He said, "You sound American," I said, "Alaskan," she said, "Did you send in an absentee ballot?" So I went into my little spiel about how I'm not getting excited about another politician until the metric system is at the top of the platform. You see, I believe the reason the U.S. hasn't adopted the measuring system used by the rest of the world is the same reason that the Cyrillic alphabet was developed. It's an invisible fence to keep citizens from being able to communicate with their neighbors and in turn, the rest of the world. Few Americans hold passports, if they did, they'd travel more, if they traveled more, they'd realize all sorts of things that the people in power don't want them to realize like universal health care is cheaper in the long run, the stuff industry puts in the American food supply is making the populace ill, maybe we shouldn't be attacking that country, etc. When I was guiding, I often challenged guests to come up with a better reason that we still base temperature on the freezing of salt water and the blood of horses. None ever did, can you?
Turns out she's a retired state senator. And they are the rarest of travelers we get; overfed, newlywed, nearly deads. The tri-fecta. Plus they're American. Americans are further down on the list behind Aussies, Brits, French, and Germans as far as volume goes.
Grandpa Patrick told me many times to never get old. By the time he walked with two canes, he said it on a regular basis. I've always thought about it in two ways; body and mind. This couple went and got old. The body breaks down and there isn't a lot one can do about it. But carrying extra pounds doesn't keep one young, that's for sure. So aside from staying in reasonable shape the rest of it's in the mind. Complaining about the size of the pina colada instead of realizing that one shouldn't even ask for one of those in Africa is just one example.
This couple was old. She needed a ladder to get herself(including the carry-on baggage hidden in her stretchy pants) into the front seat of the R-44. I had to do multiple laps around elephants in the middle of floodplains before they spotted the three-ton animals. And they had one camera between them so the chatter over the headset mostly consisted of him saying, "Did you get a picture of that, Cathy?" and her saying that she hadn't. He waved to all the animals he saw. How does one pass the bar exam and think impalas might wave back?
Cathy struggled with the camera. It cracks me up that people stare at the screen on the back of the camera trying to see if they got a good shot in the middle of a scenic flight instead of just taking another picture and deleting the shitty ones later, on the ground.
What started out amusing and quickly turned to annoyance was the way she kept leaning away from the subject instead of adjusting the zoom. I had to explain to her that when she leaned too far, her fat ass fought to push my collective down and that the collective was a fairly important part of the "stay out of the treetops" equation.
Now I'm not quite the jackass with a camera that Cathy is, but I'm not a photographer. That's the main reason I don't constantly post photos, most of mine are deletable. The other reason is that by the time I've fought the heat and concentrated on not losing my composure(puns are fun) I don't often have the extra patience required to upload via African internet.
4 days ago