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Bar Night (definition): once a week, dehydrated and exhausted, but usually freshly showered wildlife volunteers descend like an avalanche upon a bar in Hua Hin, Thailand (an hour away in a taxi ride that I am sure causes many a taxi driver to question their career decision). From 7:30-10:30p, they take in as many “2 for 1” cocktail specials as possible.
Prominent activities include: talking about how drunk they are, how much they are in-love with everyone here, taking Snapchat photos, dancing and, much to the staff’s chagrin – hanging like a monkey from the plastic exposed beams and/or curtain rods.
Being one who values a full stomach, I arrived after dinner. I walked in and beheld a scene that made me feel like Jane Goodall watching chimps. It was awkward, mostly unsuccessful debauchery – the likes that belonged not to Roman Toga Party, but to a Roman Thursday Night. I could only sip my two “two for one” mojitos, and sit in the back, my already greying hair turning more silver the more I thought about being the Jane Goodall of “younger people habits.”
Minutes later a 19 year old man saddled up to me and offered his sage advice:
“You should take it slow, I know a thing or two about drinking”
“Don’t worry, I will, I have been drinking for a while”
“Yes, but I’ve been drinking longer than you (winks at me) – I’ve been drinking since I was 12″
Math. Shock, horror, pause. Laughter (on my end).
Apparently those Jane Goodall silvers had retreated enough to blend in with my subjects.
I am in Port Elizabeth, volunteering on a game reserve!
Highlights from Day 1:
– tracking a cheetah using a radio signal, but not actually seeing the cheetah
– coming across a herd (family? Group?) Of giraffes that sort of had this effect:
– helping a tortoise get right away up
– discovering that the toilet I’m using doesn’t have a toilet seat (very jarring discovery), deciding to be a diva and mention it (a new seat is coming tomorrow and people wonder why the last two volunteers didn’t complain)
– hearing stories of the “young” volunteers who arrive at the age of 19, don’t know how to boil an egg, want to party even though they signed up for an assignment in a game reserve and who generally want to take selfies with dangerous animals. Luckily no one has used the term “millennial” yet. Some young ones arrive over the weekend, fingers crossed
– discovering that there is hot water for the showers! Discovering that there is no cold water for the showers, getting a mild scalp burn in attempt to de-dust my hair