South Pole Diaries 1999/2000    


8th January: Hooters, big cars and rock concerts

From Jessica:

Hi y'all!!

We had a *huge* day yesterday. It started off with a lot of running around with sleds, scrounging for bits and pieces required for the AASTO. I think I'm mostly acclimatized. I was out of breath lot yesterday, but that could have been due to the sixty kilos of instruments that I hauled over a km out to the AASTO and then a second trip I did with some boxes and other bits. New motto: "look as pitiful as you can, and some big handsome macho man will come and help you". The feminists are screaming I'm sure, but they weren't at the South Pole trying to haul this stuff. 

I had just collected some empty boxes for the AASTO, and had got a bit carried away ( there were about seven), and no possible arrangement was going to allow me to carry them all. Solution: I threw one on the ground and kicked it in front of me as I walked. It might sound crazy but was actually reasonably efficient and fun - I got the giggles half way when I noticed the box I was kicking, in fact the very words on it that I was kicking said " Delicate instrument - do not drop!"

I had not gone five metres before this *huge* truck pulls up in front of me. Two guys hop out, said something along the lines of "let me help you with that, little lady", and piled me in the van, along with all my boxes. I was very embarrassed to tell them that they only had to drive me about thirty metres.

Success yesterday. The SODAR is tooting its little hooters off! As Andre and I were jumping about outside, listening to its first hoots in a year, the Russian buggy crew drove past us heading for the Pole. Russian buggy crew? They are this troop of four buggys that the Russians have crammed with paying tourists from all around the world, and have driven them across the continent to the Pole Actually there were originally eight, but alarmingly four broke down half way, and are still sitting ( including passengers) somewhere out on the ice! These buggys are incredible. The are designed to be super lightweight, and have these huge wheels that are just like overgrown inner tubes that you usually float on. When they turn corners the wheels list out almost a forty five degrees as if they're going to fall off! To show how light they are, they had five station people lie down, and the buggy drove over them. The lead Russian guy looks incredible. He has this huge hat made of Siberian dog (poor dog). The things we do.

I was super tired after all the sled hauling, but popped over to the summer camp lounge on invitation to listen to a jen-YU-ine bluegrass band wrangle out a few toons. One banjo, a geetar and a fiddle, and the next thing there was some reall toe-tappin', knee-slappin' fun a happnin' right here at pole! They were very good, and they were more than willing to introduce an ignorant ausee ( I hate the way they say it!) to "god's own music".

Cheers to all. Hope it's sunny, and toasty!


Jess :)



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