Friday, January 27, 2006

The Sahara, the Tuareg, and my bad jokes

January 27th, 2005

Perhaps over the course of the last few weeks you returned to this blog more than once, only to find the same old entry…unchanged…abandoned. You may have asked yourself, “Has this blog finally become another piece of the cyberspace junkyard?” Or perhaps you asked, “Was Gustavo captured by the enemy on his latest CIA covert mission?” No? You didn’t ask that? Oh well…

Alright, well, there are several excuses I can give for abandoning this blog for 5 weeks…but here is the best one I could come up with:

I was crossing the dangerous Sahara on camelback on December 20th, when I was suddenly caught in the middle of a terrible sandstorm. There was no shelter within 100 miles…I had no choice but to search my memory and try to remember a conversation I once had at a trading post in the outskirts of Cairo...

The conversation was with a strange African man dressed in a blue shroud that covered most of his face. His skin had a blue tinge to it….probably caused from having to wear the shroud constantly since reaching adulthood. This strange man belonged to the Tuareg people. The Tuareg are the only nomadic tribe left in the Sahara, and they are mostly known for their defiance towards modern governments. They still occasionally raid traveling parties attempting to cross the formidable Sahara desert. An incident occurred, and through sheer luck I happened to save him from several out-of-control stampeding African elephants. In return, he divulged to me the secret of the entrance to the secret Tuareg city. The city was still secret because it was built UNDER the great Sahara. The way down was to confidently jump into a certain quicksand, and just let it suck you down…then you just popped down into the city’s gate. Of course, the trick was finding the CORRECT quicksand to jump into.

With the sandstorm already limiting my visibility to less than 3 feet, I had no choice but to blindly walk around until I found ANY quicksand. I feel badly about it, but I sent my faithful camel to test out the first quicksand we encountered…and it ultimately ended in his death. Wrong quicksand. Oops. With no camel left, it was up to me to test out the next quicksand I encountered…and the chances of that being another ordinary and completely deadly quicksand seemed very good considering the Sahara is…like…3,000 freaking miles long! Nevertheless, I had no choice. It was either wait for the sandstorm and have a 0.0000% chance of survival, or jump down the next quicksand and increase my survival rate to 0.0001%. I liked that number “1” better than the “0”, so before I could think about it and chicken out, I jumped. After two terror-filled minutes, I was plopped down at the gate of the magnificent Tuareg city. For the next 5 weeks I lived with the Tuareg, learning their customs, their beliefs, and their drumming techniques (although most of the men grumbled that males shouldn’t be doing the drumming because it is Tuareg custom that the women do most of the drumming).

The Tuareg eventually got tired of me after they realized that I only know 5 jokes, and agreed to guide me back to the nearest city. The farewells were very short…they really seemed incredibly irritated at my lack of stand-up-comedic material. This is a lesson to be learned, and prompted me create my most recent resolution: LEARN SOME NEW JOKES!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the??!? It's already february! This post is from JANUARY. What a looser! Can't even update his blog. Maybe I won't even deem it worthy of linking from my BLACK HOLE OF GOODNESS SO NO GOOD CAN ESCAPE that is my blog.

12:02 AM  

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