2010-05-07: Ladies Call Him Small (The Amazon)





Date: May 7, 2010


Amazon Day Three: Doubt is shined on the expedition when Mark and gang meet their guide.

"Ladies Call Him Small"

Manaus - Brazil

Only a couple of days before their flight out to the tiny resort that has all the bigger equipment and jeeps, Mark was getting antsy and anxious. The guide they needed, had blown off the explorer the day before. So the tall man was a touch cranky.

Add on top of that, the fact the rental car was a jeep that has seen better days. The red coloring did little to cover up the rusty metal. It seemed to vibrate loudly when he would punch it over 40 MPH. It even gave a coughing sputter and backfired at an intersection. "You would think… for a man who has been in the Amazon often, he'd have better business practices."

Both large hands grip the steering wheel, with the way he shakes, he's afraid to use just the one. "And you'd think that in all the Amazon there would be a better car!" He'd smack the steering wheel, but he's afraid that it will snap off.

It's not the first time Cody's been in a subpar vehicle, hell she spent the majority of her adult life overseas in places where vehicles like this belonged to those living in the lap of luxury. Alright, maybe not quite, but the middle class certainly was spoiled to have something like this. Keeping on hand on the top of her sombrero, she uses the other to grip the steel bar at her side. This is why seatbelts are so important.

"Relax Mark, the jeep is fine. We don't need anything fancy." Then they hit a rut and she practically bounces out of her seat. "Whoah! That was close!" She yells, eyeing the passing road. 40 MPH would hurt…

Well, at least there's a nice…breeze? Even at less than 40 MPH. The bumps and ruts are even worse there in the back, where Alex sits, but she's not griping. She is, however, braced in pretty tightly there, with legs and arms stretched out to push against the frame, just like Cody. Her hair is left to blow free in the wind, though she does have a big pair of sunglasses on.

"Give me some time and I might be able to do something about that road," Alex calls out to the front seat. She's gotta lean foward and practically yell to be heard over both the wind and the roar of that engine that seems to be running at maximum capacity all the time. Which, that's probably not right, but she's never owned her own car anyway.

His head jerks to the side a bit to look in the rear view mirror at Alexandra, brows high above the rims of his glasses. "What? No.. no no… Last thing we need is remaking road and piss off the local government." Marks eyes drop to the road and he starts to slow. "We're here anyhow." A small run down shack of a place sits to their right.

Mark blinks and glances at Cody, "Check the address again…" This can't be the place can it?

"Hola!!" Comes a shout as a scrawny bean pool of a man some sauntering out of the shack. "Senior Scotts?!" Leaning over his chicken wire fence, small dogs around his feet yapping viciously, he calls out over the roar of the engine, his hair a long dark hair curly and a unkempt.

As the engine of the jeep cuts out, the two women can hear Mark murmurs a soft… "Oh… dear… god." through clenched teeth. He offers the scrawny young man that bright charismatic smile of his as she slips out of the drivers seat. "Manuel Escobar?"

"Si! But you.. you can call me Poco." Scooting out though a gate that looks more like a pallet you use in a warehouse.

"Poco?" Mark asks unable to get the flat out of his tone. He might be bad a languages, but certain words stuck with him… that was one of them. "You want me to call you small?"

"Si," Poco says with a big toothy smile, a stick thin arm is held out with a large flat hand at the end, ready for shaking. "It's what all the laaaadies call me." He says with such pride that Mark is starting to question if he should tell him it is a mistake and run.

Sadly, there isn't enough time to look for a new guide, so reluctantly with a glance to his companions, he takes the thin and shakes it with his meatier one. "Ah… nice to meet you… Poco."

Cody was just about to check her notebook again when the scrawny little man comes out of the hut. She blinks, glances at Mark, looks over to the would be guide, shifts her eyes in Alex's direction, then back to the guide and then back to Mark.

Just. Wow.

Centering the sombrero on her head, she places her hands into her pockets and leans back against the Jeep. She's not too willing to step any closer to those tiny vicious dogs. She read an article once where a mailman got eaten alive by things like that. She's not taking any chances.

"Good lord!" Alex echoes Mark's sentiments, but a lot louder than he did. She doesn't really care if Poco hears her because…well, it doesn't seem like he much cares, anyway! Like Cody, she just stands at the side of the jeep (after sliding out the door from the backseat of course). "This guy is supposed to be the guide? With a name like that? It does mean chicken, right? I don't know that I'd want that kind of nickname."

