My dysfunctional preparation for the Annapurna Circuit

Himalayas 9 from airplane.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s been a little over a week since I found out I’m going to the Himalaya’s next month and I already have most of what I need packed and ready.

I went on Amazon and ordered all the essential items at a reasonable price compared to department stores.  I ordered everything using Amazon Prime.  That means free two-day shipping.  Everything shipped in huge boxes for even the smallest of items (individually boxed for my enjoyment).  It felt like Christmas morning for the passed few days with all the big packages arriving at my door.

My Dad know’s what’s in those big boxes and he’s uneasy about the whole trip.  He shutter’s when he see’s the UPS man bringing more things to our front door.  Poor Pop.  He’s demanding an itinerary, a list of the people who’ll be accompanying me along with their phone numbers, addresses, (employer’s?  Mother’s maiden name?).  He want’s the name of my tour guide.

All this is going to be complicated to procure since I don’t know two of the girls I’m traveling with, Sarah is in-between residences moving back to the US from South Korea with a stop in Nepal along the way.  I don’t even think she has a phone number.  And then there’s Kristina, whom my Dad know’s and doesn’t trust in handing me over to her as my new sole guardian and protector who’ll be leading me into a strange, enchanted land of mystery where people do black Voodoo and celebrate cannibalism (who know’s what goes through my Dad’s head), for an entire month.

Don’t get me wrong, my Dad LOVES Kristina, but hate’s that she takes me all around the world with her.

Finding him an itinerary would also prove difficult, being that it’s non-existent.  We have no real plan, no place picked out to stay when we get to Katmandu – all we have is a desire to hike the Annapurna Circuit for 20 days with nothing but our wit’s and a cheap map.

And this is my DAD I’m talking about!  Laid back, understanding, mild-mannered blue-collared gentile.  My Mother on the other hand – I have to be prepared for the worst hell on earth raining down on me.  I embellish not.

Here is a typical, lazy mid-afternoon chat we shared not too long ago;

Me – “I’m going for a walk.”

Mom – “Where!  Where are you going!?”

Me – “Where I usually go.”

Mom – “Not that Sleeping Giant again.  I hate when you go there alone!  Take my Mother’s whistle with you.”

She hands me this worn out 50-year-old policeman’s whistle.

Me – “Geeze, how old is this thing?”

Mom – “It was my Mother’s.  It’s old.  Blow on it and see how loud it is.”

Me – “I don’t want to blow on it.”

Mom – “Just blow on it and see.”

Me – “I don’t want to!  I believe you okay?”

Mom – “Just do it once, give it a blow.”

I press my mouth against the cold, old weathered silver and gave it a spiritless attempt.  A high-pitched scream ensued, as expected.  It sounded like my Mother during one of her fit’s.

Mom – “See I told you!  Isn’t it loud?  Imagine if you used a real blow.  Go on, give it a real blow.”

Me – “No!  I’m leaving.”

I tromped down the stairs with the whistle in hand.  A look of disgruntled irritation on my face.

And all that fuss over going on a 45 minute hike to a family-friendly park in the next town over.  I can’t imagine her reaction to a hike in the Himalayas.  Can’t imagine….I’m scared actually.  I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m terrified.  My fright is just starting to settle in.  I’ve been subconsciously suppressing it up until now.

Anyway, let’s not think about that.

Kristina just sent me a text saying we should go on a two-day preparation trek in New Hampshire.  We are to leave Saturday after work, and come back on Tuesday.  I said sure.  Then she sent me another text:

Oh no, Sunday is Superbowl, we couldn’t leave until after, parents are having a party.

Me:  Okay

I was relieved.  Isn’t that horrible!  I shouldn’t feel relieved!

For a girl who’s about to trek for the very fist time in her life – for 20 days no less – in a foreign country – a foreign country battling commies who no doubt hate American’s – hate me – Should NOT be relieved that a simple hike in sweet home USA be cut short.

Is this journey not for me?  I love my memory foam bed, my Netflix, heat cranked up until I sweat.  I love the portable heater I have on the floor in my bathroom to switch on if I get a chill when I make my deposit’s and play 6 games of Words With Friends – LOVE IT!

But this sort of makes it all the more spectacular!  Nothing but growth of spirit can come of it.  Am I right?  I can only get better.  It’s obvious that I can’t get any more depraved and lazy than I am now.  I can only strengthen my resolve!  To learn and evolve!

I’m going to tell you something I learned from watching a Caveman documentary……

Hold on I’m hot, must turn down heat….

Okay, here is what I learned;

There were two species of early man (way early) that lived together in the same era.  One species evolved to be extremely tough.  Heavy boned, incredibly strong jaw with a mouthful of huge teeth.  They lived peacefully by surviving on roots, vegetable’s, fruit – everything except animals.  They were built strong to rip out roots, their jaws made to grind the toughest of plants.  Thousands of years they lived like this, unevolving, unchanged.  Peaceful and comfortable.

The second group of early man lived in a different climate.  They depended on a different food source that made their frames lighter, agile, not as strong and weather-proofed as their counterparts.  Because they were technically the “weaker” species, many of them parished during their first ice age.  In order for them to survive, they had to think – in other words, evolve.  That’s when they became carnivorous and resorted to killing their food because vegetation was no longer an option.  They made weapon’s, warm clothes.  Their brains began to grow.

Out of the two species of ancestors, which one do you think made it?  The strong, durable, yet comfortable species parished for lack of adaptability, while their lithe, brainiac kinsmen flourished.

