Considering the demands of Trekkers and Backpackers to see this and see that and intrude into the Lives of the Akha without ever learning what is happening to their lives, before jumping on to the next town in their lonely planet, we put this satire here.
Hard Apple and Long Weeds
Our parents gave us round the world tickets for our shoe string trip. We met because our fraternity and sorority house were across from each others. Our school cost about $30,000 per year. We really are poor, and by gosh we would recognize the fear of malaria if we saw it. Not ever having crumpled our lives yet.
So me and Long Weeds took this cushy trip because you see we really are budget travelers, and we really do understand the poverty of all the people we just love to go and see. We don’t think poor people need mosquito nets or that you should get upset if you see children dying of fever. That isn’t your problem, Hard Apple said. Hard apple, he loves the way the kids jump around. They make great pics on our $500 digital camera.
Long Weeds, well she wonders why the hec all those Akha women aren’t covered up. This is important for someone to know who comes from the west where breast cancer rates are 25% for big white fluffy pillows.
And gee, what do they mean by a “bed room community” Hard Apple? Does that mean its ok for us to poke our nose in and snoop even if they are dying? Why, don’t believe all you read in reports dear, you know those darn French are always exagerating!
I know dear, but the German lady said the Akha were just fine, and we can make notes about their sex lives, sounds just like a vw love bug doesn’t it? Hee hee. And can you imagine how much we suffered on this trip? So to learn about Akha sex lives, that is really important.
Say, Long Weeds, what specie did you say these people are? Some people think we didn’t pay enough at he door of the zoo. But I didn’t get a brochure on all the species in this village so why should I pay more?
I hear the Americans were up here and killed a lot of these Akha with their drug war and starvation and disease. But hey, the brits lost their opium empire so why the hec should the Akha get to grow it? If we can’t be rich, why should they?
Oh, Hard Apple, you are ridiculous. Who wants to live to 50 anyway? Any idea what life expectancy of the Akha is here? Gee, could you hand me the soap, I am going to go to the hot shower in the lodge, good the Akha don’t want hot showers, we’d be in line all night. They really are dirty aren’t they.
Now stop that Long Weeds, you shouldn’t talk like that about people, just because you come from the gluttonous west and can’t identify with people who are poor.
Hard Apple, thats not fair, these people don’t mind dying, they are here for us, so that we can put their pics in an album and tell how fun it was to all our friends. And then we can remember all this, how they “opened up their village and their personal lives” for us when we were here. Its our right of entitlement. We can comment on how “warm and friendly” they were.
Well maybe, but don’t you think that in your life you already ate up your share of resources? I mean, really? Long Weeds, these people will be lucky to live at all with all these blasted mosquitos and fever and malaria and swollen spleens. Have you ever had a swollen spleen. I bet you wouldn’t even stoop to eating a spleen if it was all you had to eat, let alone know what a swollen one was?
Hey, where did you get that name Hard Apple? I never asked you.
Oh, I got it because I was one of the most ethnically unsensitive western consumer types when I was traveling in South Africa in our group and since I ate the last apple they called me Hard Apple after that. I still have the core in the bottom of that really expensive backpack over there. Say, pull down the mosquito net.
Long Weeds, do you think the Akha would mind if we watched while they had sex? Isn’t that written on our permit we got, that entitlement one, when we bought our Nikon? “Go anywhere, demand anything, photo anything, watch anything?”
Yeah, that’s right, it was, I don’t know, I think its really important that we pry into their lives, that we demean them, that we come to this village when we don’t have time to know anything about them or whether they live or die. Cause WE’LL be gone! And where do those people get off being disgruntled over how backpackers demand treks to ethnic villages?
I don’t know Long Weeds, I bet if we went across town in most western towns looking for someone’s “love shack” we’d get our asses shot off.
Why’s that Hard Apple?
Well people don’t like you looking down at them as if they are some kind of primitive animal, visiting them like in a zoo, talking about them as if they are inferior, there for our entertainment, spinning cotton, massages, dancing and acting like good little monkeys for us travelers. Chances are we need our back sides shot off. Isn’t very respectful or honorable.
Look, we get to sleep and eat like kings in this lodge and they got nothing. They are here for us. And we go back with our passports to our luxurious lives and our next consumer destination with our lonely planet, and they get stuck here just trying to stay alive in all that western countries have smashed down on them. Govts and NGO’s.
Yeah, well they get all the cash?
Oh really, well you could fool me? I don’t see them driving new trucks. The tour businesses get the money. If I was running the village you would give the western aid that you were suppose to, but you ate it. And you would give 50% cash on arrival of each tourist. $35? That is 175 one thousand kip notes brought to the village for each tourist.And then we divide it up right here between the houses, I don’t see that going on, so that’s condescending too, by big white brother, yeah, you’d trek to my village all right Long Weeds like I’m so poor I can’t make you cop to a deal. But you’d never settle for less in the west, that’s why you got the flight ticket and the passport and you are checking out THEIR love hut. When was the last time you saw an Akha in London? Digging through your silks, and you don’t think you are priveledged?
Come on, go to sleep, quit being so condescending to these people. If you can’t help them, then don’t be voyeurs on their misery.
Night Long Weeds.
Night Hard Apple.
God, did you see the size of those mosquitos. They must have had a pint of blood!
Our round the world trip is so great, can’t wait to tell our friends.
End of Satire.