Transcribed from dictation, ADAM speaking--
Of course, I hadn't forgotten that you people at home were
worrying about me. Actually, I'd been thinking about you all a
lot, I just hadn't been in physical shape to make it to anywhere
I could contact you and then I got locked into this purification
thing. When we left the little alpine meadow to go meet the
purification committee, I reminded Dagrolyt of my problem:
"I've really got to get in touch with my Nokhso parents to tell
them I'm still alive. And as soon as possible, they must think
I'm dead, I've been gone for almost two moons."
"Yes, I understand your problem, but how can we do that? Your
parents live very far away."
"If we go down the mountain just a ways we'll eventually run into
some Nokhso bakhl, where I can borrow a..." no word for telephone,
of course "...a skesk-thing for talking far away."
"Borrow skesk from the NokhSoli?" he asked, looking both amazed
and worried at once, then added, "while on the way to your own
"You've got some conflict about that?"
He laughed out loud. "And I thought I bent the rules!"
Then he got serious, "Kl'sba, Dadameh, that might be a very long
trip--especially since you tell me that the NokhSo Alutna may be
after you. Can you guarantee me that we two Nokhons can just
walk up to any NokhSo passing by on that Highway and borrow a
Whatever-it-Was without any problems...such as them shooting or
"Your Purification committee is expecting you tomorrow, a journey
we can just barely make in time without detours. They will be
questioning you about your relationship to the NokhSoli and how
dependent you are upon Skesk, where your loyalties are, etc.
They might even ask when you last had any contact with the
Corrupting Evil of Skesk."
"Could be embarrassing, I guess," I had to admit.
"And one thing you must NEVER do is lie to them. They will know
it, I assure you."
"But I never lie anyway," I told him with a shrug.
"Oh, guess not. Since you are bred to be an Orator, you probably
CAN'T tell a lie."
"I'll just tell the truth, that I don't want my NokhSoli parents
to suffer because of me..."
"If you tell them that you gave your past NokhSo life priority
over them, they might exile you. I'm not sure, but if so--you
would not be Purified, you could never become a Sha-haka and
you would be an outlaw."
"Shit, I'm already an outlaw in NokhSo Land!"
"Look, you decide and I'll back you up, but right now it's pretty
much one way or the other: if you go back to the NokhSo world
right now, you might just have to stay there...if you can. But if
you wait a while longer and at least become Purified, you can try
to get word to your parents later."
So we went on to our appointment. Sorry, but it was important to
me to get into that world and if I blew it then I might never
have gotten the chance again.
We were supposed to meet the committee at a "special place" in the
mountains, apparently the traditional arena for such purification
ceremonies. Dagrolyt had told me very little about it, except to
hint that I was going to see something pretty amazing and he was
It was pretty far away--not in miles, but in mountain trekking
time--considering that we couldn't just drive a car, you know. A
journey made even longer by the fact that once we left our warm
little meadow we were trekking through snow.
Good thing that by then I was so healed and healthy that it finally
felt GOOD to push my body into moving fast, even running where it
was possible, until we began to climb the steep slopes.
Before we climbed too high up Dagrolyt paused to gather a few bushy
fir branches to take along, said we'd need them to sleep on, since
there was nothing but stone and ice where we were going.
After having trekked overnight and all the next day, we arrived just
before sunset. We had climbed up into the higher Cascades, into the
glaciers. I can't tell you exactly where to, that's secret, but I
can mention that we could see Seattle and Puget Sound far out on the
horizon, where the sunset was putting on a spectacular show on the
snow and in the other direction Eastern Washington turning blue and
dark in the shadow of the Cascades. So we were WAY up.
But still not quite on top, we came over a crest to a big plateau,
where I saw what Dagrolyt had been hinting at: a special place
We were suddenly in the ruins of a completely unknown ancient
Now that was kind of surprising, especially to me-- hey, I major
in anthropology and archaeology, but I'd never heard anything about
a place like that in the Cascade Mountains. It seems no human has
discovered them yet, although they've been right there out in the
open all this time.
To be fair, I didn't recognize it as a ruin site either at first.
You have to know what to look for, ruins can be pretty ruined,
overgrown, so that they look like natural formations. But mostly,
the scale of those structures seemed way too large to be man-made.
In fact, I argued with Dagrolyt to that effect, but he insisted
that it was Resk, artificial or unreal and upon observing
I finally had to agree.
