Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lessons on Borneo

This weekend, sick in bed (well, on couch), I decided to watch a marathon of the Planet Earth I got Jeff for Christmas. I learned a lot about various mammals and cave-dwellers, but what stuck with me was this lesson: never go to Borneo.

Okay, maybe the land itself is fine, but don't go to Deer Cave and don't eat "Bird's Nest Soup". I'll explain:

Deer Cave is one of the biggest caves in the world (do not take my word for this, however; I was hopped up on DayQuil). It is home to many creatures, but its two largest populations are bats and cockroaches!

What you see are 4 million bats exiting the cave.

Anyway, so the bats live on the ceiling (natch). And they shit on the floor (logical). The pile of bat shit is 11 meters (that's 36 feet) high. And it's covered in cockroaches, who live off of the "nutrients" (read: shit). And if a bat happens to fall into the big pile of shit, the cockroaches eat it!

An only slightly less disgusting fact about Deer Cave is that a bunch of birds live there, too. The birds build nests on the face of the limestone, little cups made not out of twigs and feathers, but carefully crafted of strands of the birds' saliva. It gets worse. People risk life and limb climbing up into the cave to harvest these saliva nests because they are a delicacy. They are the main ingredient in "Bird's Nest Soup."

That said, you should probably head to Borneo if you need a major operation. No kidding. Jeff and I watched Sicko last night, Michael Moore's healthcare documentary, and an American who goes to the hospital in a foreign country will likely pay about five cents for treatment and medication that goes for many thousands of dollars in the U.S. So if you need a heart transplant or something, I recommend hopping a plane to Paris and then keeling over once you de-board. Try to act surprised, like you didn't already know it was going to happen, and then let the French take care of you for the cost of a single le Big Mac.


  1. You had me at 'hello.'

  2. holy mother of god. And here we were thinking 34th street at rush hour was hell on earth.
    you are funny big sister.

  3. Darlin,
    Thanks for the unnecessary shout-out here. For the record, I wasn't mad at you. And you're right, I do take "sci-fi dork" as a compliment.


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