Guys, I have to confess. I am no longer a (camping) virgin. It has finally happened. But, as any old virgin would, I decided to ease myself into it gently. The camping I finally agreed to try out was not really a proper camping. It was a night in a tent on the school grounds, surrounded by other people I know, and with school toilets nearby. If things got really painful and ugly, I could always jump in my car and be at home in less than five minutes.
And you know what, overall, it went really well. We were incredibly lucky with one of the hottest days of the year; and being able to sit outside till late, drinking and eating grilled sausages and burgers was just perfect.
However- don’t I always have a however?-I, of course, had some concerns and fears.
Fear No 1: My child getting kidnapped.
Let’s look at the way normal mothers would view our day of camping. They are in a very safe area, on the local school grounds, surrounded by neighbours.There is fencing all around the school field. Does it get any safer than that?
Well, I don’t agree. You see, we camped in the middle of a large school field. There is a patch of forest at the back of it, with a narrow path created by the school people. The patch is not deep; and behind it, there are a couple of new houses being built. At some point I found my daughter and her friend hanging out in the forest. And I did not like it.
If I were a paedophile, you see, this would be my dream set up. The construction site at the back- not guarded, too easy to get in. No people next door as it is also a construction site for another new home. A fence is easy. And children, often alone, in the forest patch. And the worst part, of course, is that, in the overall excitement and the big field full of tents and people, it would take a very, very long time for anyone to realize one of them is missing. Enough time to get faaaaar away. So yes, call me a paranoid sick freak, but I was not happy with my child going in the forest bit,where I could not see her. I don’t care if there was only one chance in a million. It is still an effing chance.
Fear No 2: The Giant Fox.
By the end of the night, having had a few glasses of wine, I was sitting on a low wall, half-listening to the conversation, when I saw a spooky shadow. It was reflected on the side of the pool, creeping along and growing bigger and bigger. It was large, and it was moving very slowly. I stared until the animal appeared in the spotlight, and it became apparent it was only a fox. Still, I was not too keen on foxes snooping around our campsite in the middle of the night. I quickly analyzed the chances of it breaking through the zipped tent and decided it was pretty impossible. However, at 3 am I was woken up by a loud animal noise outside. ‘It is the fox!’ My drunken brain screamed in panic, ‘Trying to break through!’ Of course, it was not the fox but a snoring neighbour in the tent right next to ours. I lay awake for a while after that, trying to not think about the fox. The snoring continued.
Fear No 3: The creepy-crawlies.
I tried to keep the tent zipped up at all times. And yet, every time I woke up in the night- and that was often, thanks to all the noises outside- I kept wondering what creepy-crawlies might have sneaked into it during the day. And I kept itching all over.
So, what can I tell you? My overall verdict is that camping is pretty pleasant. I just don't think that Azeri women are designed for it. If you want to impress an Azeri woman, don't bother taking her camping. Hotels are much, much better. Nice ones, of course.