by Rach, who is content
Reichenau am Bodensee, Germany
In Cambodia we witnessed Stump Envy. If you think that sounds disrespectful, I guess you haven’t been there. It’s just the way it is. A shorter more gruesome stump will earn you more money.
In German Stellplaetze you see the occupants of Big Fancy Trucklike Motorhomes eyeing up the Bigger Fancier Buslike Motorhomes. They’re subtle, but they do stare.
Then there’s us. No-one looks at us. No satellite dish, no levelling mechanisms, no outdoor furniture, no bike rack on the back, no electric awning, no reversing camera, no automatic steps, no wine glasses and bottle of bubbly for dinner, no pull-out fly screen on the door (although we do have screens on the windows – only no-one would know as the catches are irreparably broken rendering them unusable), no dog.
Most of the vehicles are much longer than ours, but they are occupied on the whole by only two people. None of them have eight children tumbling out, none of them have a clotheshorse catching the sun, none of them have a box full of sandals by the rickety old pull-out step, none of them sound like a 747 about to take off when their water pumps cut in. Our 70s brown and orange decor stands out in the pristine white-on-white that is the new black in European RV circles.
And you know what? We are happy in our old machines that no-one bothers looking at! (or they don’t until they feel the urge to count just how many children were sleeping in there last night, but that’s another matter). We are happy sitting on our blankets on the ground. We are happy sending the navigator out to see what is behind. We are happy making sure we park so that the water drains towards the plughole and doesn’t collect in the shower-base-cum-toilet-stall-aka-bathroom if we can’t be level.
And why wouldn’t we be happy? This is a five minute walk away:
We sat there yesterday morning, picnic-lunched there at noon, and then returned again in the afternoon to
take a bath swim (true enough; we didn’t take showers). Sailboats and swans, kayaks and canoes drifted past. The haze in the distance cleared revealing villages perched on the hillside. Church bells sounded, bicycle bells rang, friendly weekend-enjoyers and locals called out “Gruess Gott”. We might be in the oldest most beat-up Womos in the park, and the men may have spent today driving over the countryside in search of a water pump (old things break and even our miracle-fixers could not revive this one), but the rest of us had another 30 degree day at the lake ~ there is really nothing to covet. Even the men came back happy – they had found every single thing on their list of things to buy, they had found the motorhome shop exactly where they had been told it would be and what’s more, it had exactly the right pump, they had found helpful people who sent them in the right direction for obscure requests (like a can of expanding foam!), they even found a huge piece of free fake green grass to put down between our Womos – there was nothing left for them to covet either (although they did come home talking about the Womo you can drive a little Smart Car into the back of!!)
Time on the road: 1 1/2 hours (just the men)
Distance covered: 80km
Tags: postcard: Germany, postcard: Rhein Road Trip, recreation