Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Monday, July 30, 2012

You Should Visit Kruger While You're Young

When I say 'young,' I'm assuming the following things:

- You have the ability to sit in a car for an entire day, with set rest stops where you can get out and stretch your legs. (Assume three hours, max, between rest stops)

You may want to cry when you see the car in the morning.

- You have the ability to see near-invisible animals in tall grass.
Or white frogs on a white fence.
- You have the reflexes required to hit the brakes when someone yells "STOP!", reverse, and slow down in time to see what STOP was yelled for. (it could be a leaf. It could be a cheetah. You never know.)

- You have the ability to whip out the video camera, the other camera, or the binoculars, and switch between them with ninja speed and intensity.
So you can get a picture like this.

These are all skills you may need (and, in fact, require) to go animal-watching in Kruger.

That is why you should be 'young.'

You may want to do this... but don't!

You might miss a dik-dik.
Let's get out all the reasons not to go out of the way first:

Plane tickets to South Africa are costly! (Everything's costly in this world… the nice thing is they can also be cheaper if you're dedicated enough to find it) The plane ride takes hours (last people we met from the Eastern Seaboard said 18 hours). And… and… it's Africa! It's wild! Dangerous!

Okay. The water in South Africa is all drinkable straight from the tap. That right there makes everything a whole lot easier. No purifying water (unless you're paranoid).
Or, for the elephants, straight from the tank.

There's a small chance of malaria. No problem. Take a pill every morning at breakfast and another 12 hours later for a couple of weeks. You'll not only learn to take pills efficiently, but you'll also be drinking water!

Case study: Ioan used to have to glug down 500 ml of water before he could swallow a pill. Usually, about 300ml of that water was used to wash away the taste of the powder that trickled out when the plastic casing dissolved. Now, he swallows it without realizing. YAY!
And even looks forward to it.

There's shootings/social unrest/stealing/insert-dire-problem-here! The news says so! I'm glad you're so world-conscious! Now, when was the last time you heard something good on the news? We know someone who lives in Japan who refuses to come to America because 'everyone's shooting everyone else all the time.' And yet, you venture out to the supermarket without a gun! Everywhere's safe. Everywhere's dangerous. It's a matter of outlook and common sense. You'll be fine.

What about lion attacks? Follow the rules. Don't sleep in a tent where lions roam around. And you're safe!

The animals are watching...
... and waiting.

Other reasons not to go to Africa inserted here. Okay. Great excuses. Stay safe in a small coccoon. Don't try anything new. Stay at home and do the all-important drudgery. Here's a secret I learned during NaNoWriMo: When you're 80, you're going to remember the things you didn't do, not the things you did. Which is probably terribly misquoted. But the point is… you're going to be wishing you did a lot of things instead of staying at home and doing whatever it is you gave up the trip for.

I'm not going to tone down what I wrote above. I think that South Africa is a great place to come to. Kruger especially, if you have a tolerance for numb-butt and eye strain. And being in the middle of a herd of elephants. And I've been reading a lot of 'empowerment' or 'live your dream' stuff that keeps telling me 'every reason against something you "want" to do is just an excuse.'

Listing the animals we saw and the ways in which we saw them is boring without pictures. But I'm a ridiculously bad person when it comes to selecting pictures. Personally, photographs are a pain to deal with.

I don't have the patience to get a shot like this.
I do have the patience for a staring contest with an impala, though.
So I won't deal with them too much, simply state that it's nothing like TV, no matter what Ileana and I said while staring at a cheetah lying in the grass for 54 minutes. 

Much more relaxing than the latest TV show, I promise!

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