We were up on a mountain that sloped steeply on one side but was
sheer cliff on the other side, atop which were these big rows of
symmetrical stones. They appeared quite natural, just happening
to be lined up. But looking again: the stones all fit together
perfectly, like Inca walls in Peru and were laid out in two very
parallel rows at a perfect right angle to the cliff. Impressive
structures, hundreds of feet long and just as tall.
When we climbed slightly higher I could look down on a great flat
field, like a floor. At one end there was a circular ruin-pile of
rocks suggesting a good sized once-upon-a-time round tower, at the
other end those wall structures formed two long platforms jutting
out well past the edge of the cliff, all perfectly straight and
even, ending with an eight hundred foot drop out at the far end.
But the biggest flash was when Dagrolyt told me that this had been
a Nokhon temple long ago (a hundred thousand years?) and that
they had worshipped volcanoes. Sacrificed people to them.
I turned to look where he was pointing and sure enough, out there
on the horizon--three volcanoes in a neat row: Mount Baker, Mount
Rainier, Mount St Helen, all spread out in a symmetric display.
They had all been active long ago.
Looking down the cliff from up there, facing those three volcanoes
square on, I suddenly just KNEW what kind of place this had been.
For a second I imagined it was ME about to be sacrificed to those
volcanoes, marched to the end of the Round Temple corridor by
strong-armed priests, while the bloodthirsty population of that city
watched from those stone platforms on each side of the sacrificial
altar, where they could have a perfect view of the victims falling
all the way to the stones below. I stepped back real quick.
Ever the budding anthropologist, I was asking Dagrolyt all sorts
of scientifically valid questions about the place as we walked
around it, but he didn't know very much about it himself. Just that
it was now called "The Temple of Guilt". The original name of the
place had been forgotten, or rather, suppressed. The Nokhontli do
not honor killing anymore.
This was a "special place" for purification rites, where the sins
of the Nokhontli people met the sins of the individual Nokhon,
everything as symbolic as could be.
It was soon too dark to study the ruins any more that day, which
had been long and strenuous. We were where we needed to be, since
I was to meet my purification committee here at sunrise, so we
needed a place to sleep.
Of course it was freezing there, on top of a mountain range, but
Dagrolyt knew his way around the ruins, leading me to a stairway
down into a lower level of passageways and side chambers. It was
100% dark down there, but being a fire-legal Sha-haka, Dagrolyt
had the makings for a tiny torch in his pouch so that we could see
where we were going. It was kind of spooky anyway.
We went a ways in, wanting to distance us from the windy stairway,
then picked the cleanest looking side chamber. Checked into the
local hotel, not four stars. It was just an empty little nook, but
well out of the wind and our own body heat warmed it a little.
Luckily, we had those bushy branches we'd brought up the mountain
for beds, rather than sleeping on freezing rock. It was almost
cozy. Except for the smell--man, can two squatches stink up a room.
While at home near our bakhl we didn't usually wear the squatch-
stink required among the finest Nokhon society, but to go traveling
we had to smear ourselves in it once again. I asked if I should go
wash it off with snow before dawn so that I would be more "pure"
for the ceremony. I mean, that would be at least one less stinking
guy in that room. But Dagrolyt said, "No, in fact, we'll smear you
up extra-stinky so that you'll be especially ripe upon arrival.
Then you shall be cleansed, as a part of ceremony."
This was not only for the symbolic reasoning humans might assume,
but also because an applicant was to be "naked", smell-wise, so
that his emotional odors would be revealed to the committee.
It could have been a long hard night, with no TV or room service in
that squatch-stinky little hovel, but luckily it had been such a
long hard day that we both fell asleep almost right away.
We awakened well before sunrise--well, Dagrolyt woke me, I might
have slept right through my appointment, not having an alarm clock
to go by. As he'd said, I had to smear myself in an extra helping
of my own piss and shit to be ripe enough for the ceremony. We
went upstairs and outside for that. The night was turning blue
and red, so we'd timed it pretty well. But it was even colder for
me now that my hairy body was wet and we had to wait for the sun
to pop up over the Eastern horizon.
