|Facts about Umbagollah.
Yes, I have reached Gum Gooloo Gum
Jublet, and yes, they do sell toothbrushes here, so you can stop
worrying about my teeth. It's not the teeth though, is it? You're
trying to track me down again. Well, go ahead and try. Umbagollah is
a big place. To show you just how big it is, I'm going to send you a
We have two different seas, did you
know that? At the top of the country there's the Sea of Hum, and at
the bottom you've got the Bathwater Ocean. Those mountains at the
bottom left are the Two Show Ranges, and the river that I travelled
along to get here - the Fly River - runs from the Fly Ravine in the
south-west to the Bay of Ex in the north. The pair of rivers on the
eastern border are called the North Thrip and the South Thrip, and
those offshooty bits of river in the middle of the country are West
Drosophila and East Drosophila. Water all over the place. The forest around Ex is so dense
that you can stand in some parts of it in the middle of the day and
not be able to see the sun. The trees in the Forest are grey. It's
really weird, apparently. The north is generally weird. Even the government
up there is strange.
city of Ex.
= The city of
Gum Gooloo Gum
The town of Cumber Poidy.
= The town of Jail.
The guy I bought the map from was really
friendly, but then everybody in Gum Gooloo is friendly. He told me a
lot of interesting things. Apparently the North-west part of the
country is completely flat. I don't know if I've ever seen
absolutely flat land before. The rest of the country is hilly. The Isle of Yunck is bare
rock and it's pitted because the sea smashes into it, and because
the wind keeps blowing the earth away. Anyway, I've got to go
History, Festivals, Music and Making Paper.
I was walking
along a laneway yesterday - this dirty little place with people
passed out along the walls, talking to their knees or taking a piss or whatever - when I walked across something hard and
cold. It was a plaque that said, "Caleb Sighwater, Exian Ambassador
stayed in this house. - Year of Bigger Crowding" Caleb Sighwater! I didn't even know he'd been to Jail. "This thing must be hundreds of years old," I thought and this big gush of history went right through me. I looked around at the drunks with all this love
and hey I wanted to burst into song right there on the
street. Oh yeah, that's right. I'm interested in music
I'm in Jail. That's Jail the town, not jail the prison. I can safely tell you
that because I'm leaving tomorrow. They want to hold some kind of festival
event where a woman does something with a fish - it sounds pretty
dodgy. I can't even tell you what day it is. I don't think
there's a single calendar in the whole town. They don't use a lot of paper here, even though Furl (that's the village where they make paper: I went through it on the way here) is only a short way away.
Catch me if you can!
Trade, Climate, Language and
For the love of Pete, did you actually
pay that man to walk through the streets of Ex shouting, "A letter
for Hatstand, Mariel Hatstand?" until he found me? I hate to think
what price you paid for that. The uneven rate of trade and
exchange between Ex and home has been giving me nightmares.
Look, get a grip on yourself mate, I am not coming back. As for your
question about the weather, the answer is No. It is not lovely. The
southern part of Umbagollah is temperate, the central part is
temperate to hot (gorgeous!), but the area around Ex gets some
really weird weather. I've found a book about it which I'm going to
quote: "Violent seabourne windstorms occasionally batter the
costline, while the lakes and rivers which flow through the
foothills of the Two Shows Ranges are subjected to almost annual
floods when the snow melts at the end of winter. Bushfires in the
Forests of Ex are not unknown. The forests are also prone to Silence
Storms, pockets of noiselessness which drift invisibly through the
thin, heavy tree trunks and astonish anyone they come across. No-one
is quite sure about Silence Storms. They may be weather conditions,
or they could be a strange type of animal." Basically nobody knows
what they are. We don't have the language to describe them properly yet.
P.S. For the hundredth
time, my teeth are fine. No, I don't have any illnesses,
no, I don't need any medicines or doctors. And no, you raving mystic, I do not want a hug.
Bathing, Farting, and the Fauna
B, Just lyin' here in a bath in a forest clearing, staring at the night sky,
trying to name the stars. The trees have turned into silhouettes. There's no-one else in here with me, but I'm trying not to fart anyway. It's a peaceful night in the forest of Ex.
I haven't been this surrounded with plants
since I was in Gum Gooloo. I can hear little animals
skittering around behind me. They sound happy. I don't know what
they are, but I'm not afraid of them at all. Right now, even
thinking of you doesn't bother me. I reckon you're not going to be
happy about that.
Food, Sports, Beliefs and Books.
Here! Here's a
letter! Now you've got what you want, you can get off my
There's nothing I want to say to you so I'm going to quote
again. This comes from "The Great Big Book of Umbagollah," by Daens
Resought, HG, Sc.Ast, professor of geography at the University of
Ex. I met him on the street the other day and he asked me over to
his house. He introduced me to some Exian food. A
nice old guy. He says he got his good manners from playing some kind
of sport in
the Falling Hills when he was young. The sport was called fair ...
fair-something. I can't remember what. The quote in the last letter
came from his book as well. "The population of Umbagollah is quite
small, and almost half of it lives in one of the two major cities.
Ex is substantially more crowded than Gum Gooloo Gum Jublet, with
the seaside port of Jail third and the underground town of Cumber Poidy running a distant fourth. Jail is Cumber Poidy's main point of contact with the mainland. An uncounted number of ferrypeople live on the River Fly. Most other Umbagollians live as farmers around
Gum Gooloo or in the North-west Flatlands. Some make their homes in the forest,
in the mountains or in the Falling Hills; many of these are mystics,
hermits and outcasts."
Daens says that some of the mystics are
very interesting people, when you can get them to talk to you. He spent
hours telling me all about all the things we believe in.
Spends a lot of his time down in Gum Gooloo, doing research in the
and Natural History Museum. He said I should go there. I didn't
say anything. Don't want him to know that I'm not really interested
in old stories or books. The man can cook too - he's got this really bizarre garlic presser.
Eat crap and die,
Communications and travel.
Don't threaten me you son
of a bitch. Yes, I do know how much it costs to send messages from
town to town ( it wouldn't have been so expensive if you'd sent them
by boat down the Fly instead of hiring a messenger to gallop his beastie
across the entire country ) but that doesn't mean that I have to be
grateful for them. What's with, "You're in trouble when I find you,
Mariel" and "I can tell you're flirting with this Daens character"
and "I'm going to make you sorry you were ever born" ? You make me
laugh mate, you really do. Stop embarrassing yourself.
more about Communications and travel
(the letters end here. Mariel
Hatstand was reported missing by her mother one month after the last
letter was written. She has not been seen since, and we do not know
who B. is. Anyone with information should contact their local
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