At some point in your life, if you’re anything like me, you are sure to come to the realization that everything in Existence falls into one of two categories: things that you can punch in the face, and things that you cannot punch in the face. You can punch a squirrel, or a politician, or a banana tree; but you can’t punch the economy, an annoying sound, or a system of government. It is with this in mind that we must choose the nature of our battles, and you can be sure that it is from this dichotomy that I judge pathways of conflict resolution in virtually all situations.
You can dry your socks more quickly by wearing them and sitting on your feet. This utilizes the body heat of both foot and ass, working together, to dry your socks. You probably won’t find yourself using this method until you are completely out of dry socks. As is so often the case with this little Sherpa.
I was in Le Kef, Tunisia; I’d packed light for the short trip, and it was much colder and wetter than I’d planned for. It was cold enough that I was simply wearing everything I’d brought, and the little raincloud1 that’s been following me for the majority of the year made sure that my feet were wet for almost three days.
It was not a short trip back to Tunis, and I was still quite wet when I intercepted my friend, who needed some help bringing materials to her office.
Somehow, within an hour, I found myself sitting next to her in the back seat of a taxi on my way to the police station. The cabbie was in handcuffs in the passenger’s seat, and a man with a gun claiming to be a cop was at the wheel. My friend, a little confused. Myself, more than a little frustrated.
I was tired and hungry and had a bloody nose. I was still damp from my previous trip, and I was still wearing really wet socks.
On Saturday I ate half a pound of peanuts. On Sunday I did the same. This food was supplemented by the complimentary breakfast that came with my hostel1; along with a Lindor Chocolate2 on Saturday and two apples on Sunday. On Sunday evening I walked back to my bed in the cold and rain, as I have done so very many times in this humble little lifetime. I decided the situation warranted additional calories, and so purchased a hunk of nice rye bread. I was prepared to eat it plain, but previous travellers had left butter and chocolate spread in the fridge. That, along with free herbal tea at the hostel allowed me to eat like a king without squandering resources like one.
My pants and sandals are falling apart. You may or may not be aware that I take great satisfaction in repairing things, and while I don’t claim to be good at it, I am usually good enough. And ‘good enough is perfect’ as they say, so by this philosophy you could argue that I am a perfect repairman, despite sucking.
I am in a car, in Tunisia, on my way to do a hike, in which we will walk along a mountain pass with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and the lake below. For some reason, instead of stopping for lunch on the sunny flat trail with a view, the organizers will choose to hike into the brush and set up our picnic on sloping damp ground, where the canopy will drop foliage into our food, block the sun, and obscure the view. We will be sitting next to a (supposedly) dead grenade from the French war.
My friend, who has been in search of a natural purple dye for the past two weeks, will sit in fallen wild olives and find her pants stained purple — but in her grief over her damaged pants, she will not realize that this is exactly what she wanted. When she laments over the possibility that it will stain, I, not realizing that she had failed to appreciate the significance of the event, will say “I hope so,” and will look like a pretty big jerk until she realizes that if it does stain then the dye will function exactly as required (but the pants will certainly be ruined. Or, at least, purple).
Before these events will come to pass, however, we will stop and ask for directions on how to get to the view that we will not enjoy under the sun that will not shine on us. I am left alone in the car with a cute Tunisian girl who had, in the past, demonstrated (perhaps inexplicably) some romantic interest in me. After the last door closes, she turns to me and says. . .
She turns to me and she says:
“Did you bring your penis?”
“I’m glad you don’t have a garden, because you would make the flowers sad.”
I actually said this, once, to a girl I knew. I don’t remember why exactly I said it, but I do remember that I believed it to be true, and that I really meant it. She took it surprisingly well, and neglected to restate her well-established aspiration to put sand in my mouth while I slept.
Little did I know that in a few short months her boyfriend and I would be dragging a frozen carcass through a remote mountain in Spain, in an effort to bury it.
“A lovely hostel. 8 dinar/night. Secure, and centrally located. Checkout is at noon but sometimes the owner will barge into your room at 9am, take your mattress, put a new crappier one in its place, and assure you that you can go back to sleep.” This is the review that Donna Wheeler failed to write for my hostel in Nabeul.
And let me give you a piece of advice for dealing with me: if you want to stay on my good side, do not wake me up with a loud knock on the door, shove your way into my room with two other people, assure me that ‘this will only take 30 seconds,” take my mattress, explain it’s necessary because there’s a truck outside, and then appear very confused as to why I’m pissed. (“But the truck is outside!”) It will not help your case if you are an idiot that talks too slow and fails to pronounce your words in any meaningful way.