Friday, February 6, 2009

A Hike with Mike...

So there are a few things you need to know when trekking with Mr. William Michael Thomas in the Indian Himalayas. I will now list them for you in no particular order, other than the fact that each has its own special significance, especially when assigned with the task of "bringing him back safe"; or at all, in my case.

Number 1: Shitting on the side of the trekking path is a goal, not an imposition. Thus, to save face (your own), ensure to recommend a time that will be of least embarrassment to oneself, and that has ample vegetation for wiping, in case toilet paper is forgotten.
Number 2: Speaking other languages that haven't been spoken in a long time or at all (such as Dutch or Hindi), makes for very meaningful conversation. This is especially true when learning or repeating curse words, and discussing in depth issues that you know nothing about, even in your own language.
Number 3: Pretending you are a National Geographic wildlife photographer and disappearing into the forest for an undisclosed amount of time to capture wild Languor monkeys is lots of fun. In so doing, it is crucial to put one's life at risk, even if it means leaving your guardian (me) on the side of the road for 30 minutes, as well as having sticks and fruits thrown down at you by an entire troupe of untamed (and wickedly large) monkeys.
Number 4: Wearing the same socks for 4 days straight is mandatory only if you have been hiking and sweating in them for the entire 4 day period. This way, no wildlife will bother you when you retire to your tent at night, and any humans that are in your presence will silently slip into a "aromatic" coma for the night.
Number 5: It is important to wear only a t-shirt at all times when in the Himalayan Mountains. This serves 3 purposes; first, it shows all others that you are indeed "cold-blooded" as you suggest; second, it reminds others that Canadians are tough, even when it is snowing out and the locals are in scraves and jackets; and third, it allows the t-shirt ample time to dry if you have an excessive sweating condition that causes you to sweat even when no one else does.

These are all important lessons that I learned from Mike at 41oo meters. On our absolutely beautiful hike, I'm still not quite sure which was more difficult; trekking or babysitting?!?!?!
Love Mike and Cory

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