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  IV. A Tale of Four Travelers: Camping Carla & Calvin

Carla and Calvin Camper (yes, these are the mythical "happy campers" you have heard so much about) start their morning by dragging off to the campground showers. If they are lucky there is no line, and still some hot water. They wear flip-flops in the showers to prevent athlete's foot, and always keep a close eye on their toilet kit.

Calvin is the first out and he stops in at the camp store to get some fresh rolls for breakfast, maybe some yogurt or orange juice. Carla heads back to the tent and fires up the little stove for tea. She finds a table and cleans it off a bit, and waves lovingly to Calvin as he looks for her amidst the sea of tents. She reminds him to comb his wet tangle of hair, since he always forgets (mirrors in the men's rest rooms are often missing). After breakfast they leave everything in the tent, and conclude that no one steals from tents since campers are poor in the first place, thus it’s just not where the money is.

The campground is a few miles outside of town, and usually they walk or hitchhike in to see the sights. Today, though, they are accompanied by two Swedish girls in the next tent and they take the public bus to town for a fare of about two dollars.

For lunch they stop in the supermarket and get something with which to make sandwiches. They have found that a salami or summer sausage will last unrefrigerated for a few days and they can use it sliced on sandwiches as well as chopped up in cooked meals.

During the day the Swedish girls meet up with a couple of wealthy travelers who offer them dinner, and they quickly abandon the happy Campers. Later in the afternoon they walk back to the campground, and get a lift the last few minutes with a family of Germans. The Germans are also staying at the campground and they invite them for a dinner of beer and bratwurst.

After an evening of chatting and drinking a few good beers, the Campers bid their new friends goodnight. Carla reads a few pages of their city guide by candlelight, while Calvin looks over the map they picked up the day before at the tourist office. Before going to sleep they pad over to the camp shower house and brush their teeth. The Campers also floss religiously.

When they depart the area, they take the bus out of town to the point where the highways converge, or to some other point advantageous for hitchhiking. On the way they look for a chunk of cardboard with which to make a destination sign, and they make sure to have plenty of water in case they have to wait a long time. If it is raining they will take the train or regional bus.

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