Dagrolyt had explained the rules of Purification to me, so I knew
what to expect. Being my sponsor, he couldn't have anything to do
with my Purification except to observe. I knew that a DyøKet, Elder,
would ask me questions about my "sins", and then decide upon some
minor symbolic punishment to which I should agree. I would then
undergo that punishment, which would be some kind of test. If I
passed the test, I would be considered "Purified" and allowed to
mingle with decent Nokhon folk. And their girls, Dagrolyt had
assured me with a nudge.
They were right on time, just as the first glint of sunlight showed
up, so did they, coming up the same stairway we had used. Made me
wonder just how many passageways and chambers there were hiding
down inside that mountain.
Dagrolyt and I were standing before the round tower ruins because
that was where I was supposed to be. Five Nokhontli came up to us,
four males, two older and especially large, one female.
As they approached I suddenly recognized the biggest Nokhon to be
Old Dannat, my first host and Sha-haka doctor. He seemed bigger
than ever, although he was probably still only 9 feet tall. Even
though we had never really become close friends, he had saved my
life. I hoped that he might even be on my side this time too,
I could see that the other two were also Sha-haka by their medicine
bags, both strangers to me at that time. Later on I'd come to know
them pretty well--the Elder being Da-nama-hat, the woman Mastinta--
but for just then they were strict officials who were out to pass
judgment upon me be it pass or fail.
I also knew the faces of the two normal-sized squatches: those same
Alutna agents who had visited us a week before. Seems that a
purification involved the police, sort of like getting a driver's
license, I figured. The other three Sha-hakas, including the woman,
represented the cultural authorities.
Everybody bobbed heads politely, the three Sha-hakas lined up in
front of me, the two Alutna moved behind me and stood with Dagrolyt,
leaving me alone in the middle.
All right, sure, I WAS slightly nervous about this silly junglebunny
voodoo ritual I had to submit myself to: Would it hurt? How bad
could it get?
Da-nama-hat, the Elder, was obviously the oldest of them--logically
enough--he was wrinkled and noble-looking like some ancient Indian
chief, much of his long hair was white, but there was nothing
feeble or doddering about the man, he looked strong and healthy,
very imposing. But it was impossible to see if he was sympathetic
He spoke: "Welcome to the Temple of Guilt, Young Dadameh. We are
here to determine what you are guilty of and hopefully, to
That seemed almost friendly, but then old Dannat asked "What are
your sins, young Dadameh?"
He was playing it formally, as if we were strangers. No smile or
nodding, no "good to see you again" foolishness, this was very
serious stuff. So I got my mind back on the business at hand,
resisting the impulse to say "Hi, Dannat old pal," or any such
I'd rehearsed everything with Dagrolyt to give the proper answers:
"My sin is that I was captured by the NokhSoli, but never
endeavored to escape and gradually accepted their way of life as
Correct and True."
To which Mastinta asked: "And what is your justification?"
"I was too young to know otherwise, there were no Sha-haka to
instruct me, nor had I ever met any member of the Nokhontli until
recently, although I had earnestly sought them."
"And what is your intent?" asked the Elder Da-nama-hat.
This was the Big Question, because now I had to tell them that I
was going to try to become Sha-haka. If I'd just say that I was
going to be good and plug along in their society and be one of the
regular grunts, they'd probably go easy on me, being a victim of
circumstances and all. But if I was going to shoot for the stars
and climb the social ladder, maybe even become a person of power
and authority--especially with my unique advantage of a NokhSo
education--well, then they just might really want to test me.
But I figured it was make it or break it. I made my statement as
formally as I could in the dark, deprived of the usual visual
signs that the Nokhon language uses so heavily.
"My intent is to be a pure and devoted adherent to the Atli," that
part was the standard line and then the big surprise, "and to
serve the Nokhontli as Sha-haka."
Well, no one gasped or anything. Da-nama-hat the Elder asked, "And
to what level do you aspire?"
Dagrolyt had mentioned that there were many levels of Sha-haka,
but had never spelled out the system. Naturally, I just figured I
should go as high as I could, whatever that might be, so I said
"Ome et dwe," which I knew wasn't quite right, but should mean
something like "as great as possible".
They started laughing. Not just enjoying themselves at a silly
malapropism, but as if I was the butt of a practical joke I couldn't
understand, which made it even funnier. I mean, they laughed HARD.
I wasn't sure if I was allowed to question them during the ceremony,
so I waited politely.
Finally the Elder spoke again, sounding serious, "Do you know that
you wear a sign?"
