Monday, February 20, 2006

Bed tea

I’m back from a long weekend at Corbett National Park. I started yesterday morning with

bed tea*
1. An apparently British colonial field innovation, bed tea is simply a luxurious way to wake up. A bearer brings to your cottage or tent a tray holding a pot of hot tea with milk and sugar and biscuits, all served on china while it’s still dark and cold out. I’ve only had (and heard of it) on safari in East Africa and India. Like your morning coffee, it’s meant to give you a smooth hit of caffeine to prepare you for the adventures of the day.

*(Sorry, but I could find no real definition, so I’m settling with my own.)

Two hours later, the elephant I was riding started trumpeting and doing a nervous little elephant dance (think of James Brown as a 5 ton pachyderm doing the Mashed Potatoes, and you’re getting the image--it was all I could do to keep from soiling myself.) Anyway, within moments a large and beautiful adult tigress (utterly invisible in the brush only about 15 feet away) was unimpressed with the dance and got up and casually strolled about 30 feet away, laid down, and waited for us to leave.

Note to self: Bring Depends ™ undergarments next time.