Saturday, December 10, 2005

Crazy Freaks

I claimed in my South Pole Adventure blog that there were no tourists at the South Pole. Well, I guess I was wrong. Over the last few weeks we have received a few visitors. They are officially restricted from accessing the facilities here, with the exception of a guided tour and use of the airstrip. Well, some visitors do not need the airstrip.

Take these guys for instance.

I don’t remember the lead member’s name, but he was the first to ski across Antarctica. Dude, they’re doing it again. Look at this, there are just some crazy freaks camping out at the South Pole like its some kind of national park. They’ve got some weak ass tents, a sled and some skis. They pull all their own weight, plus gear, plus food. Dude, they cross the continent on skis. The only thing more amazing that I can think of is Forest Gump crossing the U.S. by foot.

Somehow their mere presence makes me feel like a total poser down here.

Anyway, I am hard at work as usual. I guess I managed to warm up to Clem, cause he agreed to take these pictures of me and even went so far as to make them look as good as possible, before yelling at me to hurry up and untie a knot. We were removing a protective cover that was added to the foam cone the other day while setting up some electronics inside it. Its supposed to be used to block UV sunlight from degrading the cone during the summer, but we used it to keep the temperature pretty stable.

So, Clem tried to get me out of here early, but it seems like flights from McMurdo to Christchurch are all booked up. So I am stuck on the Friday flight and leaving pole early would only result in a prolonged stay at McMurdo. That place sucks; the rooms are shared and bunked, the food was nasty, and the facilities are less than luxurious. I think I like it better down here. Still I’m not sure if taking one more step is a better idea or not. Suppose I wait it out till Thursday and the weather turns. Flights can still leave McMurdo but not here. I’m going to think it over, but maybe McMurdo isn’t so bad after all.

As for my glasses, they are dead. My only viable option at this point is to seek out an optometrist in Christchurch on my way home. Otherwise I can try to get something when I get back to Chicago, but I’m not sure I’ll be in a very motivated mood when I get back. At least the weather is great in New Zealand right now, so searching the city sounds ok by me.

I read in the NY Times the other day that some protesting villagers in China were gunned down in a crowd. It was the single largest government public shooting since Tiananmen. The story is that the Chinese government had apparently chosen this village as the site for a new coal plant or mine or some other terrible polluter. They also decided to fill the village’s bay in with land in order to expand the surrounding area to support the mine. Well, it turns out the villagers are all fishermen! Man, that’s capitalism for you huh? I guess in the police’s defense, the villagers were shooting fireworks at them.

Ok, I feel the end is near and my mood is lifting. Please pray that weather does not keep me from my return!

Oh, and I got a little frostbite on my nose!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

rob, glad you're coming back. partially cause it'll be good to see you and stuff but MOSTLY:

i just checked my secret love heather dunlap's facebook profile, and she went from "in a relationship" to nothing!! THAT MEANS SHE'S SINGLE!!! probably.
so, guess who my facebook connection to her is? zarah!
and zarah, i hope you're reading this, because it's important.
SO. here's the plan. zarah will be like, "hey heather what's up pal?" and she'll be like "oh man Zar (that's heather's nickname for her) i'm just so lonely after i broke up with that asshole." and zarah will be like "man that sucks, why don't you come out with me and rob and our super hot friend?" and she will, and soon she will once again have something to say about her love life on the facebook.
also at some point in all that, heather will learn my name, because i'm pretty sure she doesn't know it.
think about this awesome plan! you love it!

7:28 PM CST  

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