The Rainforest Journal: Outing #17 – Day 10

(Monday 5-December-2014)



The last day of another outing, and being the multicultural-lovin guy I am I decide to free-up some pack weight going back up, and have a bash at this mystery satchel of Indian food. I often throw leftover food down the hill – once I’m far enough away from my camp that it won’t cause some kind of all-out animal assault on the tent – but I don’t want to inflict indian cuisine on them, how cruel would that be right?

So I decided I’d take one for the team, and eat what is – according to the packet – a mild “Minute Khana. No cooking required! Just heat and eat! “. Of course I also had some trendy brown rice. Both the rice and satchel were sitting next to each other at the backpackers so I took them both – several weeks ago now.

Instant heat & eat "Authentic" Khana, with rice and peas.

Instant heat & eat “Authentic” Khana, with rice and peas.

Anyway as expected the rice took a million years to cook, and four times I had to top-up the water to get the job done but finally – after almost an hour of “rolling boil”, both the trendy, wanky brown rice and the dried peas I added with it were cooked to my satisfaction.

One thing I’ll say about the wanky brown trendy rice, is that the water strained beautifully out of it; none of that sludgey, stodgy slop you get with plain white rice.

Keen for some curry action, I rip the top off the satchel with my teeth – like any real man would – then tip the baby-shit coloured glop into the only cooking pan I have. I didn’t bother to heat it at this point because the wanky brown rice was fresh off the boil and very hot, so I simply stirred it and prepared myself for this masterpiece of Indian dining.

Two mouthfuls later, my tongue was on fire. By the fifth mouthful, sweat was running down my cheeks. The strangest thing though by far is that I kept right-on eating it; mouthful after mouthful. Even when my eyes started getting wet round their sockets I still kept at it. I must’ve been much hungrier than I’d assumed.

To be honest, had I had some sour-cream and bread of some sort – maybe a bit of cold drink to wash it down with – and something to add that stopped it being just light-brown liquid-fire and gave it some chunkiness, it would’ve been a pretty alright meal.

Course, the packet says it’s “Authentic Indian Curry”, and it certainly puts me to mind of another “authentic curry” (aka: brown dribbly liquid on a plate) served to me when I went to Western Australia to get it on with that Latino bitch. The self-appointed master of the universe – the Swami who wouldn’t shake my hand – cooked what I struggle to call a meal: a tablespoon of plain rice and a dollop of curry-flavored liquid.

God she was a cocksucker. The Swami too.


An amazing revelatory event has occurred! Not even an hour ago, I’m sitting here punishing myself – forcing the last of the Indian glop and wanky brown rice down my chemically burnt throat when who should come strolling up to the tent? The big man himself; THE SHOWSTOPPER; The MAIN EVENT: Broeski.



That’s right: The Original and largest of the Lace Monitors to frequent the site, last seen over three months ago shortly after swallowing an entire *storage size* snap-lok plastic bag that had a chicken neck inside, and long ago thought to be dead due to the inevitable bowel obstruction (common to “pet” reptiles, who grow so depressed when they realize they’ll have to live their entire life in a cage they start eating plastic and other indigestible shit) is not only alive and well, but back with the appetite of a gorilla.

Refined dining at its best.

Refined dining at its best.

At first I just assumed it was a bird hopping around, causing the leaves to crunch, until I stuck my head out the door at which point I just assumed it was Junior – since he’s the only one I’ve seem recently – but then, noting that familiar ‘X’ spanning the top of his head, I look for the black at the tip of his tail and there it is; Broeski in the flesh, stomping about just as healthy as ever.

You just can't keep a good lizard down.

You just can’t keep a good lizard down.

He demolished the half a kilo of dinner I had laid out for the Possums (though there’s still three other serves around the camp for them), then had a drink from the tarp – which had water in it from the torrents of rain last night – then went and climbed half-way up one of the nearby trees looking for either birds nests or a Possum to eat before climbing back down, walking slinking over to a different tree and climbing halfway up that. Unfortunately for Broeski the second tree he climbed was slippery and so his claws didn’t claw so good; having reached around the four meter mark he slid down about one meter, then *fell* the last three meters right onto a fallen tree branch, breaking it with a loud THUNK.

