It's an interesting time we live in. One day you are breathing in the noxious fumes and being covered in the dirty deposits of the putrid oily air whilst averting and escaping the sex traders of Bangkok and the next you are walking with the survivors of Noah's arc now resident in the eight and a half million acres of the Great Limpopo Frontier Park of Southern Africa.
I don't want to talk about the horror of Bangkok today as the dollars of the western scum visiting this city encourages fourteen year old girls into sex shows and slavery.
I don't want to tell you that every true Thai citizen I met was ashamed and repulsed by this industry for which Bangkok is now infamous and as a consequence didn't think much of the spirit and ethic of the western slime that entered their once beautiful city like death crows from the heavens. But such is the price of globalization and the ever pressing need of humanity to run as fast as possible to be part of the first world, to where everything we have learnt over fourteen million years is discarded to replaced by some new Baal to adore.
I needed to see pure air, breath smog free sunlight and desperately required a good scrubbing of my soul, to put it short I needed to recover from the Apocalypse from which I had escaped, Bangkok.
Whilst travelling the four hundred kilometres to the park I reflected on my past global travels and it dawned on me that if we in South Africa decided not to get on this bus of development and life with the Jones's, but pooled our efforts on keeping our country free of man made rubble, subscribing to as minimum material progress as possible, concentrating on ethics, sound morality and sustainability we might, within the next fifty years be considered as the most advanced nation on earth. Isn't that a strange and paradoxical thought!
The park is a magnificent place with over eight and half million Acres of what is left of the original Eden that God bestowed upon Adam. It has been incredibly well run and maintained and the special beings that take care of this area on behalf of the citizens of the world are to say the least, just magnificent. It is a massive area yet one of the best kept secrets as many tourists opt to visit smaller game reserves to ensure comfort and five star standards.
It had been raining exceptionally hard for a week or so and although the warnings of some of the roads being impassable where clear for all to see, I laughed it off and remarked to my nervous girlfriend that this was meant for normal automobiles
Of course such an incredibly talented driver as myself in a Jeep could negotiate us over the Himalayas if need be.
God I detest how my ego continually sets me up for failure.
As we made our way deeper into the bush, we also crept further away from civilization. The bush eventually enveloped us and we were now truly at the point of no return, surrounded by miles and miles of pristine Africa bushveld.
I looked at the puddle of mud and could see that a vehicle or two had at some time come to grief. I changed to low range and gunned the engine. The four litre motor responded magnificently and lurched at the opportunity to prove the capability of its pedigree and then we came to a dead stop, engine screaming and mud flying. I tried to reverse, nothing doing. I switched off the engine and got out of the vehicle so as to ascertain my predicament. As I got out I sunk, the mud sucked me down till eventually I was looking directly into the foot well of the Jeep. I was waist high in mud and elephant crap. We were in serious trouble and I cursed that damn male ego of mine loudly. By this time the girlfriend thought I was a real prick and laughed gleefully as my ego started to fade. The more it faded the harder she laughed until I was just a wretched little fellow looking for meaning and love in the mud.
Oh well I thought I am sure someone will come to our aid. So I tried to reclaim some sort of credibility with the girlfriend and told her "when we stories", of a time when we survived for fourteen days in Namibia without help. But she just looked at me, the mud bollocks, and kept on breaking into uncontrollable laughter, the bitch.
I could not face her laughter any more and I decided rather than committing an assault on her now hauntingly mocking persona and end up with the task of burying her in the mud, I would stride out and make my way to contract help.
The main road was fourteen kilometres from where we were stuck so it was a reasonable distance and of course walking alone in big five country was not only fool hardy but an extremely life threatening practice. I was well aware that Lion regularly dine on peri-peri Mozambique refugees crossing the border illegally as they endeavoured to become part of the South African dream and make their way to the city of gold.
At one stage I even thought of going back on my plan and staying in the vehicle. One look at that ego thief girl friend and to hear her shrieks of laughter every time she looked at me, the Abominable mud man, convinced me that my quest was more to get away from her and save the very little ego I had left, than to find help.
And so with a bravado that would have made Robin Hood proud I set off.
Strange what happens to a human being once he is disarmed and alone in the bush. I started thinking about the food chain and how my once grand position of being at the top of said chain had now been totally diminished by my circumstance. I was now only around eighth on the list of predators. I went through all the beasts that reside in this area who would bring me to a swift end should I encounter them. Lion, Elephant, Hyena, Buffalo, Rhino, Leopard, Hippo. By that stage I was feeling so insecure that I realised if I were to encounter a hedgehog I would submit as long as it could get me to the road unscathed.
I couldn't run as this would bear the risk of running into one of the predators. For protection I had a pen knife and three stones. My plan was to throw the stones at any attacking predator, to keep them at bay whilst I swiftly cut through my wrists or jugular, ensuring I would be quite dead before being torn apart by a Lion or stomped on by an Elephant, such are the choices that life presents us with.
Yes it was my long walk to freedom a cerebral state brought on by events so traumatic and life threatening that your past years on this planet flash before you. It also was a defining moment for me as I realised my life had not been all that eventful and I was on my fiftieth rerun of the life and times of Vapour when I walked into the fresh tracks of two large male lions. At this stage I was about a kilometre from the main road where I was hoping to attract the attention of a passing tourist to take me to the main camp where I could summons assistance.
I cannot begin to describe the terror I felt. A male lion has a foot print that measures around fourteen centimetres from side to side, it is bigger by far than the average mans hand. This coupled to the depth of the imprint led me to believe that these two lions were large, around five hundred pounds and standing over four feet tall. So as my information banks spewed forth their data on this magnificent creature I realized if I was to survive this I would only do so by sheer luck
In the distance I could see a vehicle approaching and I sprinted the last five hundred meters to the road, exhausted and terrified I flagged down the vehicle.
It stopped and I informed the two elderly German tourists of my predicament. They looked at me with unsavoury expressions. Glancing at my body still encased in mud they had a decision to make, save a persons life or get their new BMW dirty.
They did what any good Germans would do; they drove off telling me they would call for help.
I could not believe these idiots, could not believe that they were leaving me to Simba and his brother and then realising the hilarity of the situation did the one thing I never expected to do, I laughed.
And that is the difference between Bangkok and Barberton, I would rather be laughing, ripped apart and eaten by a lion just east of Barberton than to lose my soul in the stench of humanity's evil that is Bangkok.