nedelja, 04. januar 2015

Fear of Farting

A two days rest in Angeles city, bought maps and food and started my hike. The basic plan was to reach the east coast. Climbing the Mt. Pinatubo would be a plus. Day one was a pain in the ass - trying to escape the gravity of the city. It took me more than six hours to leave the last suburban areas and another one to cross the cultivated countryside and finally reach some sort of wilderness to set camp for the first night. I was tired and pissed off, but the next three days were more than perfect. I followed the canyon and when, after two days, I realized it's a dead end - sandy walls impossible to climb - I wasn't too disappointed. I had absolutely no clue where I was, no idea which way could lead me to Pinatubo, but I still felt great. The weather was merciful, cloudy with a gentle breeze, plenty of fresh water for drinking or taking a bath... who needs more? I went back the same way (there was no other) to the first camp and this time from there went to south.

Too soon the wilderness was just a faint memory, the sun was blazing mercilessly and my feet felt like lead weights stomping the hot asphalt. No way. Two jeepney hops and I was in San Felipe at the Circle Hostle on New Year's eve. Just across the hostel there's a store/canteen where i planned to have a few beers before going to sleep, but the owner ruined my plans - he threw a big garden party for anyone who was passing by, with infinite supply of ice cold beer, barbeque, pineapple tuna salad, fried noodles... you name it. Oh, yes, and karaoke. I tried my best to annihilate his beer supplies, but I was really beat. No matter how much I liked the short hike I didn't sleep properly so I was off before midnight and the Armageddon explosives that are here sold as firecrackers made me just turn in my bed. I managed a proper 12 hours sleep.

In the morning I learned that I completely forgot I changed time zones - not that it matters when I'm on the hike, dawn and dusk tell me if it's time to go or time to stop. I stayed at the circle for three days and made some friends between the local kids and teenagers. It all started when one of them approached me, asking for money. I gave him one of my most terrifying pissed-off-teacher looks and told him that if he asks for money one more time I'm gonna kick him so hard he won't be able to take a crap for a week (a curse like that would be more than welcome to me, I was already affected by the liquid fart syndrome). It ended as good start. No more begging, but we talked a lot. We actually improvised a lesson when I was correcting their English and they had great fun because they were allowed to say fuck and shit and I was entertaining them making stupid crazy faces. After that I became the most popular guy in the neighborhood, they learned I'm just a funny harmless drunkard and when I came back two days later even grannies welcomed me with laughter and a loud "Hi, uncle Dag!"

After three days of amazing relax, morning swims in the ocean and evening intoxication with Red Horse, I left back for the mountains - that's what I thought at the time. I was lucky I could rent a locker for 20 pesos at the Circle and I left there my Korean winter clothes and the laptop, my heavy oldtimer. It ended to be a desert hike. I spent basically two days in the dry sandy river bed of Santo Tomaso. Since the only map I could get is a stupid road map and I couldn't figure out the terrain, I was sort of sure that the Mapanuepe lake is located somewhere in the mountains east. As I found out today in the morning, it's located at the foot of the mountains east. But after all the sand it was sure a beautiful thing to see, even more beautiful for jumping in. I'm a selfish bastard - I hope the tourists will never discover it. It would be the ruin of a beautiful place. It was still early and instead of going blindly (again) in the mountains, I took a shortcut through the jungle, going west, back.

At the edge of the jungle I stumbled upon a stupidly amusing monument, but a woman there was having a phone conversation that sent chills down my back. You are free to think I'm making this up - but be aware that reality is practically always more amazing than fiction can be. She had a business conversation about selling her baby. Three months old. But she wanted to sell it in block with the older sibling of two years, which was something the buyer - or the intermediary - wasn't willing to accept. So she was lowering the price. I know it's nothing unusual, maybe even a daily matter, for all that I know. What disgusted me more than the fact of selling her children, she simply didn't care that a dumb foreigner was standing almost near her, taking pictures of Plastic Jesus. And she was talking in English. Now don't think that I despise the poor woman, in a way that disgusts me, I understand her and I don't even think to pity her. I just plain HATE to live in such a world. If anyone thinks that praying for that woman and her kids will work out... yeah, you're fucking disgusting morons.Well, fuck you, Plastic Jesus.

Back at the Circle hostel for my birthday party. I guess I'll spend it having fun with the kids. And with one of them I already have a deal that he'll be my surf instructor. Well well.. me on a surf board.. THAT will be some real fun!

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