It is dangerous to ponder the transformational effects of camping in Europe in the middle of August: With temperatures above 30/90 and neighbors so close that, if you both just leaned a little out your front door you could shake hands, the danger is that it might become a gripe-fest. But I have found living this way has made me more tolerant, the best indication of this metamorphous can be found in how many times a day I say, “Really, who cares?”
Watching the European men walk to the bathroom in less than what we would call underwear, I now simply say, “Really, who cares?”
Wondering if I should change out of my sleeping shorts before heading there myself, I also say, “Really, who cares?”
There is no doubt that living like this has changed my opinion of where the lines of social etiquette should be drawn: At first I am aggravated at having to listen to some Italian musical blaring out of my neighbor’s van—until I can no longer hear their bodily functions at which point aggravation quickly turns to appreciation. Perhaps there should be a Maslow’s Pyramid of Social Etiquette; the bottom layer, “The need to insulate your neighbors from your bodily functions.”
Last month, I commenced to bleach my hair while in a campground. I considered how ridiculous I would look walking to the showers with a bag on my head but that didn’t stop me. On the way over, I pictured a lady lying comfortably on her deathbed saying, “I had a perfect life—except for that time I saw a woman walk to the shower with a bag on her head.”
I mean, really, who cares?