All this week here at Campfire Collective, we’ve been focusing on Nepalese watercraft. We really scour the earth for unique topics, eh? Previously, we covered the “rowboat.”
Today, we are moving on to the “tube.” This convenient and ubiquitous form of aquatic transportation can be found at Lake Begnas in Pokhara, and anywhere else that rednecks of all nationalities (like this guy) congregate.
If you are a professional drinker with a writing problem (err, I mean a professional writer with a drinking problem. I’m at altitude with a buzz; words and the world are getting fuzzy) here is what you can do at Lake Begnas with an inner tube:
Float around like a hillbilly, your cut-off daisy dukes, their bottoms fraying and two inches too short, showing off your un-tanned thighs and questionable choices in tattoo art.
This is all, so you go sit on shore.
However, if you are a swimmer in a well-known Vegas show featuring the biggest and most expensive custom-built pool in the history of entertainment, here is how you have outdoor fun with an inner tube:
Inflate it with compressed air to as many pounds per square inch as the thing will hold without exploding. Tie it to your foot.
Now try to swim to the bottom!
This is a workout like none other. Pretend you are the shark in Jaws (because Nepal needs more terrifying wildlife to fuel my thalassophobia) and you’ve just been shot with a harpoon attached to a rope attached to an eighty-gallon drum full of helium.
Dive! Kick your legs and hold your breath, because that is another one of your world class skills. You are capable of doing it for over four minutes, which is about the same amount of time it takes for the increasingly cheerful redneck on shore to down a bottle of brew. This is about the same amount of time as a round in an MMA fight, which you do as “a side gig.” Because jumping off high stuff in a fire suit at your main gig isn’t dangerous enough, you gotta have a second job where you get punched in the face.
While this athletic marvel, inspiration, and your new drinking buddy is attempting the impossible, sit there on shore. Grow a little concerned about how long he’s been down there. Tell yourself, “I’m no lifeguard.”
Wish Hasselhoff was here to take care of this. No! Wish YOU were Hasselhoff. Wish vintage Pam Anderson were here to help you take care of this. Realize all you’ve got is Sanu.
He is wearing an itty-bitty pair of bikini bottoms, though, but surprisingly that doesn’t make you feel any better.
Watch closely. Swear you saw that innertube get pulled under a foot and a half. Swear it disappeared from view. Swear you know that it can’t be done.
See him pop to the surface, as buoyant and bubbly as a champagne cork. Feel a flood of relief. See if the hotel has a bottle of champagne.
This is a swim worth celebrating.