Friday, September 4, 2009

When Clean is Just Another Shade of Filthy...Westfalia Living

Sorry that (other than this pig) there's no illustrative photos for this blog, but until your computer has scratch and sniff capability, photos wouldn't do it justice anyway. I'm just going to find some pretty pictures and stick them in randomly.

We are now in Newfoundland and yes, there actually is bologna on the menu, but I thought it was time to talk about Westfalia living. Rosalita has had a few quirks from the outset, but upon arrival in Newfoundland we had no headlights, no ability to open the windows and no windshield wipers. We've spent the first 24 hours here within a few miles of the ferry terminal and closer still to Matt's Auto here in Placentia Newfoundland.

But life in Rosalita is more than how well she is or isn't running. It means living in close quarters to each other and getting used to the realities of having no real electrical or water infrastructure. This means we have a sink, but no water or sewer lines unless we are at an RV park (never). This in turn means that we are very water efficient and even more soap efficient. I think we have actually given up on soap for the most part.

Take for instance my stainless steel "wineglass." Each evening I enjoy a glass or two, and in the beginning, I would use a little soap and water to clean it up and dry with a tea towel. Then later I would just turn it upside down on a picnic table so that it could dry overnight. Then later still, I would get lazy and go to bed and do this in the morning (nothing dries overnight anyway). Then I decided it was just wine so it really didn't need soap. This morning I just put some water in it to slosh it around and dissolve the old wine, drank the water, and put the glass away wet. I suspect Jack of licking off the spoons and putting them away, but I'm not sure.

Now imagine all of our dishes in somewhat similar fashion.

A few weeks ago, we opened the side door after a hike, and the smell was more than just a little revolting. It was sort of an ode du dirty wet socks, rotting fruit and something molding. In the van there is a piece of carpet laid over the VW carpet, and both layers were wet and mildewing. Besides that, the refrigerator does not really keep anything cold. It can sort of keep things cool, but it barely slows the decay as compared to keeping something in the glove compartment. We took out the rugs and dried them as best we could, got the really ugly stuff out of the fridge and today, finally, we're doing the laundry. We're even washing the tea towel for the first time in 8 weeks.

Parks doesn't have the budget for horses...

I haven't had a shower in 3 days and that seems normal too. But when I do get one, I'm sure I'll feel so smug.

Single Windturbine Blade in NB:

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Lori. Had me in stitches, thinking about Jack licking spoons and you cleaning out your wine glass then drinking the water. When I travelled through Europe in '65, we slept rough a lot, without fancy sleeping mats. We had a VW van with no middle seat (not camperized). We'd pull the rubber floor mat out and two folks could sleep on that. The other two slept on the ground. When we wanted to wash our clothes, we usually just went body surfing in them. Got the obvious dirt off, but left them stiff from salt. Thank whoever for CampingGas stoves! It was a wonderful time, though.