WANDERLUST IN THE FLESH...
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit someone, who seems to have the whole world wrapped up in his house. Whatever's out there was probably in here! A great traveller, he has made trips, truly in the tradition of Stanley Livingston, to the most exotic reaches of the planet. These include the Congo, all of Africa, Mongolia, the Amazon and all of South America, the Galapagos, and the Everglades, to name the a few. But this is not just some tourist wanting to take guided tours to explore the most docile of trails in these locations. This guy has actually lived, breathed, and eaten with the natives and tribes, even the ones who are notoriously wary of strangers. He has an outstanding bargaining ability (by which he could negotiate with the natives, as also with the airport customs officials). Even a cursory tour of his house, literally dug into a mountain along the banks of the Chatahooche River in Georgia, reveals wonders, and I am definitely going to be back for a more detailed exploration. Some of the artifacts included:
* Porcupine quills from the Amazon
* Coca leaves (Sorry, I don't smoke...)
* An ancient Japanese warrior's armor (of the kind in 'The Last Samurai')
* Two bison skulls ("Courtesy of my friend in Colorado")
* Horse stirupps from Mongolia, Mexico, and Chile
* Brass spurs with wheels having pointed spokes, from Argentina. Since it would be cruel to actually use these on the animals, the cowboys used to tie them to their belt and walk into town. Ths wheels made a nice swishing sound; this would serve to get the dapper gentlemen some charming belles.
* Bearskin and foxskin hats from Mongolia
* A humongous set of two big drums from the Amazon ( The ones in the picture above. This was the high point; he had gotten these as a 'present' from the chief of one of the Amazonian tribes. Apparently their sound can be heard for upto 25 kms. Since we were already on a hill I already imagined I was a big chief when I played them. Had a great time doing that)
* Samurai swords
* A German soldier's WW2 helmet
* A beautiful sword (Apparently 'from the Crusades')
* Last but not the least, a WHOLE CANOE from the Amazon (with an oar 'made by a native in a week specially for me')
In the wine cellar, he had wines dating back to the 1850s, along with some LOADED pistols (Didn't know that when I picked up one...). Everything in this man's house was unusual; the light switches embedded in some obscure wood, the water container from Morocco, the pots and pans from a special place in France, the big armchair draped wiith Llama skin..
Two thoughts flashed in my mind as I left this wondeful place; "Boy, wouldn't the SPCA love this" ;), and "I HAVE to come here again!"