After twenty-two days of hedonism, it reluctantly comes time for us to say good-bye to the constant party lifestyle and leave Lagos. It’s time to say goodbye to our desert-like campsite with it’s complete absence of any sign of grass. It’s time to say goodbye to the perfect beaches and weather so fine that we seldom feel it necessary to wear shirts. Time to say goodbye to the plethora of bars within a short stumble home of our campsite. And it will all be sorely missed.
For the past three weeks or so we have been living on a diet principally comprised of copious amounts of booze and what we have affectionately dubbed the best hotdogs in the world (an obligatory bun and sausage as well as cheese, carrot, mushroom and corn topped with three different kinds of sauce and a sprinkling of tiny french fries) purchased from a street vendor in the center of town. But as fun as it has been, we secretly know that our bodies can’t take much more punishment before organs start systematically shutting down. Each one of us aches from a combination of sunburn, month-long hangover and hotdog overdose. It is definitely time to go.
And we’re not the only ones who feel this way. Our two neighbors Kim and Shantelle have been in Lagos for even longer than ourselves and are also keen to move on. Our former travel buddy Sarah had recently chosen to stop commuting with us and we impulsively decide to offer Kim and Telle her place in our Van. Since the days of drifting between hostels we have found ourselves missing the social lifestyle that comes with sharing living quarters with other travelers. To compensate for this we have opted to invite people along for the ride whenever we can, effectively converting VanDamme into a little hostel on wheels. They are both keen to come along bringing the number of occupants in our mobile lodging back up to five. We’re a regular Brady bunch.
Having five people in one van presents a few problems, however. The major and most obvious being the whole lack of space thing. VanDamme is not a Tardus so sometimes it can get a little cramped. Surprisingly, it is not the people themselves that is the problem. It’s the luggage. Every material possession you need in order to survive times five. That doesn’t leave much room for anything else.
Then there’s the whole different levels of cleanliness thing. Most people are relatively clean, choosing to use kitchen utensils and then wash them afterwards. We, on the other hand, have a subtly different approach. Eat only meals that do not require the dirtying of any dishes or cutlery, ingeniously bi-passing the need to clean up after yourself. Sure this limits you to having to consume every meal in sandwich form but you don’t have to do any dishes! Ever! It’s a small price to pay. Unfortunately not everyone shares this philosophy. Weather Kim and Shantelle do remains yet to be seen.
Whenever new people join our posse, there’s always the chance that they will be unable to cope with the lack of space or unable to handle our unique ideas about sanitation and there’s always the danger that they will tire of our company and begin to secretly hate us before eventually exploding in a fiery display of repressed anger. Only time will tell how the girls will feel about the decision they have made to join life in VanDamme.