Monday, January 3, 2011

No Vacancy

After many internet searches about three months ago, I knew it was going to be tough to find accommodations along the Great Ocean Road. But, we figured there must be small (not the internet booking type, you know?) motels that would have vacancy...

And, so here goes our first night along the GOR...

As I was just falling asleep in our Toyota Yaris, meters from the Youth Hostel just off of the main road, I hear a soft call.

More urgently, "Mamta. I gotta go."
"Uh huh. Okay. You can't wait until the morning?"
"Mamta? I gotta GO."
Now wide awake, "Okay. What? Huh? Okay. Let's go. We can find that gas station, right? Was there a gas station?"
"I gotta GO!"
A kilometer later, we find ourselves along the GOR again. It is now 12:37AM and the bar on the corner has closed down.
"Aha. Is THAT bar open, Mamta? Is it? Is it!!?!"
"Umm..yes, yes it is. Go! Pull over and go!"

About 30 seconds after the door shut, I look in the side mirror. Hmmm...Why is Srin stopping? Who is he talking to? Is that a cop??!? Oh gosh. What did we do? Maybe it was the U-turn? What is taking him soooo long?"

About five minutes elapsed and images of an Australian jail (or worse, a huge fine) faded as Srin walked (ran) into the bar. Staring intently at the two (yes, now there are two) officers, I tidy up my hair so as not to look like I had been using my rented Toyota Yaris as my Hilton. (You see, it's illegal to sleep in your car here.)

I roll down my window and flash my straight American pearly whites, "Hi sir".

"He's just gonna use the facilities, ma'am."
"Great. Thank you."
"He's not doing too well."
A sympathetic head nod later, I say "I know." in a way only a wife understands.
A smile spreads across my accented Aussie cop's face.
"I am sorry to tell you that the city is booked solid, ma'am."

Fearing being hunted down in my Yaris and fined in AUD (well, it's getting worse to be an American in Australia as the days pass. C'mon Barack.), I reply: "I know. We tried really hard sir. And I just didn't want to drive on the GOR at night. I am a bit of a safety freak. A grandma of sorts."

All the while, hoping to convey a goody-two-shoe persona, as if that probably wasn't already brewing from my pores.

He says "That's mighty smart of you. It's dark out there and the only lights come from the animals." as he claws his hands and scrapes the air in front of me. Funny guy.

He continues, "I think you may be sitting in your hotel for the night. I would just park in a car park. It's not legal but I won't bust your chops for it."

"Well, thank you sir."

An excruciating three minutes later, Srin returns to a hopeful, now wide-awake, and anticipating wife. "Well, what did he want!??!?!"

And so it goes...

"How many drinks have you had?"
"I just had a glass of wine at dinner, officer."
As Srin handed over his license, he asks "Did I do something wrong?"
"No. I just noticed you pulled over."
"I stopped just to use the restroom."

Cop 2:
"Blow into this sir." And Srin did just that-a breathalyzer.
The result came as "He's golden." which, of course, was expected.
As if that wasn't enough, the ol' cop'rs asked if he had any drugs in the car. To which Srin replied "No. You can check the car." in hopes that his excruciating wait for the restroom would be soon cut short. (Of course, as I write this, Srin's main contribution to the blog is that he wants you to know what he was really thinking: 'I don't but you may want to check the wife.' Sure Srin. Crack a joke-it only keeps YOUR wait longer. (Pun not intended.))

The cop continued, "Well, where are you staying?"
"Well we wanted to stay at the hostel but everything is booked."
Amidst thoughts of the awaiting relief, he debates if these cops get the dire situation at hand.

"Look sir. I really need to GO." Images of Austin Powers and Number 2 danced in Srin's head as the cop, in true Aussie laidback nature, contemplated the honesty of this Indian-American-Non-Australian tourist.
This picture is a re-enactment and should only be attempted by professional, law-defying car sleepers. Do not try this at home.

And so went our first night along the GOR. It may sound awful (and for a while it was), but it was our favorite night so far. In all its ridiculous nature, we bonded to be quite honest. All we had was each other to focus on the funny parts and not the lack of facilities, comfort, or warmth. And for the record, summer nights along the GOR are cold.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. "Adventurous" would hardly do the was it like driving around the great ocean road?

  2. Mamta, if I'm going to live vicariously through your travel narrative, you can't leave out important details such as - were the cops cute?

    Charlie and I had to spend a night in our rental car in New Zealand after our tent collapsed in a sudden winter rainstorm. Sleeping in a teeny, tiny little rental car sucks (especially when your tent magically re-erects itself in your backseat, plastering you against the windshield like a frozen little bug). But those moments do make the best memories...

    Now having to take a breathalyzer? Well, that's just embarrassing.

  3. 1. You actually slept in your car????

    2. The story could only have been made better by Srin peeing in his pants in front of the Aussie police. ;)

  4. My favorite blog entry so far! Don't worry Srin, I also have a history of being asked 'have you been drinking' by cops (even when I've had nothing stronger than a diet coke)--ask M, she'll be happy to tell you all about it. perhaps something to bond over on your next campout.

  5. The drive was amazing! I am about to post pics on my next one! Glad you checked Prashant.

    Excellent point Reyes and the answer is most definitely NO, though the accent helps! Now NZ was a great story. He should be embarrassed:)

    YUP, D! Or worse...Number 2.

    I knew you would say that, P! And yes, you do have quite the history...Or was it a racoon? :)

  6. This is too funny... I have to read back to catch up!

  7. its not an adventure unless you do things like sleep where you least expect it!