I said "No."
The Elder touched my chest with a finger, upon the white hair over
the scar left by the bullet that had torn all the way through my
"This is a sign of skesk-technology. It is a symbol of death and
you carry it in the center of your being. Do you really believe
that you can become Sha-haka bearing such an impure sign for all
Okay, now it starts getting a bit mystical, I'm afraid. I can't
insist that you folks believe all this coming up, but I have to
believe it myself because it happened to me--and is still happening.
I had no idea what to say to them just then, but suddenly started
talking as if it was me who knew what was going on and they didn't.
At first I thought I was just bluffing my way along like I used to
do in High School sometimes, subconscious bullshit, but when I
listened to myself I could hear that INSPIRED words were being
spoken--as if it wasn't exactly ME talking.
"You misinterpret the symbols," I said, or something like that, my
vocabulary seemed to jump to a higher level than I was actually
capable of, "I bear the scar of death and yet I am alive. You all
know my name and have been waiting for me to arrive. I am The
Man of Two Worlds and my time has come. I have a duty and a
destiny, even as your duties are to facilitate my advent as best
you are each empowered to so do.
"I am submitted to the rite of Purification with a pure heart that
is innocent of your world. I am as a newborn child, having died
and been born again a Nokhon. But before I came here I have achieved
an intimate understanding of the NokhSo world, which grows ever
nearer to absolute mastery or absolute destruction of this entire
planet and you three know this to be true."
Well, I was pretty amazed to be saying all that, my voice had even
taken on an Authority I knew I didn't have. So I figured they'd be
calling my bluff, but they didn't. I was even more amazed when
they looked at each other, bobbed their heads in unison and Elder
Da-nama-hat said, "Excellent. But you must first endure the rite
I'm not going to quote everything everyone said, most of it was a
tedious formal process and would take too much time to tell every
detail in the middle of this story. Besides, I have to present an
Anthropology Thesis to the UW at some point and what a great one
that would make! So I'll do a formal paper on it later, symbolic
analysis and all that academic stuff.
Anyway, they had me clean the squatch-stink off with snow, just as
Dagrolyt had said, so that now I was physically "pure". There were
verses from the Atli I should meditate upon. They each spanked me
with some tender branches--very gently, all symbolic, you know,
with more Atli wisdom to follow.
All that had taken half a day; it became noon, the sun bright by
then, sky blue above us, except for some heavy clouds on the Western
horizon, shadowing Seattle off on the horizon. I became aware of
how fantastically scenic the view was just there and then.
Well, I figured I had it made now. Dagrolyt had told me they'd
probably subject me to some slight punishment which would be over
soon, since Nokhontli don't really get off on torture, so it must be just
about over. But no.
I was told to follow the three Sha-hakas down the stairs. Dagrolyt
was to wait with the Alutna guys.
We took the same corridor I already knew, but soon turned into a
side chamber, which led to another corridor. It got very dark, but
then I could see the flickering of a flame lighting the corridor
just ahead of the Elder who was leading the way. I followed their
silhouettes, unable to see where I was putting my feet.
We turned into other side chambers several times, leading to other
corridors--I think, could have been the same, they all looked alike
--again and again, until I had no idea where we were. Then we went
into a chamber so large that I could no longer see walls or ceiling
in the feeble firelight. We stopped there.
They turned to face me, circling around the little flame that had
led the way. That's when I saw that the merrily dancing little
flame was in fact simply hovering there in open space between me
and them, no torch nor candle nor wick to burn. Evidently some
Sha-haka magic. Pretty cool, actually.
That flickering fire was also now positioned just low enough below
their faces to glow upward and give them all a really spooky and
overdramatic aspect, you know, like in an old Frankenstein movie.
To keep from being spooked myself, I decided to consider it all
theatrics, amusing, knowing that it was really just some hokey
small-town trickery that might impress the locals, but hardly
someone as sophisticated as me. But I couldn't help wondering just
how the hell they were doing the floating fire trick.
"Now, young Dadameh," old Dannat asked, "we want to know what your
intentions are for the NokhSo world you have left behind: do you
forsake it forever?"
Oh great, I thought, they're going to ask the tricky questions now
that I'm at their mercy here in the dark.
"I must be honest with you..." I started to tell them, but was
interrupted by the Elder Da-nama-hat amusedly saying, "Yes, of
course, ha ha, you are bred an Orator!"
