I am not a hippy. I’m not a crusty. I’m not a gypsy. I work for a living. I pay my taxes and I am a responsible citizen. I believe in recycling. I do not litter. But I want a simple life and so with my husband I’m moving into a van. Maybe we will hate it. Or maybe this is the beginning of a new life.

In search of another life

"They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn..."

Jack Kerouac

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pride and Prejudice

Last night on my way home I bumped into a bloke I worked with years ago. When he asked me what I was doing I told him I lived in a van and was parked on the seafront. He choked on his cigarette and said “so you’re a pikey then?”

“No,” I replied, “I’m a new traveller. We respect the land and don’t leave broken fridges and other bits of litter lying around.”

He nodded and said “so you’re not working then?”

“I work for the council and I’m a writer,” I replied, “and 90% of people who live in vans around here work.”

He took all this quite well, and then I told him that I myself had come into van dwelling with preconceptions. He still looked a bit dazed but he took it in his stride then quickly said goodbye.

I feel as though I may have given him some food for thought. Perhaps next time he sees someone hanging out of their van he won’t be so quick to pass a judgement on them. I don’t blame him for his prejudices though. I think it is a rare person who does not jump to conclusions about van dwellers if he has never considered that way of life as an option. But it’s nice to play a part in the education of others.

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