Being such a tough little fucker, he is not at all phased by this nine-foot drop. He flicks his tongue *flicky-flicky* and stomps around the other side of the tree to try again. I pulled my head back inside at that point to light my smoke, then moments later hear the *THUNK* of another failed attempt up that same large, slippery tree. I couldn’t get a single photo of any of this because the sun was just next to the tree so all I got was glare. Shit happens.

He’d already eaten himself pretty full, and though I can’t imagine what would be up there that would be so good he’d be willing to fail multiple attempts to scale it, but I’m not a lizard. Must’ve been something pretty damn good though ’cause he walked around the base of that big tree quite a lot; tongue working quickly, *flicky-flicky* looking up as he paced around on the ground between each climb *flickyflicky-flickyflicky*. That’s how they go too; They always flick their tongues twice in rapid succession.

I wonder now, whether the Possums will come out as usual, postpone till later or not come out tonight because of the Monitor. Monitors eat Possums if they get the opportunity though it’s hard to see that being a common occurrence, considering one is strictly diurnal while the other is strictly nocturnal but watching him climb that first tree earlier I’ve no doubt at all that a Monitor could easily reach a badly secured Possum hollow in broad daylight just fine. As long as there was room for the Monitor to get in and start biting, the Possum wouldn’t have anywhere at all to go from there.

In other news, I’ve just killed two flies with one flick; a rare opportunity I had to move decisively to make happen, and I’ve discovered that a very good way to clean oneself is with not just a microfiber cloth and water, but alcohol-based “instant” hand sanitizer: just add a good squeeze of the hand sanitizer into a pre-moistened cloth, then rub away. The alcohol kills germs *and* cuts through the grime then dries licketty-split.


I’ve picked out next year’s tent. The MSR Hubba-Hubba 2man for, well the price varies *massively* from store to store, but around $550 is the ‘mean’ it seems. Some people might say, “Why Jason that’s utterly ridiculous! You have a tent, what’s wrong with the one you have?”, to which my answer would be, “nothing at all; it’s a great tent and I’d highly recommend it to anyone”.


But, tent’s wear out over time; rat holes that’re sloppily patched with silicon gel, UV damage eating at the fabrics, stretching caused by being continually pitched for almost *five. months. straight* and of course the possums: jumping around on the thin fabric roof demanding MOAR ‘TATOES. Not only is wear and tear bound to happen, it simply cannot be stopped and at any moment a tree branch, large animal or person could very easily make my tent FUBAR: Fucked beyond recognition.

Therefore (and rightfully, I should’ve done this sooner), acquiring a second tent is not only a sound thing to do, I consider it a must do. If everything goes fine and dandy then the existing tent I have will last me the rest of the 12-month feral-fest without any issue but we all know the only thing you can count on is having your plans fuck themselves in front of you. Murphys Law, I’m planning for of course.

MSR Hubba-Hubba NX 2-man ultra-light.

MSR Hubba-Hubba NX 2-man ultra-light.

The cost of a new tent is over half a grand – no tiny amount – but the amount of money saved by living in a tent so much – and thus paying no rent – are approximately 400% the price of the tent. With seventeen outings now averaging 10-days each spend out here, even if I were to be *gifted* the opportunity to live in a share house for just $100 per week that’d total well over $2,000 I’ve already saved this last few months. Sure, I waste a bunch of that saved money being shit I don’t need, but the numbers back me up. This tent was $299 at the typical Kathmandu 50% sale price, and even if I add the cost of *both* tent’s together ($550 + $299 = $849) that *still* leaves me with a saving of over $1,150 I would’ve been paying had I been renting full-time at just $100 per week. And as everyone knows, unless you have some kind of familial relationship with your housemates, you get nothing but a dog-kennel for $100/week.


I should add of course, that although I’ve entertained the thought of simply leaving this tent out here to rot when I’m done with it, I don’t think I could: it’s still doing fine, and has served me so well for so long now, why I’d feel like a downright beast if I just left it out here like common garbage.

Anyway, my little Bush Monkeys have come to munch-down their pasta/peas/potato mix so I’m done with this days entry.

Edit: Here’s one last flash pic of one the little Bush Monkeys, taken a moment ago.

Guido says, "MOAR 'TAYTOES!"

Guido says, “MOAR ‘TAYTOES!”

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