Just did an awesome Mysore-style session at Natural Living yoga studio this morning, have since been waiting half an hour for a shower at Montgomery Square - the only public showers in Nelson (outside of swimming pools, that is). The less glamorous side of bus life... (sigh)
Those in the queue before me were all much younger and more exotic - the public ablution facilities open at 8am and there was already a congregation of campervans and sleeper vans assembling when I arrived. The Spotless contract worker who wrangles the great unwashed (AKA the "door bitch") advised me gravely not to leave (as I would loose my spot) and looked horrified when I suggested leaving my bathroom bag and towel in the queue to hold my place. I doubt these international travellers are really that competitive and dishonest, but after being squished into a small vehicle for the night, a sense of friendly congeniality (that one would expect, for example, at Convergence, where 300-odd people share only a handful of showers) was noticeably absent. I attempted to negotiate with the woman in front of me.
"Are you in a hurry?" I smiled sweetly, "I need to be at work by 9am".
"Yes," she replied. "I am busy too, I need to..." she trailed off, failing to finish her sentence and forgetting her towel.
Anyway, who am I to suggest that heading off to my studio at Founders Park is any more important that experiencing Nelson in summer on a gorgeous day when you've travelled half way around the world to do so?
But it begs a more important question - why aren't there more public ablution facilities available to both travellers and those who live in mobile homes in Nelson? Sure, our house bus is equipped with a shower but it requires considerable effort, energy (gas) and water (gobbling up almost half a tank) to use. Most days, we do the Indian thing and use a bucket of hot water to wash. But twice a week, I wash my long hair and generally prefer to do this with the aid of the modern convenience we call a shower.
Nelson punches above its weight as a tourist destination - attracting a disproportionate number of independent travellers who choose to come here to enjoy both its natural assets (three national parks nearby, great cycling and mountain biking) and its vibrant locavore life (boutique breweries, wineries, orchards and delicious homegrown produce) - so it would be great if it had more public showers!!
I choose to live in a bus, in large part to reduce my ecological footprint and live within my means, but I'm also reminded that, with housing affordability being what it is in this country, many people are forced to live the itinerant life. They enjoy a good hot shower too.