Doesn’t that mean something?

It mean’s I’m doomed.  That’s what it means.

Little Miss Muffit sat on her tuffet

keeping the world at bay

Along came a new world

Open and unfurled

Lifting Miss Muffet away

What the hell is up with me and Little Miss Muffet lately?

Shit yo, anyway……

I had a lucrative $80 cash tip day even though I was short a client.  For my hour break, I lugged my rusty ol’ laptop into Starbucks, plopped down and jump-started her up.  That’s when I ran into my pretty little Russian coworker, Olga, who sat down beside me with her steaming cup of brew.  Blogging was out.  But Olga is cool and interesting and said I can stay at her house in Russia if I ever decide to go.  To cement this offer, I flipped on Facebook (my laptop was finally booted up) and made her my friend.

Me – “Now we are friends forever and ever.”

I am thee biggest dork in the world.  Well, besides my other coworker who uses the phrase “Oh pooper scoopers!” when she’s upset.  She volunteers at an animal shelter, so her words fit her well.  She’s hysterical.

But Olga on the other hand, she’s just cool.  Russian spy kind of cool.  She has that Ritz thing happening.  She’s a world traveler, a black belt who goes around the world on competitions – fly’s to Italy on a whim to stay in the most elegant hotel’s.  Oh, and she’s a model.

Her kid’s a model, too.

She’s cool.

I had my laptop open on my lap so I told her that I write about my life online.

Olga – “Oh you write a blog?”

Me – “Yep.”

Olga – “Can I see?”

Me – “Um, it’s stupid, but here I’ll give you a business card.”

I hand one over to her.

Me – “You can read it but it’s really stupid.”

Olga – “Oh Okay I’ll put it in my stupid business card pile.”

She say’s in her endearing accent.

You want to know how cool I am?  Yesterday, Amazon sent me a pair of incredible headphones in a humongous box.  I plugged them into my iPhone and was hurdled into a world of bewitching sound.  It shook my body to the core – the sound was AMAZING.  I had no choice but to get up and dance in front of the mirror.  Then I strapped on my trekking pack and danced some more, pretending I was on the peak of a snow cap mountain.  Finally I put on my hobo hat, danced, and started taking pictures of the rock star that I am.

Oh yeah, that’s my cool face.  I’m being cool in that pic.

That’s me rocking out to my music.

And here is me being me.  And me is not cool.

My Father goes to a hunting club every Thursday to drink and shoot things.  He just got home.  It’s 11:33 pm and he basically burst into my bedroom saying that I’m going to get raped and killed in Nepal.

Dad – “These guys up the club told me that girls go missing there.  American girls.  They’re found dead and raped.”

Me – “Um, what?”

I’m laying in bed with my laptop, Naruto paused on Netflix, my E cigarette sitting comfortably on my chest.

Dad – “Do you know about this?”

Me – “I’ll be with a group!”

Dad – “Yeah but do you know about this?”

Me – “Yeah, no country is safe.  I got it.”

Dad – “No, listen to me.  I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m trying to inform you.  You need to know.”

Me – “Okay Dad.  Geeze.”

As he was leaving my room he turns and points to me, “There won’t be anyone there to protect you.  Nobody.  Just remember that.”

He wouldn’t let up.  “I’m not trying to discourage you?”  Well Pop’s you did a horrible job of NOT discouraging me.

He gets like that after a few.  But now I’m more worried than ever.  Thanks Dad!

I hear my parents upstairs arguing.  I’m way too old for this.  I hope he doesn’t tell my mom about my trip now just to take the heat off of him from coming home so late and semi-boozed up.  I’m way too old for this.

I’m the antithesis of cool.

What else can I write about?  I don’t know…..I …..don’t…….know.

Oh yeah, here’s something;  You’re moment of Zen:

I always forget to go to work on days when my coworkers need me to fill-in for them.  So I wrote myself a reminder and stuck it to my locker.  Then my boss wrote a bigger note with highlights and stuck that on my locker.

Then I opened my locker and found a present of vibrant post-it notes with the first post written for me by Patty, the woman I’m covering for.


Filed under journal

9 responses to “My dysfunctional preparation for the Annapurna Circuit

  1. gajenn

    How awesome-sauce is that? A trek in the Himalayas! I would love to do that, don’t let anyone or anything discourage you – it’s a life experience.

  2. Steph

    I love your parents!! I’m envisioning it all now! Good luck with mama S!!! 🙂

  3. Holly

    This is hysterical! Tell your dad Nepal is relatively safe, you’d have more of a chance getting hurt in your hometown then in Nepal. Also, tell him that you dont have access to the (fictional) tour guides name or make up a name…Kristina’s cousin that lives in S. Korea may be a good idea. Tell him that since Nepal relies on tourism, they take really good care of the trekkers because they need the income and want more people to come back. Also, tell him that the major religions in Nepal is Hindu and Buddhism. They are known to be VERY peaceful people. Try not to tell your mom about the trip until a day before you go, she’ll make you pack 20 whistles!!

    • Lol yes she will! I told my dad about the hindu’s and Buddhists but his buddy at the club was feeding him horrible stories. He wants me to research the murders. I’m scared to look.

  4. Pingback: What I’m bringing to the Annapurna Circuit | melanie's blog

  5. Pingback: Enduring the High’s and Low’s of the Annapurna Circut – Melanie Style | melanie's blog

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