Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Boutique Accommodation ...

          Jennie’s relatives run a caravan park in a suburb called Sunshine. The girls can stay indefinitely, so long as they’re happy to pay the full going rate. The place is bloody miles from anywhere and has definitely seen better days, unfortunately a good thirty-five years before their arrival.
          Jennie’s cousin and his wife drop the girls outside the caravan that is to be their new home, then drive off leaving them to it. For all the interaction they’ve had with her, Nadene might just as well be a dummy.
          Sam looks at the peeling aluminium hulk in front of them. Any paint that remains has oxidised to a soft grey that matches the metal showing through. The rubber window surrounds are cracked and hard. They crumble at the slightest pressure, as she discovers when she pokes one experimentally. “Bloody Norah, is this for real?”
          “Maybe the inside is nicer?”
          By the time they’ve lugged their bags inside, they’ve used up most of the available floor space and are blinded by their own sweat.
          “I can’t believe how bloody hot it is in here.” Sam crawls over built-in furniture and suitcases so she can open every window in the van. When finished, she’s not sure it’s made any difference. If anything, it seems even hotter.
          Jennie pushes up on the skylight, only to have her hand smash straight through the fatigued plastic. It’s as tired as everything else in the van. The whole inside has a ‘baked’ feel to it. “There’s no way we can stay in here.”
          Sam looks at the assortment of desiccated insects in the bottom of the tiny sink. “On the bright side, at least we can be sure there aren’t any creepy crawlies in here.” 
          Jennie peeks over the safety of Sam’s shoulder. “I thought cockroaches could survive anything.”
          After peeling off their damp travel clothes and donning their thinnest outfits, they retreat to the communal kitchen hoping it will be cooler. It is, but the coolest spot is the tiled floor. They throw down a sarong to protect them from the fine film of grease and remains of many a sloppily eaten fry-up.

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