Get a Room! (A bathroom)


Over the holiday season aChristmas and New Year while living in a van in Wanaka, New Zealand, my partner and I did have a bit of a shower issue because of longer work hours and shorter gym hours.

It was also unseasonably rainy and cold, eliminating the “refreshing swim” option.

In hindsight, we probably should have just stayed at a hostel occasionally… now a trick in our how-to-live-in-a-van repertoire. At the time, though, we’d spent ourselves down to zero and had barely gotten a paycheck.

My all-time favorite moment as a consequence of the above situation still makes me laugh when I think about the ridiculousness.

The Story

One day I decided I was going to try out the “camp shower” that came with our hippie van. We let it sit out on the sunny but cool day as we dried laundry (also tricky when you’re living in a van). That evening after work, we went to one of the cramped-but-clean single-person tourist restrooms with a drain in the floor.

It turned out to be more challenging than expected to hold a heavy five gallon bag of water high enough to make water flow with any kind of pressure out of the attached spray hose. Add a dose of stress from being overworked, and a pinch of desperation from really wanting a shower, and you have complete hilarity.

Pat, a six-foot-seven-inch tall man, is standing on the toilet trying not to drop the heavy shower bag or hit his head on the ceiling, I’m freezing and dry clothes are falling into standing puddles. I’m barking commands about handing me shampoo and turning on the hose.  Pat is getting soaked by splashes, and we’re trying not to bump into the walls in this tiny space.

The tension finally shattered into a million pieces when I – rendered helpless by a face covered in apricot scrub and eyes locked shut, doubled over to keep my hair from dripping cold water down my back – urgently and desperately demanded of Pat,

“Okay. Now spray me in the face!”

I lost it and started giggling, repeating the phrase over and over, laughing harder and harder — eyes still tightly shut against soap and chilly water — until Pat finally said,

“You just think that’s hilarious, don’t you?”

and slowly fell into fits of laughter. Maybe you had to be there, but this will go down for me as one of my funniest living-in-a-van experiences in Wanaka!

Happy Traveling! ♣

Related Posts:

Living in A Van: Logistics
Hippie Van Logistics, Part II
Budget Travel Mishaps

References   [ + ]

a. Christmas and New Year