I loathe khaki. Something about it just infuriates me. Sometimes, I see people wear khaki pants with a khaki jacket and khaki-toned shoes and a khaki attitude and I want to hide in a nearby bush. So when I packed for a 13-day safari, I ignored all the sartorial clues from old Hollywood movies and the non-human primate documentaries I watched in Anthro classes, thinking that those people just had terrible style.
Lately, I’ve fallen in love with cobalt blue, and as a result—in the past few months alone—I’ve bough cobalt shirts, bags, jackets, nail polishes, pants, etc. Then, one day before leaving India for Tanzania, I read the itinerary that my Dad had been badgering me to read for weeks. On the pre-packing guideline, one of the first things on the list was, “Wear neutral colors. AVOID BLACK AND BLUE.” Apparently, tse tse flies—vicious little things that could give you African Trypanosomiasis or Elephantiasis—are attracted to those colors. I had all kinds of visions of myself coming back to New Jersey and showing signs of human sleeping sickness during zumba class or at the A & P. I went on a hypochondriac rampage and discovered that I should also avoid loud colors and white (aka, everything I own), because that marks me as an unfamiliar predator and scares the game away. I ran to a nearby store the morning of my flight and bought such drab clothing that even the store clerk made a face. My suitcase looked like this:
But none of that mattered as soon as I saw this:
(I took these in the Ngorongoro crater, which was the inside of a volcano about 3 million years ago.)