Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shark Bay Squee!! (part 1: John the Van)


The trip I practically came to Perth for! As I started researching places to study abroad, I came across information about Shark Bay and stromatolites, and knew beyond a doubt I needed to see these things for myself. More on those later though. K, bless his heart, came all the way from New Mexico to go on this trip with me! I was deliriously excited.

So first, let's introduce our wonderful rented van.
Wicked Camper Vans are notorious for traveling around Australia. (Side: D and I went to a showing of "Rising Water", a play by Tim Winton, and the snotty Brit brat specifically makes fun of travelers in their Wicked vans, which made me laugh.) A said the van she got over Easter break was covered with rather racist artwork, so I was nervous about what kind of heinously ugly vehicle we might get stuck with. But we got the most beautiful van ever!

Please meet John!

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

 It's like we were made for each other! I haven't got a picture of the back, but anyone driving behind us could read "Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted." <3

Not only was the outside painted, the inside of the van was covered in the standard college-humor graffiti:

There was several European languages in evidence, in addition to perverted aliens and people with long tongues.
This reminds me of a slightly secret hang-out room back in high school (that one upstairs in Brown Hall), which the artistic kids used as a giant canvas for beautiful sketches, when they weren't smoking pot in there anyway. 
Drink the goon and sleep till noon! made me laugh.
John was really not easy to maneuver...

 So, despite the fact that it pained me deeply to shell out that much money, I was pleased with the van. It came with plenty of useful things (dishes, a stove, camp chairs and table, water, and an esky) and was comfortable (for me at least) to sleep in all four nights. John got us all the way up to Shark Bay and back, minus the exciting little stop off in Badgingarra (read: pretty much Nowhere-ville) when we thought we'd broken the car (but the incredibly nice mechanic just popped back on a loose hose and we were good to go). Though, I wouldn't have minded this van we saw in the parking lot when we dropped John off at the end:

That is Samuel L. Jackson dressed as a preacher: WIN.
Overall, I'm glad I went with Wicked, despite the fact that it screams "HEY LOOK I'M A POOR YOUNG TOURIST WHOOOOO I'mprobablygoingtogetdrunktonight". It was communal actually, as every time we passed another Wicked van we all waved to each other. ^_^

Dear UniSFA readers,
I should have known I couldn't hide from the boss of the internet or the wrath of 4.0 players! Please correct me thoroughly in the comments regarding everything important like dnd and Aussie slang. I write about Perth with all of my love from this periphery perspective, so if I say stupid things, I hope you'll give a girl a break as I'm trying to figure it all out. ALSO, I need more sci-fi/any book recommendations! I'm still going through books like a wildfire and I especially anything awesome and/or Australian. <3

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