Van Life

Things I’d Kill For, Depending on the Day

By on February 4, 2013

This is going to be a mini-bitch fest, for those of you that think only of the upside of the freedom of Mork living. There is, of course, a downside. Looking at my list, you might think they’re minor blemishes on an otherwise flawless lifestyle existence.

And you’d be right.

That doesn’t change the fact there are a few flies in the travel ointment:

A long, hot-until-you-wrinkle-like-a-geriatric-prune bath.Sadly, I can’t recall my last bath. I’d have to assume it was at the end of last summer, at my old roomie’s, before Sofia. Had I known it was my last bath I would have memorized every last detail.

I would have taken pictures. I might still be there now. Showers are practical, but give me an old claw footbath, a glass of red and a book for an hour- and I’d be happy for the next year.

A gourmet kitchen with all of the tools of the trade. I don’t mind the creativity involved in using two burners for a few meals a day. I just happen to enjoy vicarious, un-thought-provoking cooking. Sometimes, I really dig big, complex meals with the works. I miss having an oven. And a whisk.

On the other hand, there really is nothing to compare with freshly caught fish barbequed on an open fire next to the sea.

An Internet connection that gives a sloth a run for its money. I know for a fact that Armando will back me up on this one. Our jobs depend on dependable connections, and we get a little curmudgeonly when we purchase the unofficial World’s Worst Coffee (aka Starbucks) and get dotty connection.
We’ve found a few ingenious ways to get around this: driving with the iPhone at the ready, until we find a Wi-Fi-friendly hood. Going to campgrounds. Sometimes hostels are all right. But it’s a continuous pain in the patootie.

A free, universal parking sticker. Yes, I know. But a girl can dream, can’t she? From being asked to pay a king’s ransom to park for 12 hours, to a nightmare campsite in Kavala to looking for one itty-bitty parking space (driving for eons around the same streets) it’d really be cool to have free parking. For, say, a week.

A port-a-potty. I came across this invention recently that I thought was brilliant. I think it’s called a ‘Lady P,’ and all that it is? A little plastic pink funnely thing that girls can use to go to the loo- standing up. Ah, genius, really.

An old-school Laundromat. When I was little, it was a treat to go to the local Ronan Laundromat with my dad and brother. It smelled warm and fluffy. They had kid-sized soapboxes, just enough for a load. It was an adventure. I don’t just like the clean clothes smell, I adore it.

Trying to find a Laundromat is like looking for seafront property in Montana. Much as I’d like it, it doesn’t exist. There are some dry cleaners that do laundry service, but it’s not the same. I’d love to be able to do my own delicates once in a while, thank you very much.

Books, shoes, tacos and cranberry juice. I go through books. A lot of books. If I had my way, I’d read 3-4 per week. Alas, traveling in foreign countries doesn’t allow for much choice. Sure, there are some bookshops with English books. But I can’t find my favorites, like Gide or Barthes.

I’ve taken to buying the fattest ones I can find, so that it not only takes me some time to read the first time, but a long time the second and third. Book desperation is a sad, sad thing.

Shoes: I’m not a shoe horse by any means, but I’m tired of my tennie-kicks. They don’t really go with skirts and such. I could buy a pair, but they’d have to be ‘convincing’ shoes. I haven’t come across any that have begged me to buy them, and they take up space in Mork.

Lastly, I could live on a steady diet of tacos and cranberry juice. If you find the shells, the cheese is missing. If you find the ground beef, the spices lack. Nothing’s perfect, as they say, but a taco every two weeks would make me content.

And oooh…cranberry juice-! Not any time soon.

On a whole, looking at my so-called ‘dismal’ list isn’t nearly as bad as you’d probably expect. Small grievances for a rather satisfying existence. As we keep hearing, we are ‘living the dream.’
And yes, we are. Grin. From Patras with love.


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