Thursday, July 3, 2008

I love camping, NOT!

It’s the time of the year for convivial BBQ parties, thumping music, serene lakes, tranquil mountains, dazzling beaches, delectable marshmallows, heart-clogging hot dogs, inventive sleeping bags, enormous tents etc. Well, you get the whole picture—recipes for delight. I am talking about the summer phenomenon that engulfs America between Memorial Day & Labor Day. What makes the sultry summer season a whole lot exciting and controversial, is the world of camping—well at least for some people.

A lot of my friends and family are besotted with the old world exquisiteness of camping—using communal bathrooms or sometimes the woods, mauling by bugs, roasting food in the open fire, sleeping on mother earth, strumming the guitar under the effulgent skies, singing campfire songs, surviving the tempestuous winds etc. Apparently, it’s all a part of the camping package swathed in fun. A cousin of mine actually shared that over the years, she and her family have upgraded their camping equipment and the other shenanigans accompanying them. Apparently, there are temperature controlled sleeping bags available now. Who knew?

I have to say, though all this information on the latest contraptions in the camping world piqued my interest; it did nothing to my feelings towards camping. I have gone camping a few times and loathed it every single time. I cherished the company but not the concept of being marred by bugs and showering in scabrous, grisly places. Here is my point: Man has worked hard to fight the ice age and what have you. We are proud of evolution. So, why would anyone, in their sane mind, revert back to rugged living conditions—out of choice?

My mind is not quiescent when a part of the extreme bucolic life. I despise sleeping in the open. Romantics would define sleeping under starry skies as awesome; pragmatics, like me, would call it imbecilic. The way I feel about “chilli chicken” is how mosquitoes feel about my blood. If I weighed like one of the Olsen sisters, I can totally imagine mosquitoes picking me up, sucking my blood dry, and then disposing my blood-deprived body into the deep woods for feasting purposes. Thank God for my mom’s cooking, I am a well-fed desi whose weight the American bugs can’t handle.

Then there is the problem of raucous neighbors on camping ground. I despise outlanders befriending me at unknown places or extending vehement courtesies for a round of beer. Dude, I have enough friends; I do not want to mingle with strangers in the dark! What if they are serial killers in the making?

I do not understand the novelty in sharing sleeping spaces or drinking water from a rustic stream when there are beds and bottled water available. I grew up in a boarding school spread over 280 acres -- “communal” was the word of the day, every single day. You can understand why I do not fancy multiple germ laden bodies in a non-contained space. Also, being a boarder in the wilderness, I was bestowed upon with more than enough feisty challenges. So, I don’t particularly feel the need to “discover” myself or soak in the campestral seclusion. Been there, done that.

More until next time.

Copyright © 07.03.2008

"Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business." - Dave Barry.


Vizzy said...

Good one. I don't enjoy camping either. We did it once...but never again.

Rishi said...

This is funny...quite natural though

Anonymous said...

You are such an elitist:-) love this one. very funny and wel written...

Bijay said...

To me,camping is a refresher course and warning to the URBAN ELITES from concrete jungles that "you wud go back to ice age if playing with ecological balance is continued as mercilessly as being done by the so called developed world"