Monday, April 30, 2012

The Van


We've rented the camper van! It's a big, beautiful, wood-and-metal contraption with lots of place to sit…

And practically no space to store anything. This one may look nicer, but the cabinets around the top are too narrow for our bags. Honestly, I'm not sure how six people live here without a great deal of bags being set in the front, back, and sides at vaious times of the day.

As it is, we not only have our backpacks, but also five outdoor chairs— the big sort, that come in bags, and an outdoor table (never mind that we have two indoors). The point, of course, is that we may at some point want to dine outside.

My opinion? Pointless. We can always keep the door open if we're really hot, or eat standing up. It's really annoying to not have the appearance of space.

We drove 550km today, stopping at Devil's Marbles to take pictures and walk for 20 minutes. They're basically boulders that stay precariously or solidly on other boulders or the ground. They're rusty red, like all the other big rocks around here, and warm from the sun. Some have cracked open— inside they're gray. It's because of the iron in them that they're red.

Back to the camper van. There are basically four benches, three of which pull out to make two beds. The one in the back blocks off the kitchen when extended, while the two in front block off nothing but the storage space between the benches. These can be extended further to the side to block off the ladder space which leads up into the loft (and the biggest bed). All the benches are cushioned with beautiful navy blue cushions, and the two in the front have four seatbelts which we're supposed to wear at all times. 

We spent most of the day on the benches, in various positions while reading, singing, looking out the window, or playing iPad games.

I finished Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters by Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh, and started Poor Folk, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I liked the biography, but I don't understand Poor Folk. Yes, the two main characters are friends, but the general substance of their letters seems to be: "I'm very poor, very down-in-the-dumps, and you mustn't sacrifice yourself for me, really you mustn't! Also, here's a book."

I can't get into a novel like that, though I'm trying to understand what makes this book good. I'm hoping it gets revealed at the end, but not expecting it.

We stopped at a camping place, figured out where and how we were going to sleep, and ate soup, mashed potatoes, ham, and yogurt. It was, to say the least, a very delicious meal. Ileana volunteered to go wash the dishes, so we all trooped out carrying the dishes, some of us meeting with more adventures than others.

When Ileana came back, we piled into bed, turned out the light… and started sleeping, writing, or playing chess.

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