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November 30, 2016

Lectures and Election Thoughts

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – The election of the "Great White Hope" as president was a stunning surprise to everyone. It was about 3 p.m. here in Borneo when Hillary conceded, which made everything official.


In my dazed state, I wandered down to a shop that was holding weekly talks on travel. The Museum shop was not associated with the Sarawak Museum, and they used these gatherings as a ploy to bring people in and purchase drinks and meals. The talks did not cost the shop anything, and they provided a source of entertainment and information sorely lacking here in Kuching.


Today's talk was on Burrows. The person presenting was long haired, scraggly bearded and very thin Frenchman in his mid-or-late 20's. He spoke English with a very heavy French accent, often seeking English words.


He started his presentation with a round Bozo nose on his nose. He led two imaginary animals through the small eatery describing how-to and how-not-to lead the animals. I couldn't see much difference, but I guess there was some. I petted the animals as they went by me.


He and his wife purchased two waist high animals for about $500 each to travel from southern Paris to northern Spain. To give you an idea, British Airways return from London to Rome is about $75.


They then covered each side of the Burro with Styrofoam. They looked like a blank advertising placards. Then, they tied their matching five piece burgundy luggage to the animals. Each animal had suitcases attached to them.


The guy had a huge backpack, while the wife carried their year old son in front. They were off down country roads winding their way south during the spring showery season.


They stayed in a small ground tent for the night and let the burros wander. Apparently they were easy to round up the next morning. The wife played the accordion each evening for her husband and friends they met along the way. Now, I don't know about you, but hauling a large accordion while trailing mules and backpacks seems like a bit much – if you catch my drift. A flute or clarinet I can understand but an accordion?


The guy told us that the burros had chosen them, that they run away very fast but don't go far, and they found large open areas to camp and to let the animals graze. He said it rained a lot.


I can just imagine these two critters running with luggage attached being chased by the French guy while the wife played the accordion. How they "chose" these people, and why they took off was not explained.


The scenery through the south of France and into Spain looked quite like the Middletown Valley and the surroundings. The fields were green and the roads were two lane country types with plenty of room for the group to pass.


There was something about trimming the burros' nails, but I must have gone back, in my mind, to the election results trying to figure out what had happened.


...Life is good. . . . .


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