Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas canoe trip

This past weekend, as a Christmas gift to myself, I left Bangalore for the first time. Along with six others and two guides, I went canoeing on the Supa reservoir, a vast lake created by a hydroelectric dam in the Kali River. For three days we made camp on an island covered in tall bamboo. At the end of each day we paddled out from the island’s alcove to watch a double sunset as the show in the sky met its reflection in the water. We returned to a bonfire each night and dinner cooked on open flame. At night as the bamboo swayed under the breeze, the whole island creaked with the sound of hundreds of old wooden doors slowly opening and closing.

For three days my entire world was perfectly serene, except for the torturous snoring coming from the other half of my shared tent. Each night, the quiet calm of our island camp was hewn by what sounded like the shrieks of a pig drowning in mayonnaise. Crows picking over our cooking area scattered at the sound of the snoring. Droves of small furry animals -- the big-eyed Disney type -- drowned themselves as they fled the island in terror. But even something this loathsome I could get past. Here’s how: Whenever faced with a snorer, clap your hands together a single time as loudly as you can. The snorer will wake up, but will have no idea why, as there will be no conscious recollection of having heard the clap. Meanwhile, feign sleep. Repeat as necessary. The snorer won’t have a clue.