Friday, June 4, 2010

Desperate Housewives, Big Love and President Obama: Borneo Part Two

So, with my wodka, all was right with the world again. As I stated in my May 31st blog, most of our time was spent doing water safaris.
But on two occasions we went trekking looking for a group doing research for Hutan, an orang-utan conservation project. They have a study area and watch the orang-utans throughtout the day. These folks have got to be dedicated to hang out all day writing down mother turned left, ate leaf, baby clung to mama, mama turned right etc etc... Why? Simple answer. The better they understand their behavior, the better they can help them survive. They provide much needed info to the government of Malaysia, who can then implement programs to help the big apes survive. Alright. On with the story. Read more...
So, we see and talk to the monitoring group and see the mother orang-utan and her baby. Mincho then says, "let's take a little trek and we'll see what we can see." Off we go into the wilds of the Borneo jungle, snakes and poisonous spiders at every turn. Not really. Didn't see a darn thing except a lot of really Lord of the Rings type trees and all kinds of beautiful mushrooms. I was very surprised at how quite it was. I guess any animal or bird around would have been run off by our tromping around.
We're walking for about an hour and then the skies open. A downpour like a hurricane but without the wind. Sheets and sheets of rain. Well, we are not very close to a shelter and there was thunder and lightening
. I don't think, and I think I can speak for my sister as well, that we have moved that fast in years. I'm very surprised none of us fell or tripped on a root. We make it to the shelter but there is no way the boat can pick us up. So, I ask Mincho, I ask, so, you've got three Americans here that like to talk. Ask us any question you want about America. Anything at all. Politics, culture. Well, he says, I saw a video the other day with Pres. and Mrs. Obama at a White House dinner and Pres. Obama had just danced with this very good looking woman. When he came to sit by his wife, she had this very displeased look on her face. Is Pres. Obama going to have an affair with this woman? I thought my sister and I and the lady from the zoo were going to wet our pants laughing. I said, Mincho,
have you ever noticed the "guns" on Mrs. Obama? She'd rip him to shreds if he tried such a thing. Then began our tutoring of Mincho on american slang i.e. calling Michelle's biceps "guns". It turns out that this part of Malaysia, even though it is Muslim, is not as fanatic about their religion as their neighbors, the Indonesians. This Malaysia has US tv programs in english with Malay subtitles. That is how Mincho learned his english. If I thought that moment was priceless, the next was even more so. Come on Mincho. You've got to be curious about something else. Well, yes. Which Desperate Housewife do you like best? I like Brie, he says. It's true it's true it's true. He also watches Big Love and True Blood. Well, there's American culture for you in all its glory. This conversation ended too soon because it was way to hilarious to have end. But the boat arrived, took us back to our lodge, an afternoon nap, dinner and then time for our moonlight water safari...Up next: Plastic bottles, guana, and karaoke.

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