My friend Michelle recently returned from a camping weekend with her family. In the rain.
They erected their own tents, built their own campfire, cooked their food on a butane stove, and huddled in sleeping bags for warmth. In the rain.
And they shared shower facilities and a toilet block with about twenty other families. Oh, and did I mention it was raining?
I love Michelle dearly and I respect her tremendously. I’m just starting to think that she is, perhaps, not quite right in the head. Because Michelle and her family loved their camping holiday.
They loved erecting their tents. They loved their clever little stove. And they even loved the shared toilet block (okay, so maybe ‘love’ is too strong a word, but they used it, which is more than I would have done).
Furthermore, when it started to rain, Michelle and her gang stayed at the camping site. They didn’t run home. They didn’t book into the nearest motel. They just got wet.
Despite being such close friends, it’s clear that Michelle and I live in totally different universes. Mine is a sane universe, where people go on vacation to be in a better place than where they are now. Hers is a demented, parallel universe, where people go on vacation to inflict upon themselves tremendous inconvenience, discomfort and – in certain circumstances – wetness, presumably in the name of adventure.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like adventure as much as the next girl (provided she’s neurotic, anxious and anally retentive). I like to go to new places and see new things. I just like to see them from the comfort of a nicely air conditioned hotel.
Now I know you’re thinking I’m just a Princess, but in reality I don’t need great luxury in my holiday venues. After all, it doesn’t take much to take me somewhere better than I am now – particularly when I haven’t vacuumed or done the laundry in a while and the dishes are piling up in the sink.
I can do without room service. I can live without 25 TV channels. I can manage without a spa in my bathroom. I can even cope without chocolates on my pillow (provided that they are within easy access at a convenience store down the road).
There are however, certain basics that I cannot live without. A bed, to protect my aging back from the floor. Walls, to protect me from wild animals (in fact, any animals at all). And a roof to keep out the rain. For some bizarre reason I don’t like getting wet as I sleep. I know. I’m just strange like that.
But still, the most fundamental of holiday essentials is the private bathroom. You see, there is something about shared bathroom facilities that makes me want to immediately go out and take a shower, which creates a rather vicious cycle when the shower itself is in a shared bathroom. You know when a dog runs frantically after its own tail? Well, that’s what happens to me in that situation. It’s not pretty.
As for Michelle, though, I’m really happy she enjoyed her bizarro holiday. And I can’t wait for her to come round and show me all her photos.
But before she comes over, I’d really just like her to have another shower. She’s been in this public bathroom, and it’s just a funny thing I have…..