Two Savages in Southeast Asia


| Comments

Slight pudge, glistening,
Swimmers a veneer of class,
Popped collars and beer.

We awoke this morning to the utterly unsoothing rattle of a sinusoidally deranged person sharing our dorm room. The raucous coming from his gaping maw led us to believe temporarily that a cyclone was coming on, felling trees as it ripped from the coast to the mountains. But it was just a man.

Thus awakened, we snacked on our meagre (but epically expensive, given the remoteness of the grocery store where we purchased it) breakfast of a banana each—individually labelled in pen to keep the hostel staff from discarding them—, and a few mouthfuls of yogurt bar. We collected our sheets and turned them in to the front desk in exchange for our key deposits. Then we had about 4 hours to wait until the bus back to Cairns would come to pick us up.

We took a last beach wander, heading past the shoreside mangroves and through the salt- and freshwater swamps back up to the road. We had lunch at a cafe along the road: it turns out that vegetables are cheaper to buy in restaurants than at the grocery stores in Daintree.

We trudged back to the hostel, packs on our backs, along the impossibly hot and humid sidewalk. We waited another twenty minutes for the bus to show up, and when it did we were disappointed to note that the tour guide was equally as self-centred and useless as the one yesterday. (She introduced herself: “My name is Lisa, but you can all just call me Sexy. Cool.”)

The first stop was actually awesome; we went to the Daintree Ice Cream Company. They have a four-flavor creation that differs each day and features fruit flavors that you may never have heard of. We got a bowl to split, and the flavors we enjoyed were apricot, wattle seed (tastes sort of like coffee), black sapote (tastes sort of like chocolate), and soursop (tastes like… umm… lychee? maybe a bit?). Yum! Tropical fruits are awesome. There was also a green tree frog in the bathroom!

The next stop was disappointing and bro-ey. We went to an Aboriginal cultural centre, which sounded awesome and exciting! Then we got approximately 4 minutes to listen to an Aboriginal elder go through everything that one can do with a Sassafrass tree (use the bark to alleviate arthritis pain, lather up the leaves into shampoo, use the spent leaves to stun fish in a river, etc.), then we packed onto a bus and drove to some place where the bros could all show off for the girls and “swim around”. Evan and I decided to take a hike into the rainforest, instead.

And lucky we did! We saw a frilled lizard of some kind that ran on his hind legs when he wanted to run. I was excited to finally see one. :) We also learned that cloud stripping provides more than 50% of the moisture that trees in some parts of the rainforest need (cloud stripping is when the tree leaves grab moisture out of clouds or fog passing by). We also learned that buttress roots (those big sticking-out-of-the-ground ones) are grown by trees on demand: the same species of tree planted in two different locations could have or have not buttress roots. Awesome!

Then all the bros got dumped off at their bro hostels and we went back to our hostel to try to find a place to stay in Singapore. It turns out that there are literally 0 couchsurfing hosts there willing to host, and that hostels are kind of hit or miss. Also we were thwarted somewhat by the crappy Interwebs at the hostel we stayed in in Cairns… anyway, we haven’t gotten a place to stay yet, so we’ll have to figure that out on the fly!

Good news, though, is that the brother of a friend of ours is doing an internship in Singapore this summer. We’ll definitely be meeting up with him while we’re there!

Learn Aussie:

  • field => paddock
  • popsicle => paddle pop
  • path, trail => track
  • curb => kerb
  • enroll => enrol
  • kindergarten => kindy