Up to now there hadn't been a word about my being an Orator.
"...uh, right...but I have to state that I shall not reject the
NokhSo world. Nor am I finished with it. Truthfully, I must go
back quite soon to tell my NokhSo Mamama not to worry. But I don't
want to reject this world either. I believe I SHOULD be that Man
of Two Worlds, a between-person..."
"Yes, yes, The Negotiator," Mastinta said, nodding, "we know that
I was surprised. They were way ahead of me or any plans I had.
"But we insist that you immerse yourself in our Nokhon world just
now. You may contact your Mamama when you leave here, but do
only that and return. We want you to have lived with the Nokhontli
for an entire sun-circle, thirteen moons. Then you may freely
pass between. Agreed?"
A year without going back, I was stunned. And, to tell the truth,
offended that they thought that they could demand that of me, I
wasn't their slave or prisoner. It pissed me off just enough to
defy them, give some of their arrogance back.
"Skog," I said, "that's too long. I have a life there too. Three
moons, then I'll pass between. Agreed?"
I figured that was it, now I get thrown out of here. But I could
see on their faces that they respected me for standing up to them.
"Seven moons, no less," they said.
"Six moons, no more," I said, getting the last word in. Hey, I'm
a friggin' ORATOR, you know. But then when they accepted the six
moons, I more or less had to stick to the agreement, didn't I?
At that point Mastinta handed me a large maple leaf, upon which was
smeared a thick paste of some kind. "Ra'kha, take this."
I figured it was an hallucinogen of some kind, peyote, mushrooms,
but knew I couldn't back out now, so I scraped the goo off the leaf
with my teeth and swallowed. It was ghastly, really bitter.
Once I had finished it all, even eating the leaf, the Elder reached
up to do a magical wave of his hand and the flame just disappeared
without a poof. Total darkness.
Three voices said, "Stay here and endure," and that was all, as if
they too had disappeared.
Man, it was dark. Cold too, although that doesn't usually bother
me much. What really bothered me was that I didn't know if I was
supposed to wait for five minutes or a week, they hadn't said.
The drug kicked in slowly. I think. I couldn't tell, but it felt
like I was there for a long time. I got hungry, thirsty. After a
while I began to suspect that this was how they finished off anyone
they didn't want in their society--the Nokhontli don't kill, but maybe
they could allow somebody to starve himself to death voluntarily.
And remember, most Nokhontli can go a long time with little food,
sustained by haka, which I couldn't or didn't understand how
to make it work. I was pretty spooked.
I suddenly had a flashback to that time I'd been kidnapped, back
when I was five years old. I hadn't thought about that in years,
but I'd also been stuck alone and scared in constant darkness back
then. I had escaped somehow, although I've never been able to
remember how I did it...which was weird. A big question ever since.
But then, all of a sudden, I DID remember! It was a WOW moment,
a revelation, very important information!
Or maybe I just fantasized it, I was pretty stoned by then. Anyway,
I forgot it all again when the pain started, more than I was ready
for. I rolled around the floor in agony, all sense of balance gone,
was completely disoriented, felt like I was falling both up and
down at once, shuddering, jittering. Talk about Bad Trips, this
was the one they were all trying to imitate.
The hallucinations set in: first of HERE, this house, my NokhSo
family and you were all monsters, every one of you. I saw the
whole complex of Western Civilization as army ants devouring the
world, without any humane qualities. But I also saw the sasquatch
world, and it wasn't any better: lives wasted on meaningless rules,
all creativity forbidden, deliberate suffering. No worthy
qualities there either, everyone everywhere living stupid animal
Images of Buddha and Christ roared by on motorcycles, beating their
own worshippers with chains, I won't go into more detail, other
than to say it was a dehumanizing experience and I was made aware
that I was just a bug inside a hole in a rock on a festering ball
of mud in an orbit around a dying, screaming star.
Then I had a REAL vision. That was the whole point of it all, my
personal Dream Vision. You know, in the same tradition as native
American Indians. Me being a potential Orator, it was more audio
than video, I heard voices speaking words of instruction, my fate
and future were predicted, it was scary and wonderful.
It revealed what I am supposed to do with my life and how to do it.
Fortunately, it was a Vision I could embrace because I wanted it
to come true. A Good Vision to believe in.
