Back by popular demand, Ryan shows us yet again just how he manages to find himself in trouble. This time Ryan manages to keep some hungry Alice Springs locals pretty happy first though.
Everyone knows that when you hire a campervan, even with the recommended 6 passengers or less, it is a squeeze at the best of times... We had 8. So when in Alice Springs and the days approach 50 degrees, the 'uncomfortableness' of the situation is greatly exaggerated.
Earlier that morning, a couple of the geniuses I was in the camper with thought it would be fun to start a yoghurt fight inside. Hilarity ensued. There was so much yoghurt that in parts of the campers interior walls were no longer visible. They were now decorated in bright colours of peach, strawberry and blueberry. Most of the chunkier bits slowly slid their way to the floor. The less heavy parts were caking to the wall as the day’s temperature rose.
Forget about sitting anywhere, the yoghurt had become one with the camper’s upholstery making interesting patterns with smears and speckles of white. Seeing as the campers occupants were all male, there was always only a very slim chance anyone would bother cleaning this mess. Have you ever smelled hour’s old spoiled yoghurt in 50 degree heat in a confined space? Run a half marathon without applying deodorant. Once done, put your face in your armpit and breathe through your nose deeply.... And you might get half way as to how this camper stank. Then the argument and fingers of blame began.
We thoroughly hated each other at this stage. Names were called and any logical arguments were drowned in the sea of complaints about how bad the place smelled.
So what solution do 8 blokes come up with to fix the problem? Head to the pub, of course! Oh, and leave all the windows open to air out the stench. We parked opposite the pub so as to keep an eye on the camper and avoid driving anywhere. We re-emerge 12 hours later at closing time and find the smell just slightly more acceptable. A few of us are feeling like a midnight snack, so my friend Kush, and I decide to hit the stoves in the camper.
After Searching the cupboards, it becomes apparent that there is little else available but an abundance of jumbo tin tuna and pasta. As we cooked, some of the boys decided to bring out all of the camp chairs and set them up on the road and on the sidewalk, so we could eat our pasta in the cool night air. Then something strange happened. As the patrons from the pub stumbled out to the street, they noticed our setup and decided to take a closer look.
Before long, we had a dozen people out the front of our camper, all requesting a bowl of tuna pasta. Some of our customers produced milk crates, plastic chairs and barstools, and joined them with our camp chairs. Others brought along more plastic bowls and cutlery to replace our diminished supply. Some came with plastic cups and bladders full of water (that’s what they said they were anyway). Somebody decided we needed some music, so a boom box was soon added to the mix. One dozen soon turned into two dozen, and our tuna pasta portions got smaller and smaller as even more people arrived. Our camper more resembled one of those dodgy pop up kebab trailers. Steam bellowed out the single kitchen window, and its volunteer chefs inside sweated to get all the orders out on time.
A glance out the window revealed a unique melting pot of Alice Springs inhabitants. We had homeless people, European backpackers, the indigenous and just regular locals who happened to be passing by at the right time, all requesting a share of the deliciously free tuna pasta on offer. A dozen conversations were going on at the same time, people were dancing to the music, and others eating on the chairs, sending back their compliments to the chefs.
Our make shift tuna pasta cafe was in full swing until suddenly shut down by the police at around 2 am. Their only problem seemed to be was that our cafe had spread over the entire road and no one could get a car past us. The crowd soon dissipated with full, bloated bellies. Our camper was the last to leave (yes, we did have one designated driver). Its 8 occupants drove off in weary silence. We all looked around at each other, noticing the ear to ear grin we all wore... No one bothered mentioning the obvious rank tuna smell.
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Image courtesy of Flickr user Jan Smith.