“The Sub”

September 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’ve been living in a bus for about two weeks now. Not just any bus—a converted vintage bus, painted in a dashing shade of robin’s egg blue, perched high on a hill overlooking the mountains.

Then again, I really shouldn’t call my current dwelling a “bus.” Far too commonplace, don’t you think? My hosts refer to it as “The Sub.”

I’m proud to be the first full-time resident of “The Sub.” My hosts and their kids interrogated me the morning after my first night in the “The Sub.”

How did I like it? My first night in “The Sub” was quite nice, thank you very much.

Outside, “The Sub” looks like any other vintage bus. Inside, it’s a different story. “The Sub” has been pretty much gutted. Only the two front seats, stick shift—I have to be careful not to trip over that bit—steering wheel, and dashboard remain intact. My hosts refurbished it with a range of modern comforts. It contains a table, two sofas that can be converted into a queen-sized bed, a television set, a lamp, a bookshelf containing a selection of books and DVDs, a few pillows, cushions, throw rugs and ornate Indian blankets. I can even get a WiFi signal out here.

Sadly, there’s no toilet. I can either do my business in a red bucket with a rock placed on top of it, placed conveniently next to my bed, or trek to my hosts’ house a few meters away. There’s no running water or kitchen either. I need to go to my hosts’ house for those things, too.

If I don’t open up a window or one of the doors, it can feel like a furnace in here on hot days. Cold days in “The Sub” are frigid without a heater of some sort.

No one buys an old bus on a whim. My hosts are no exception. They actually wanted to start an ice cream truck, a rarity in France. So they looked for a vehicle that offered a living space for their family when they traveled to various locations, as well as the necessary facilities for an ice cream truck.

The ice cream truck venture never panned out. My host family wound up with this behemoth anyway. They fixed it up. The bus ultimately became “The Sub,” and a volunteer residence. However, “The Sub” is more than just a living space for visitors. My hosts have even used it as a party venue.

In the morning, light pours in through the skylights above my bed and through the front door window. In the evenings, as I make my way back to “The Sub” from my hosts’ home, I can see entire villages illuminated in the distance.

Living in a bus is the last thing I expected to be doing while I was in France, or anywhere for that matter. I’m happy to have my own space, and an unconventional one at that.

No worries. Pictures coming soon. I’ll devote a separate post to pictures of “The Sub.”

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