Chillin’ in the Amazon Rainforest

It cracks me up that these are the kind of pictures I had floating around in my computer. I have actually been intending on putting these up for a long time, but that’s the type of thing you think about when you’re jumping on a bus twenty minutes from home.

“When I get home I should publish an article on my trip to the jungle,” you think, then you actually get home and you just want to take your shoes off and stare blankly at a wall for two hours or so.

No? That doesn’t happen to you?

Anyway, these pictures are from 2005 or so when I went to Iquitos with my friend Andreas. Crazy trip, and we didn’t even do anything all that wild except go out to the jungle.

Now, one thing I’ve got to come clean about is that these people aren’t quite as wild as they seem to be. Sure they’re all dressed up in their traditional garb, but it was more just to get us tourists to buy the stuff they’ve got hanging on ropes in the background.

Still, these people did actually live on the shores of the Amazon about forty minutes away from Iquitos, so…hey…they were close enough to the real deal for me.
The woman in this picture was this German chick who just came along with our tour. She was going out to various tour agencies and when she found one where they told her that a couple of gringos were headed out, she thought she’d be safe by tagging along. That actually is pretty adventurous, and anybody who knows me will laugh at the idea that some woman would feel safer in my company than in the company of just random people…although those people that are laughing have probably spent their whole lives in Dane county, Wisconsin, and they don’t know anything about the world except for what they’ve seen on reruns of “friends.” The truth is, I’m not as evil as a human being as everybody likes to think, so go suck on it.

Anyway, this German chick had just broken up with her boyfriend or something, so she was obviously feeling kind of shattered. For me, that’s the best kind of way to feel, because it makes you (well…me anyway) kind of numbly go out on crazy adventures with the half hope that you’ll just fall off a cliff and be forgotten, but also the glimmer of the hope that you’ll find a reason to live again. I’ve always found a reason to live again, so that’s my solution for depression to all you sufferers out there…go do something crazy and try to get yourself killed in the Amazon basin or something.

Even then I was just sort of amused by the situation, you can tell by my smirk. I probably weighed about 185 for this picture, it seems like I went through about a five year period where I was 185. I’m like 210 now, sigh…just more of me to love I guess. Still, the fanny pack makes it look like I have a gut, and YES, you should wear a fanny pack in the jungle, that’s how you know where your passport is. Incidentally, I bought those pants for 5 dollars at an army/navy surplus store. They have the name “Kinter” on the back.
That’s kind of bad ass looking, I don’t care if that guy wears jeans and t/shirts the other 23 hours of the day.

The thing that’s great about Jungle people is they’re all so quiet. It’s awesome. They come up to you and just whisper as if they’re afraid that the malevolent power of the jungle is going to rise up and eat them. You kind of get that sense out there in the Amazon too. It’s a pretty neat place. I need to go there again and talk to a shaman and get my shit together…maybe it’s time to try some Ayahuasca.

We brought the kids lollipops, actually the German girl did. I didn’t bring them anything because I thought the lollipops would rot their teeth. Maybe next time I’ll bring them some ham or something.

Anyway, if you ever end up in the Amazon, take a bunch of pictures and put them up somewhere. Just looking at these relaxes me.

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