We reached the jungle not long after the mountains materialized. The light changed instantly, reaching through the leafy canopy with golden fingers, scattering sun and shadows.
…We stopped to buy young coconuts from a lonesome roadside stall and drank from them by the car. The whole region, by decree of the United Nations, is one of the world’s protected zones, home to tigers and the last remaining wild elephant population in Asia.
Ours was the only vehicle in sight that afternoon. It was eerily quiet, except for invisible creatures that cawed and chattered near enough that I ignored the urge to pee. “You’re a big funk, Carolyn,” my mother said before she marched into the bush.