Roadtrip 2013

“Close Encounters of the Gizmo Kind” by N&J

Somewhere in the boonies of South Dakota (Sep 27/13)  – Many have asked how N&J manage to co-exist in such a small space found in a Volkswagen Westfalia camper van. Mostly it is easy. Both completely comfortable with the living quarters as it is. Dressing, cooking, peeing, making the bed, whatever… involves some ‘dancing’ around each other. Somewhat more difficult when it is rainy. That said, there are some situations where ‘wiggle-room’ is at a premium. Thank goodness Gizmo is a ‘double-decker’ with the tent popped up.

When first embarking on this voyage, N was pretty certain about what she shares ‘foodwise’, with anyone… essentially nothing. But as the journey has rolled on, she has changed her MO (modus operandi). Now J gets to touch her food (no surgical gloves required). It is quite normal to share a beer or an ice tea, the water bottle, a bite out of each other’s sandwich, burger, burrito…. bubble gum (well ok maybe not gum or popcorn…. yet). It would have to be pointed out that J had to ‘certify’ that he has had all his ‘shots’ (woof, woof) before this revolutionary change.

When nature is calling, you know… gotta go pee. For J it is as simple as stepping outside the van and using the ‘outside’ plumbing as equipped to his advantage. For N, not so much, not so simplistic. This is where J usually excuses himself outside the door, and the ‘pee pot’ is utilized by N. Don’t know what the ‘pot’s purpose’ was before, but obviously its future has been defined now (“no looking back now”). Then of course there is that time during the night when J may be asleep… he promises not to ‘hear’ the procedure (“I hear nothing; I know nothing!!!!”). Even ‘the cleaning of the pee pot” is a group effort; N cooks breakfast, J cleans the pot (simple!!!)… No argument here from J… N is an excellent gourmet cook. J is an excellent <pot> cleaner.

Dressing in/out of night attire is often not required as the so called ‘night wear’ can live forever while on the road and become day wear (sometimes for days on end). It is only a few feet from the bedroom to the driver’s seat… but when required, it is as simple as ‘whoever’ turning around, closing their eyes, whatever!!! “No peeking”, “Are you’re eyes closed?”. “Are you sure????”… Of course after seeing what they saw at Burning Man, not a lot is sacred anymore.

The brushing of the teeth ritual has become rather routine. “Can you pass the ‘spit’ cup?” Yeah there is a spit cup that is shared, not much that isn’t shared anymore (although J finds that ‘thong thing’ kind of itchy). Of course when brushing teeth outside of Gizmo, a cup is not required. The parking lot, a grassy area is just fine for rinsing out the mouth… those spray bottles normally used to provide a cool mist on a hot day (same sprayer used at BM), are great for rinsing. One morning after waking up in a rest area in Colorado. Outside brushing teeth, N thought she would demonstrate her prowess for spitting. Pretty darn good in fact. Both of them we’re neck & neck, until she upped the ante!!! Not sure what she did to prep herself for battle. But her next attempt either backfired or was designed to intimidate the opposition. Not only did she spit an Olympic record distance, but also include some contents of her morning coffee (Yuck!!!)… then not to be outdone (ever!!!), she proceed to empty the entire contents of her stomach onto the parking lot. “OK, OK I give up…. you win!!!!”.

Showering on the road usually involves the ingenious “shower curtain velcro’d to the open front passenger door, solar bag on roof, let’s get naked in the parking lot” setup… it makes for a nice warm shower.

click on pic to enlarge – right/left arrow to scroll thru the gallery

If the wind is blowing, and the shower curtain is out of control… one of them will stand guard to maintain privacy from the outside world. Or in the case of the temporary shower setup at the Habitat worksite, the work area is locked to prevent intrusion from others.

Bathing (like in a bathtub) is a completely different animal. No, there is NO bathtub in Gizmo. But it has been allegedly said that a ‘certain’ commercial kitchen with very large washtubs side by side, can actually fit two ‘apparently’ grown adults for bathing purposes.

Not saying that this happened. Not saying that N dared J to do it. Not saying that J could not refuse, or risk be called a ‘chicken-shit’ for the rest of his life. Not saying that they would be driven out of town (or burned at the stake) if it became common knowledge. Nope not saying.  ….But damn N&J sure smell nice!!!!!

And to think… N&J just met just over 3 months ago!!!


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