Today I headed back out to the Sundarbans and I have to get out before dawn this time. Something to do with……oh blah blah research starts at sunup…..blah blah. Sure. Ok.
Well to get to the boat that is doing research requires…I get onto the river. To do that means I must take a car to the river and then hire a boat to take me to the research boat. Sure. I can do anything…no worries! Get to the port. Oh yeah…..I don’t speak Banlga. F. Hmm. Driver doesn’t speak English. Hmm.
See the bamboo in the background? Jennifer....Meet your friend dock!
I am Circus...I am Circus
Well I am in luck! BC low and behold (and I have no idea how this part evolved in my favor) an English speaking guide was at the hotel next to the river who said he could help. Yay!!! I thought everything was fine. Then……we began our journey. A journey from the comfort of the land…….to the boats that were um….not so much on the land. So……how did this journey go? Well unlike the states, in this region of the globe, instead of a big marina with docks and boat slips for everyone….all the boats are tied to one another and the closest to shore is attached to……well…..a bamboo stick that is supposed to be walked upon to get to the first boat. Yep.
The guide started by looking at me and then asking if I would be ok with this….dock….thing…to apparently walk on. Being all puffy and wanting to look bravado and all…I just sneered and said…..huff…..”yeah……of course!”. Well apparently I did a great job of lying because he took me at face value and off he went ahead of me at lightening speed. Fine…LETS GO! I start off and it is fine at first…..bc at first we are just a foot over the ground and the water…….but as all good “docks” will do…they eventually should bring you I suppose higher off the water to get you to a boat. Higher sucks for Jennifer’s who I think I mentioned before are um….afraid of heights. Shit. So I start to see the end where he is now on boat one. Great! I am going to make it! Then I get to the end. ….PAUSE…..The end which is about 7 feet higher and 2 feet away from then the next step (boat one). Add to this…is a nice layer of dew covering everything. AND…I have a 70 pound backpack on which makes me…tippy usually in the direction I don’t want to go. And in this case…that could be into the river below. Oh dear ..now what?
I look at him and I can also see the fear on his face. Fear that says ….”this American could easily die now…How will ever explain this to the village”.
I summon all courage left (really only a tiny bit saved in my left pinky toe….and it was the kind that well maybe could push me through but would not be without silly squeals and wimpy moans). I decided first…..HAND HIM THE BACKPACK! . YES!…This will help!.... Good! He seems delighted by this first idea also! We are making progress! Granted I am still on the dock. But something new has occurred! We relish this for a moment. But then we both know that more must be done apparently if I am to complete this little mini
adventure. I must now…get to the metal bar covered in dew 7 feet down and 2
feet over. Deep breath. I am circus…..I am circus….CIRCUS IN HELL! No…No
Jennifer!…Calm thoughts……CIRCUS IN HELL!!! Ok. Fine..who needs calm thoughts
And then with one….two ….THREE…