In the weeks preceding the trip, and even through the four-hour drive to the reserve, Nigel regaled his companions with tales of the travel adventures of his early 20s, detailing the numerous mishaps, serendipitous encounters, and downright escapades he had been a part of over the past decade.
Upon arriving at the safari entrance, however, his horizon began to darken. In a sign of what was to come, Nigel felt a sinking in his gut as he realised that there would be no bathrooms, hot showers, or Starbucks for at least three nights. In that moment, he understood with a start that he had become a full-blown yuppie, changed irrevocably by the years spent as a professional in Hong Kong. He hated being sweaty outside of an upscale urban gym; he thought about cheeses from time to time; all of his business socks were intentionally paired with his outfits; he didn’t go to Starbucks, because he had some rant against corporatocracy, but he really liked having them around, because they made him feel comfortable and safe; he drank unnecessarily complicated cocktails; he had footwear which he referred to as his “Tuesday shoes”.
A safari was suddenly looking like an exceedingly unwise proposition. He had voluntarily signed up to be apart from all of his favorite things, and now he was paying to sleep on the ground in a tent and be around smelly zoo animals. He didn’t even notice the exotic animals the group drove by on their way to the campground.
As the group began retiring to their tents, Nigel began asking frantically if anyone had some Greek style yoghurt and muesli for breakfast. Secretly, he had determined to wait until everyone else was asleep so that he could use the group’s abundant drinking water for a quick shower. He’d even heat it up over the campfire. Given, however, that they were camping on a safari with dangerous animals, exiting the tent in the middle of the night would mean that there was an estimated 50/50 chance of being eaten immediately by a lion, or big, weird beetles, or malaria.
Nigel, beyond the influence of statistics at this point, had already made up his mind.
NIGEL SERIES POSTS
find part two: family super embarrassed of member killed by (baby) lions here
find part three: tourist rescued by passing fishermen here