"Pollo means chicken, he lives down the street in his Abuela's basement… I'm Poco." The little Brazilian man offers helpfully."None of the ladies like thing though… he's a very large man." His tone solemn.

"It means small." Mark glances at Alexandra, giving her a significant look, "All the ladies call him that." His eyes widen slightly in exasperation, before turning back to the scrawny man, giving his leg a shake to dislodge a dog. "So you swear you've done this sort of thing before… the man that referred you, told me were perfect." The Lane heir is starting to wonder.

"Oh yes… You have no worries there. I have spent many a weeks in the rain forest." Poco says with confidence, his head nodding slowly. "I've done this… two… three times."

"Oh god…" That slips out before Mark can stop it. "For how long?" He manages to choke out.

"Oh.. few hours… though I did manage to stay out a full day and a half. Camped and everything." Poco, bends down to scoop up one of the fattest Chihuahua's Mark has even seen, her growls at the tall American man, and he can't help but wonder what Dee would hear in that tiny head.

Cody's smile is wider than the Amazon itself. Possibly to the chagrin of Mark and Alex, she's really enjoying herself. She has no qualms about being lost, she's got a sombrero and they've got plenty of secret weapons on their side. Jo probably packed an arsenal of them in her suitcase.

Looking over at Alex, she gives the woman a wink and chuckles. "Bet you first hot dog that we get lost five minute into the forest." She hasn't explained the rules of the game to the petite bulldozer, but after living together for a couple of months Alex might have cause to be worried. Very worried.

"Dude…I'm not eating one of those things," Alex quips back…clearly taking Cody's 'hot dog' statement just a little literally. Each question Mark asks makes him blush, makes Cody grin, and makes Alex shake her head in disappointment? Embarrassment? Concern? "We're definitely going to get lost, aren't we?" she asks Cody, given an exasperated sigh. "I'm taking the under on that bet. Otherwise, I might wind up having to strip-clear our way out…if you know what I mean." Alex rests back with her butt against the side of the jeep, arms crossed over her chest.

Mark literally looks at a loss with the guide, he stares at the little man for a long moment before he holds a hand over his shoulder towards Cody, fingers opening and closing in a grabbing motion. "Cody… the manila envelope, please?" Is that worry in his voice.

It seems Poco is taking Cody's Hot dog comment seriously as well, he cradles the bug eyed dog closer to him, twisting his body a bit to put some distance between them. "Hey, not eating my dogs, lady. Chi chi here… she is a champion."A thin hand pats the dogs side, which increases her growling. "She is going to have puppies and net me some big bucks."

The little button on the glove compartment rusted out and fell off years before they rented the vehicle. Thankfully, all it takes is a swift pound of a fist to swing open and the manila envelope drops into Cody's waiting hand. Finally taking a few steps over toward their new guide, she hands Mark the envelope and lifts one corner of her mouth in a smirk.

"Puppies, really?" Then she turns to Alexandra and gives her an upward nod, "They call those appetizers in Vietnam." She takes the few strides to close the distance between her and Mark and places a hand on his shoulder, a gesture of reassurance. Leaning up, she murmurs into his ear, "We'll be fine, trust me…"

The way Alex covers her already-sunglasses covered eyes and shakes her head pretty much says that's just a little TMI. "Noooo thank you. I'll stick to, you know, palatable cuisine. So, no chihuahuas, alright? Even if it means I have to carry a lot more in my pack." There are levels of survival the Alexandra hopes not to have to sink to on this trip…so. "You can eat the bugs Cody…I'll have your rations, if it comes to that. Alright?"

Poco's eyes are wide at Cody, horrified is the word for it. He shuffles back a few steps, to keep the strange and crazy sombrero lady from eating his beloved Peso cow.

Mark just gives a bit of a grunt at the reassurance, on his part, cause it isn't working right now. He's got a team of woman and a man who thinks he's a stud with a name like 'Poco'. "Ah… Poco… This…" The envelope of offered over, with much hesitation. ".. is the first half of the money. Paperwork on where we are… where we are going and the airport terminal to meet us on the tenth."

The dog is set back on those tiny legs, which she uses to waddle away as she yap yaps at everyone. Stopping long enough to sniff at Alexandra's shoe before trying to trot away. Poco takes the envelop and looks inside it. Fishing out the packet of paper, his eyes widen at what he sees. "I thought you were kidding…"

"Never." Mark says gruffly, slowly backing up, clearly he plans to leave now and very quickly. "If you skip out on the deal, I will not hesitate to cancel payment on that." Being a part of a big company has some perks. "We'll… ah…" He glances at the shack. "… leave you to your packing."

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