Sunday, July 15, 2007

Day of the Shemales

One of the more popular tourist attractions on the island of Bohol in the Philippines is the Loboc River cruise. It's a short trip, taking no more than an hour on a "floating" restaurant wherein you can choose from about a dozen local foods on a buffet table while you travel up a section of river that makes you feel like you are in a scene from "Apocalypse Now". Here is a picture of the inside of the boat from a Bohol tourist web site. I took some pictures of my own, but not with the digital camera, as I did not realize until we had already left for the day that the memory card that came with the camera only held a measly seven pictures!

My wife and I had gone on the trip the last time we were in Bohol three years ago along with friends and family of my sister-in-law Mia's husband Stuart. This time it was me, the wife and our two kids, and my wife's sister Bebet and her step-mom. There were also a couple of other small groups on the boat.

I started to regret it immediately, because while the food was okay, hordes of flies immediately started to descend on us because the boat had not even embarked yet and we were a stationary target. Some people have a greater tolerance for flies than others, but I have zero. If a fly so much as lands for a fleeting moment anywhere on my plate, I cannot bring myself to eat anything on it. So, I ate as fast as I could before they could spoil my appetite. I was bitching to my wife though that they should not serve the food until the boat starts to go so that it would help keep the flies off.

Before the flies started to home in on the food, I realized that what looked like a young lady behind the food table was in fact a he dressed as a she. I'm a fairly liberal guy, so I was fine with that. But again, as with the Muslim woman, my daughter, unschooled in the ways of tactful expression, asked me out loud, "Daddy, is that a man or a woman?" Not wanting to cause any embarrassment, as the person was in earshot, I simply told my daughter, "I'll explain it to you later."

After the Loboc River Cruise, our next destination was Alburquerque, to see the world's largest python in captivity. Now, it is not often that one encounters men dressed as women. So, it was quite a surprise to me that our hostess at the python exhibit was also a man in drag. It was like hitting the shemale jackpot.

I considered whether or not to take a picture of our flamboyant host, but I felt awkward making such a request. But after doing a little research on the Internet, it turns out he/she is a minor legend on Youtube. This clip of six and a half minutes is a quick tour of the sights of Bohol. The drag queen pops up at 4:10. Then there is another shorter clip in which the drag queen performs a lip synching show for the audience. And here is a clip where you can watch the giant python eat a chicken.

When we were there, the rain was pouring down and the python was dormant, having eaten a pig or a goat a couple of days earlier. You could still see the bulge in its mid-section. And we definitely did not have a chance to do this with it.


Stardust said...

Your daughter blurting out an innocent question brings back memories of the time we were on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Montana. We had stopped to pick up a few things at a grocery store there to take back to our campsite.

The houses are run down, and stores are also pretty run-down looking and so after making observations about the conditions of the area, our daughter, then around 7 said loudly "DO THE INDIANS LIVE LIKE THIS BECAUSE OF WHAT THE WHITE MAN DID TO THEM?" (She must have been listening to a conversation my husband and I were having about it.

If I talked to them directly they never paid attention when they were little, but they were really good eavesdroppers on our conversations with each other when we didn't think they were paying attention.)

That snake eating the chicken clip was so sad! I hate seeing animals being killed and eaten by other animals and why I never really liked to watch Wild Kingdom and nature shows showing the cruel realities of nature. It's also why I refuse to buy my Bearded Dragon live pinkie mice to eat, or live crickets. She gets canned crickets already "sauteed" and dried meal worms and processed lizard pellets where everything is all ground up and formed into little colorful bits.

gordo said...

When I was only about 4 or 5, I was along with my parents at a small get-together. One of the people there was extremely androgynous. This was the early 1970s, so he/she wore a dark red crushed velvet suit, and had shoulder-length hair, ambiguously styled.

I couldn't stop staring, and finally walked up and asked, "are you a man or a woman?" He (looking back, undoubtedly a he) smiled and said, "I'm a little bit of both," leaving me incredibly confused. My parents never attempted to explain it to me, and I wondered for a long time how a person could come to be a little bit of both.

I still cringe a bit when I think of the incident, but he didn't seem the least bit embarrassed.

Poodles said...

When I was little (the early 70's) my mom was going to school at a local community college. I was with her one day when we sat down to lunch with some friends of hers. One was a hippie guy with long hair and a long beard, to which I of course had to ask if he was jesus. UGH!

Also, one of my friends little granddaughters when faced with someone of questionable gender always likes to yell out loud "grandma, boy or girl, you choose." HA!