Posted by: facetothewind | March 27, 2012

How to Have a Third World Experience Without Leaving Home


by Larry Hermsen, with David Gilmore and Carole Beauclerk

Remove the muffler and catalytic converter from your car, and run a hose from the exhaust to inside your house. Clean air is incompatible with the third world experience. Expect nosebleeds, bronchitis, coughing, and eye infections. Don’t worry about carbon monoxide poisoning, because you are going to remove the glass from half your house’s windows.

Burn your trash on Sunday evenings, plastic and all, in your yard. Burn it slowly and let it smolder to get maximum smoke. This will endear you to your neighbors, and contribute the health problems I describe above.

Buy a few defunct motorcycles and take them apart in your front yard, making sure to let the engine oil drain all over the ground so that it kills all plant matter and mixes with the rainwater to form large, oily puddles.

Get at least two un-neutered, aggressive mutts and let them run loose, threatening everybody who passes by your property. Train them to bark constantly. Feed them only non-nutritious table scraps, and not too much of that, so they stay skinny and mangy. In a few weeks you’ll have some adorable puppies running about who will grow up to be just like their parents.

When you drive your car, do not use turn signals, or even headlights for that matter, and be sure to honk at everything that moves within 50 yards of your auto. Never give pedestrians the right of way. And remember, in the third world, the biggest vehicle wins.

Eliminate all fiber from your diet. Don’t worry about constipation, I’ll address that below. Deep fry as much as possible, and reuse the oil over and over.

At every meal, pour half a cup of oil and a quarter cup of sugar onto your food before eating.

Every day, put a dropper full of toilet water in your drinking water supply, to keep your system populated with invisible visitors, and to avoid the constipation mentioned above. If you’re not spending at least one night a week on your knees with your head in the toilet vomiting, you’re not getting your minimum daily requirement of bacteria and parasites—consider another source for your water contaminates; maybe a neighbor could help out.

Never clean your bathroom. Remove the toilet seat, or better yet, crack it so that each time you sit down, it pinches you in the butt. Keep the floor flooded with water at all times. This can be accomplished partly by getting rid of your shower curtain. Disconnect the hot water tap from the sink. Move the mirror down so that it’s so low you have to stoop to see your face in it. Remove the glass from the window, so that you get lots of mosquitoes in summer, and cold air in winter.

Take the mattress off your bed out into the driveway and run over it several times with your car, until it’s flat, hard, lumpy and oil-stained. Replace your nice soft bed pillows with boulders in pillowcases.

Get rid of most of your furniture and spend your indoor time on the floor. Keep a television set turned on at distortion-level full volume, at all times, even while sleeping.

There needs to be a constant source of loud noise at all times. Consider making recordings at machine shops, freeways, and construction sites, and play them at full volume in your home. Try to get your street designated as a diesel truck route.

To experience third world public transportation, you will need a strong friend to help you. Sit in an uncomfortable straight-backed chair, and have this person violently shake the chair for at least an hour. Have another friend serve you a soupy meal and see if you can eat it without getting all over yourself. This will approximate train travel. A bus trip is the same only worse (if you could get another friend to vomit on you while being shaken, that would make the bus trip more authentic).

Go into a drug store and communicate by gibberish and charades that you need a laxative for constipation, not Immodium for diarrhea–while everyone around you is pointing at your butt and laughing.

You will need two recordings for this experience: one of cats in heat mating, and the other of the Muslim dawn call to prayer.
1. Time the cats recording to begin an hour after retiring, until one hour before sunrise.
2. Time the call to prayer recording to begin just before sunrise, just as you are finally getting some REM.
If you play these these at full volume, it will duplicate the sleepless nights in many Third World cities.

Walk into a restaurant and order “chicken person’s nose berbecue” or “toes with jam” and see what you get.

Read this list before considering any trip to a third world country, and if you still want to go, you’re even crazier than I am.



  1. David, I so appreciate this documentation, expecially Tahoe and the video meditation. What a treat! I miss you and will see when you get home. Keep enjoying.

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