Maia Ruth Lee’s Adventures in da Wilddd Wild East (Pt. V)
Maia sends us her fifth missive from Nepal, where she is mining the terrain for lustrous nuggets, turning them around, peering at them from new angles, and sending them to us as cultivated gems and jagged pieces of art.
I learned today that the word jungle is originally from the Sanskrit jangala. In India this is what they used to call “uncultivated land.” In Sanskrit though, it literally means “dry land,” where nothing can grow, but Anglo-Indians interpreted “uncultivated” as the dense thick forest that we all understand jungle to mean today. Maybe Tarzan and Jane were supposed to be characters skidding through the blazing heat of sandy dunes, and have lizards as friends instead of lions? The desert and jungle are both hardcore nonetheless, so today I talk about the word uncultivated.
Some synonyms for uncultivated are untamed, virgin, common, crude, ill-bred, boorish, graceless, barbaric, heathen, Neanderthal, rude, primitive, tacky, mannerless, uncouth, vulgar, crass, roughneck, clumsy, and oafish. We’re all of these and I love love love it.