Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Confessions of a Virgin Camper

Now I know I can survive anything and I mean a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g!!!!

Drumroll please….. I actually went camping. Yes, Diva Trisha went on a camping trip and did all that back to nature crap! It was proper camping , as in tents, as in insects, as in scorching, skin cancer-inducing sun and most importantly, as in no flushing loo. Plus, it was my birthday. Horror of horrors!!!

I had to pee in the sea and since it was just an overnight trip, I thought it'd be best to hold out (and hold in!) and not even think about the other reason we all visit toilets. It didn't bear contemplating!!!!

Don't ask me how I got talked into it by some of The Engineer's and my new, very outdoorsy South African friends. Trust me on this, the orang putih South Africans take outdoor activities Very Seriously just like every other orang putih. Think about it, have you ever seen anyone other than the mad Mat Sallehs cycling uphill around Bukit Damansara in the Dead Heat at 3 o'clock in the afternoon in KL?

Anyway, I'm getting diverted here….to make a long story short, I found myself on a small albeit absolutely gorgeous jewel of an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean last weekend.

Here are some of the pics:

This is sunrise on the island...
and this is sunset...

the blue tent in the background was home for a night...

Despite all that beauty surrounding me, I felt anything but beautiful myself. I was truly astonished when I managed to survive virtually unscathed although I'm now quite a few shades darker (my mum's gonna kill me - sorry Mumsie I used as much sunblock as humanly possible!).

The fascinating thing was, once I stopped worrying if my Revlon powder/base was going to melt in the heat (hey, I know you think I'm insane but a true Diva never leaves home without her trusty makeup case) and whether my face was dripping oil like pisang goreng straight out the tea lady's kuali, I actually found myself having loads of fun.

So, now that I've earned my stripes, I feel qualified to impart my knowledge to other unsuspecting/terrified Divas who are thinking about (or perhaps more accurately forced to go) camping.

So here are Trisha's Guidelines for a Diva's First Seaside Camping Trip:

1. Always tell everyone that its your first time camping. That way, they will be far more patient if you scare the daylights out of them when a jungle insect crawls up your arm/ leg and you scream bloody murder in the dead of night.

2. I can't stress this enough - sunblock, sunblock, sunblock and use it, use it, use it like its going out of style. It wouldn't do if you came back from the trip not tanned and sexy but red and with patches of painful, peeling skin. Make sure you use the water proof kind if you're going to frolic in the sea but be warned - it leaves an ugly, white paste when applied on wet skin. People were petrified and kids started crying when I suddenly turned up with what looked like white war paint on my sun-darkened face.

3. Take your mirror with you and quickly nip to the tent now and again to check your reflection. You will, therefore avoid my mistake (see rule no.2 ) and you will feel comfort from performing this familiar ritual although you may not be too happy with what you see in the mirror.

4. Take as much time as you want before the trip to select a couple of perfect bathing suits. These should show off your assets and hide the unsightly, wobbly bits. If you are booby-challenged, look for a top with tons of padding, if you suffer from the dreaded Tummy Wobble, look for a dark-coloured one piece that hides it. If you have neither of these worries, stop reading coz you have a perfect bod and I don't want to help you anymore.

5. Take a pack of scented wet wipes with you and make sure it is always within your reach. If you feel like you are beginning to smell unpleasant (and this is guaranteed to happen) grab a couple and wipe underarms and other unmentionable areas, liberally. Have an extra pack handy to share with other campers. They will forget your diva-like conduct and remember you as the generous sweetheart that you are.

6. Choose your camping companions very carefully. My Girlfriend who's gone camping many times before was an absolute dahling and gave up her very comfortable blow up mattress for me (thank you, sweetie!). You need to surround yourself with understanding, kind people like these. Above all, never, ever go camping with other first timers. It will be like the blind leading the blind with all of you Virgin Campers attempting to set up camp. It will not be a pretty sight (pun intended). I went along with experienced campers who set up camp, turned on the Ipod, set up the bar AND cooked all the food before I could say Coco Chanel!

Those are my words of wisdom. If all else fails, wear a wide-brimmed sun hat, get huge Nicole Richie type sun glasses and proceed to drink yourself into oblivion. That way, you'll be too drunk and happy to notice most of what's going on and the time will pass quickly.

All in all, I must say I had a good time on the trip. I was lucky that the people I went with were really fun-loving and non-judgmental. They didn't care how I looked or what I did as long as I was a good sport about it. They were also extremely good-natured when I stood around in the shade whining about the heat while they sweated buckets getting everything organised (thanks, guys!).

Would I do it again? Surprisingly, the answer is yes…now if only Ralph Lauren would come up with an air-conditioned, designer tent…..


Anonymous said...

Love you camping tips :-)
All the important things that normal campers will forget.

Trisha said...

I like the way you refer to non-diva campers as normal : )
Yes, I must admit we divas are a strange bunch !