Nkebe de Argentina

Clover comes in three colors: pea green, pale yellow and a bright unbelievable crimson – the crimson is only seen in Argentina, and even then only rarely. The national dance of Argentina is currently the hokey pokey, which seems to be a regional joke about politics and culture. The Argentinians are famous for their humor and their dancing, at least in their own minds. The tango was the first dance that provided enough leverage for the Argentinian culture to make the trip to western civ and back again, dressed in silk ruffles and Spanish combs. It was the tango that brought redemption to Argentina, helped break the country loose from the prison of poverty, with its frequent outbreaks of leprosy and the midnight elopements of girls marrying Greek immigrant gauchos, who carried them over the Argentinian pampas, living on hard tack and beef jerky. The saddleback mountains of northern Argentina are often enveloped in smoke, smoke and fog, that provides protection for a cloistered bunch of ornery old monks, Tibetan refugees hiding from the Greeks and the Argentinians alike. They are whimsical, deeply religious monks, and have ceremonies in the monastery that are magical and arcane. These they advertise by the hanging of prayer flags, scattered at intervals throughout the rocky terrain. Over the years the Tibetans have taken other lost Asians into the order, with monks eventually from Bangladesh and Calcutta, as well as from the Congo, some of them picked up during colonial safaris and sold for silver or bananas, but all of them ending up eventually in Argentina. One of these, whose name is Nkebe, jumped off a truck to keep from being sold and discovered. Nkebe had been on an involuntary road trip to everywhere, and everywhere made a point of having noxious grooming, with loud raspberries, farting and many vulgar comments about nose hair. Anything to keep the men on the road from seeing her as something other than one of them. She smoked and rambled and spit without regard, scratching herself in the back seat or the front. When the monks finally taught her how to write, finding she was bright and quick, she revealed herself to them. They ejected her from the monastery immediately, leaving her to live alone in the smoky foggy mountains and to write these stories that we will share with you now.


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July 2010
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