How Well Do You Know Evesharvest? A Quiz

So, if you will excuse my talking about myself in the third person, this was the best way I could think of to share highlights and lowlights from my ten-day trek in Ladakh and stay in India.
1) Which of the following struck the most terror in Evesharvest's heart?
a. On the second day of the trek, being half-dragged by the guide across an eroding not quite path of crumbling shale on the side of a cliff with a steep drop to a rocky creek 50 feet below.
b. The jeep ride to the start of the trek, done on one lane mountainous roads, in which the drivers seem determined to play “chicken,” swerving to the side at the last moment, when it appears that there is no place to swerve except over the cliff to the bottom of the canyon.
c. On the ninth day, using her trekking poles to feel her way through the eroded areas of a trail, built into the side of a steep canyon, which had gone from 6 inches wide to an extended space of crumbling shale with more crumbling shale above and below, where a miss-placed foot could easily send her tumbling down sharp rocks for 250 feet.
d. Some of the so-called toilets along the way, where a miss-placed foot would send you down the hole and descending into a very large accumulation of **** the floor below.
e. All of the above struck immeasurable terror into her heart.
2) What surprised Evesharvest the most about the 59-year old painfully long-winded, short, stocky new-agey woman with some sort of mysterious government job (let's call her "Gladys"), who was the only other trekker in the group with Evesharvest and her husband?
a. That she showed up at the hotel wearing long dangly earrings, diamond studded Versace spectacles, a red canvas jacket, and bright red lipstick.
b. That she showed up the exact same way for the first day of the trek.
c. That, despite seeming to walk at a very slow pace, she somehow was always way ahead of Evesharvest and her husband.
d. That when Evesharvest and her husband huffed and puffed and wheezed their way up to the highest pass of 16,900 feet and finally got a glimpse of the Tibetan flags signaling the top, they also saw Gladys on the top doing a kata combining martial arts and Chi Gung.
e. That Gladys was almost successful in seducing the assistant guide, a hunky 37-year-old man from Manali with smouldering eyes.
3) What was the most endearing thing that Evesharvest's husband did during the trek?
a. Placing himself in the river at every crossing to help her and her wobbly legs across.
b. Without her asking, going into toilets ahead of time to clean them up a bit, despite his thinking her revulsion was a bit silly.
c. Collecting heart rocks all along the way despite how much extra luggage fees it might cost to take them home.
d. Helping her up a steep area by grabbing her belt loop and lifting, giving her a wedgie.
e. All of the above.
f. a, b, and c.
4) What did Evesharvest find most irritating that her husband did?
a. Helping her up a steep area by grabbing her belt loop and lifting, giving her a wedgie.
b. Tossing her tiny bottle of hand disinfectant during a "we brought too much ****" fit.
c. Getting into long, boring discussions on the minutia of Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism with Gladys.
d. Finding more photo shots for her to take involving her big camera at times when she was totally exhausted.
5) What did Evesharvest find most disturbing during her stay in India?
a. The teenage mother with a harsh yet vacant gaze plastering her hands on the window of the car next to Evesharvest, while snapping her neck in a clearly habitual way towards the toddler in her arms, with the obvious implication that he would suffer if I didn’t give her rupees.
b. Two dead pack horses on the side of the path on the other side of the highest pass (the guide’s answer to this was “they old”).
c. Severely neglected animals everywhere.
d. Feral, neglected young children with lice fascinated by her blond hair and trying to get into her tent.
e. The newly-appointed Austrian ambassador’s wife, staying at the same hotel in New Delhi, being placed in the hospital to receive blood transfusions for stage two hemorrhagic dengue fever (transmitted by mosquitoes).
e. All of the above.
6) What is Evesharvest most proud of related to her trek in Ladakh?
a. That she successfully got through the ninth day of the trek (she's alive).
b. A half-pirouette done with trekking poles during some rock leaping on day nine (Her husband was not impressed. "Give me those!").
c. That she stayed hydrated despite the temptation to drink less to avoid the toilets along the way.
d. That she listened to her self-preservation instinct and firmly told the guide that she would use her trekking poles to get through steep eroded parts of the trail rather than being “flown” across by him.
e. That she risked strange stares from others in New Delhi, dressing like Safari Woman, covered in bug-repellent clothing, to avoid being bitten by disease carrying mosquitoes.
f. All of the above.
7) What might be an appropriate name for this 10 day trek?
a. Boot Camp For Buddhists.
b. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
c. Wilderness Camp For Middle-Aged Adolescents.
d. All of the above.
e. a and c.

Attempts at quiz and comments on the content are both welcome. The winner was going to be offered a choice of either a virtual make-out session or virtual home-made dinner with Evesharvest, but neither are appropriate in her still-recovering-from-food-poisoning state.  Virtual or not!

EvesHarvest EvesHarvest
56-60, F
8 Responses Aug 3, 2010

Glad you enjoyed it, Dub. Of course I would grade on a curve.<br />
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"Gladys" was a very intriguing character. Probably a great person to have dinner with. Lots of great stories, all starring her. The saving grace being that she has lead a very interesting life. Of course, we all tell stories starring ourselves to some extent, (where would ep be without it?), but she did it to an extent that was exhausting. Especially for ten days.

this is a wonderful post,glad we could vicariously share some of the nitty gritty.<br />
I tried the quiz,but am pretty sure I failed it...would you grade on a curve?<br />
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I really wanna meet "Gladys",she sounds like my kinda gyal.