I'm not going to expose it here, of course: a Dream Vision must
remain private knowledge if it's to have any True Significance to
the dreamer. But I will say that it was a vision that put all
those negative hallucinations into a positive perspective, I guess
I could say that I actually did experience a Purification.
When the worst/best of the Vision was over, I felt sick, vomited
again and again, long after there was no more Vision to be had. I
groveled on the cave floor for a while, felt almost as bad as
when I'd been shot and lay dying. Finally managed to sleep, or
Dagrolyt shook me awake. It was daylight but under a stormy sky
getting ready to snow, we were outside, I was lying on the ruins
plateau. All the others were also squatting around us, waiting to
welcome me back.
Dagrolyt looked concerned; he hadn't known they were going to be so
heavy on me. He asked if I had experienced a Special Vision and when
I said yes he warned me to keep it secret, or the magic would become
corrupted. Then he gave me an apple and a drink of water from a small
woven-grass bag and I soon felt much better.
The committee was seemingly satisfied and not especially stern any
more, friendly even, smiling and relaxed. They were congratulating
me, old Dannat even patted my shoulder as he announced that I was
now considered a good kid.
The committee informed me that not only was I Purified, but that
this Enduring I had passed was also considered severe enough to
satisfy requirements for acceptance into an eventual apprenticeship
for achieving a worthy position in Nokhon society. Even then,
confused and groggy as I was, that struck me as odd, a kind of 2-For
-the-Price-of-1 Package Deal marketing, as if they were rushing me
through the process.
Which is exactly what they were doing: I was being accepted into
Nokhon society as an adult, although native squatches usually
earned their final names just after puberty. I was therefore about
five years behind my contemporaries, so it was awkward for them to
still be calling me by a child's name.
Which is to say that the final "H" phoneme in my name became a final
"T" when the Committee decreed that: "...the boy DadameH is henceforth
to be known as the young man DadameT!" I was officially now
That renaming is usually considered a big deal in a young squatch's
life, "great pride and achievement, etc", sort of corresponding to
our High School Graduation. However, in my case it was more a
matter of fixing an embarrassment. But the most important thing
to me was being normalized with regard to Nokhon society, making
me an acceptable citizen and an all-around regular guy.
Yes, I was finally at the bottom rank of the social scale--and
could now begin to work my way up.
And my first official grownup duty was to get it up: now that I was
Pure and therefore sexually available to the women of the mlønoli, I
had to be tested for genetic qualities. Mastinta asked me to lie on
my back for the test, then took a small leaf-packed bundle out of her
shoulder bag and passed it under my nose. It was that shyøma-smell,
but concentrated and it gave me an erection so fast and so stiff that
it hurt. Then she-- you're not going to believe this--gave me a
Okay, it wasn't really a blow job, but she did suck on me in some way
that made me, er, come in about three seconds, which isn't normal...
I guess. Then she closed her eyes and seemed to be TASTING the sperm
before spitting it out, like a wine-taster does. Which actually seems
to be how they determine what genes a male has. Kinky magic.
Mastinta said I had some useful genes and would definitely be assigned
to breed some females some day. That didn't sound so bad.
My duties done, I was free to socialize. Da-nama-hat, the Elder, was
especially friendly and interested in talking to me.
"I have been looking forward to meeting you, young Dadamet. I'd like
to hear your story sometime. I invite you to come and visit me at my
office when you are in Aket, we can talk."
"What is Aket?"
"The capital city of the Nokhontli," Dagrolyt explained.
He used the word Et-Bakhli, which roughly translates as "big
collection of houses". It's the same word they use to describe
Seattle, which they can easily see from the mountains.
"There's a Nokhon CITY?" I asked, intrigued, having never heard of
such a place.
"Of course," old Dannat said, "it's where we teach aspirants to
become Sha-hakas, Alutna, Orators."
"I'd like to see that."
"Oh, you shall one day," Da-nama-hat the Elder told me, "but one can
only enter Aket by invitation and you must earn that by learning
proper Nokhon ways. You have learned much already, Young Dadamet,
and I have faith that you will learn much more. So I look forward
to seeing you there."
I had been unconscious all night long, awakening first well after
dawn. Since Dagrolyt and I were to be at a Kha-rat in three days,
which was at least a two-day hike away, we all bobbed heads and
said "Ta'ash," then went on our way.