Bhutan Trip, Day 4

April 3, 2006-

Back up into the mountains again. The heavily forested mountains kind of remind me of the Ozarks. I saw a strange sight too. While we were hiking, I saw what was undeniably a prickly pear cactus. I thought that it only lived in North America, in hot climates, but I guess I was wrong.

We finally stopped at a village still under construction. We arrived just as all of the workers stopped to have lunch. They all ate with their hands, and they scooped rice and meat up together. Their lunch break was about thirty minutes long, and afterwards they dumped all their leftovers onto the ground. Immediately all the dogs and crows swooped in to eat. I remembered something very interesting about crows. When a crow finds something to eat, he doesn’t start eating, instead, he calls the other crows too eat too. It’s a wonderful survival tactic; I wonder how it evolved.

Speaking of evolution, I have a great idea for a computer game. It’s where you start out in a certain habitat, you control a certain animal or plant, and the goal of the game is to adapt and evolve to survive. I think that it would be a fun and educational game. Sort of along the same lines, I think it would be fun to turn Collapse by Jared Diamond into a computer game. In this game you would control a group of people, and the goal of the game would be to develop your civilization without it collapsing.

We drove back into the mountains ate more traditional Bhutanese food for lunch. One of the dishes was a vegetable that I had never seen before. I asked what it was and they told me that it was ferns. I didn’t even know they were edible. After we ate they drove ahead and we hiked down the path to meet them. While we were walking, I looked to our left and saw monkeys down in the valley. When I looked more closely, I could tell that there were two kinds of monkeys. One kind of monkey was small, had short brown hair, no tail, and a hairless pink face. The other kind of monkey had long, silky black and white hair, a long tail, a black face, and a white mane. There was a lot of the first kind of monkey, I’d say about a dozen. Some of them had babies with them and they jumped around in the trees. Of the second kind, there were only three or four. They stayed on the ground and watched us the whole time.

We walked down to yet another small village to meet our guides. It didn’t look, smell, or in any way really seem different from the other villages. Mom bought some hanging cloth-made ornaments for next year’s Chinese New Year. While Mom was buying the ornaments, I looked around outside. In the house just next door to the shop, there were four men watching a national geographic television program on hyraxes. Strangely, two of the men were inside watching, while the other two were just looking through the window. The people inside the house didn’t seem to mind them at all.

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