I don't anticipate that I'll be coming to Australia to wrestle an alligator anytime soon. LOL.<br />
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Everybody's journey is individual. I was pretty risk-adverse when I was younger, and my family didn't have the money to travel. So I didn't do a lot of the things my peers were doing. This trip was my first trip off the North American continent, unless you count Hawaii.<br />
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I love hiking. And I love being where other people aren't. I think my deeper nature is adventurous, but I hadn't connected to it when I was younger. I think a good vacation can connect you with parts of yourself that feel undeveloped or atrophied, whether that is relaxing on a beach for a busy executive, or climbing mountains for a part-time health professional.

Eve, I came to realise that the different outlook of people come from their different experiences. As the wise man (or woman?) said - reality appears differen, to different people. I'm just reflecting about the experince of western tourists in India.<br />
Here is my version of the story, as seen from the other side. In 1987 was living in Israel, exposed to the dangers and tradeoffs of the non-western world. My boss at the electronics company said, repeating a typical israeli joke: "the americans are lost at it again, go sort them out". So I found myself in the Silicon Valley for a while. The place was full, and still is, of loners. Young men and women, with few commitments outside work. One of their typical habits was photography. I found them weird. Where I lived, danger was everywhere. Why would these guys pay a fortune, for a few days of excitement, on a trip or another ?<br />
But fast-forward to year 2000. By then, my son was 20. He grew up in peaceful Australia, in safety and acceptance. Yes, he took a liking in photography. That still didn't make him a superficial person.<br />
So, every now and then, newspapers report that a crocodile has eaten a tourist alive, somewhere at the other end of the australian continent. After each such incident, there is a sharp increase in the number of tourists coming to visit.<br />
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Something else. Back in the 1970's, when I was trekking in the Carpatian mountains in my native Eastern Europe, I experienced the same kind of euphoria-disphoria cycle as you described. it was quite pronounced. I've put it down to the feeling of escaping social constraints, and then having to come down to them again. Assume, for sake of argument, that the big city, and the whole organised society, was high up on the mountain, and there was a deep uninhabited valley nearby. I suspect I I would have been more euphoric at the lower altitude.

Almost attacked by natives! You've eaten porcupines? Do you have a recipe to share?<br />
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Actually, the people in Ladakh were doing pretty well relative to the rest of the country.<br />
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I was in a heightened state on the trek. I've been pretty exhausted and down in the five days since coming home. I was told that, just as there is a high altitude euphoria, there can be a dysphoria coming back down to a lower altitude. I'm not sure that's the whole story, but I can believe it. I experienced the euphoria at the high altitudes.

I'm not going to tell another obnoxious joke.<br />
But I've eaten, tree bark, ant eggs, ferns, stale peanut butter from the jar, rock tripe, porcupines, fell twenty feet off a cliff, capsized into deep water, froze my rain soaked sleeping bag in winter, was almost mugged by natives, used outdoor toilets with swarms of mosquitoes so thick I could have used them for toilet paper, a joke, sorry!?<br />
Experienced hypothermia, injuries, wild animals.<br />
Coming close to death is easy.<br />
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It helped me to understand what we really are in relation to everyone else out there.<br />
"They have it worse than we do"<br />
Everything is very basic, severe, and cruel at times, but they have hope, and humor, and somehow that seems to keep a person going.<br />
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I wouldn't want to live in India either.<br />
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I'm glad you made it back.

I am not a complete pacifist. And I return to the USA grateful to live here and not in India. We had dinner with a journalist and his wife. They were both from the states and had moved to India a year ago because of his posting. Even with a driver, a maid, and a lot of privilege that keeps her pretty buffered, his wife is having a very difficult time being there. It is hard just to get clean food in India. The poor are plastered against her car window every day on her way to work. She can't go walking; it isn't safe.<br />
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I think the reasons for war are almost always multi-la<x>yered. There might be a people's fight for equal rights and access to resources on one level, and a rich or corporate puppeteer seeking political and economic control on another level, to use a simple example. In India, it is hard to sort out what is going on because there is such a randomness to life and the political process.<br />
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There was an article in an Indian newspaper about prospective parents flying to the US just in time to give birth to a US citizen, so their child could have a better life. Pertinent right now with the GOP push to change the 14th amendment that gives that birthright. After experiencing India and its inequities and fight for very limited resources, I can hardly blame a parent for wanting US citizenship for his or her child. Complex problems; no simple solutions.<br />
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Thinker, I am glad you made it to another country to create a better life.

just an observation on (1) where item (b) stands out from the others. In the other cases, it was your personal skill and your personal abilities which helped you through. But in (b) you were a mere participant, forced to accept the norms of another society.<br />
The norms of what is acceptable differ widely among cultures. Women in general, and you in particular may be much anti-war, but the difference in norms and standards is precisely what makes people to fight for self-determination. I can almost see the determined liberal, shooting from the hip with a Kalashnikov, for her right to live in a civilised society as we know it. Just assume for a moment you would be forced to permanently live in such a place, without any preferential treatment, without the dollars earned in the US. Asume you would need to find your way among the locals, on equal footing. Pay bribes like everyone else, get income like everybody else, fight for the same limited pool of food and shelter. Been there, done that.