and I had trouble breathing. It was the funniest moment I had all year. Helena said it was a bee. It sounded like a bee. I totally believed it was a giant bee!

This is Helena up ahead. I took this photo just moments before the "bee incident."
First the toilet paper drive-by of Tim's tent, and now this. I wished I had the incident on film! Oh, why hadn't I pulled out my camera and immediately started video taping the "bee attack" from the very beginning?

I couldn't stop laughing for the next ten minutes and continued to giggle about the incident throughout the rest of the day.

The rest of the day was uneventful. In terms of scenery, today had been the worst of the entire hike. Walking through trash-filled ravines, and the last 11 kilometers of the day was along a busy highway into At-Tafila where we checked into the Al-Fares Hotel.

It was an okay hotel--not super fancy, but not a dump either. The bathroom was strangely organized in that you had to walk through the shower to get to the toilet, and when I went to flush the toilet, nothing happened. The tank was empty of water. I opened up the toilet tank to look inside and nudged the float a bit to get the water to fill the tank again and all was well. Then walked back through the shower to exit the bathroom.

Lots and lots of road walk today.

The last 11 kilometers of the day was a road walk along a busy highway! At least there was a wide shoulder to walk on.
A police car drove by, checking us out. *nodding*

Our home for the night!


Anonymous said...

So, when tent camping in a group with identical tents, nobody ties an extra scarf at the 'door' for personalization?

-di and her guy

Ryan said...

There are ways that people personalize their tents. I usually left my trekking pole in front of my tarp to mark it.... but that didn't work in this case! =)

Others would leave their shoes in front, or some other sort of gear.