Ungracefully Phoebs: In the Wild

I had to pee and was getting restless about two hours into our adventure in the national park. There did not seem to be a bathroom or civilization in sight so I decided if I didn’t acknowledge it, it would not be an issue. To my surprise, J asked our driver David, whether there was a bathroom anywhere. He responded with his usual chuckle. Twenty minutes later he pulls over in an area where we saw no other cars and parks the car. I must say there is nothing like peeing behind a van in the middle of the savannah in a national park wondering if some tourist is going to accidentally zoom in on you with their fancy camera. I certainly did not do pop a squat gracefully, but it was a memorable experience and one of the coolest places I have ever gone to the bathroom.

After we got out to go to the bathroom so casually and since David got out another time to try to see an elephant in the distance, I thought it was no big deal to get out of the car if we were in a safe area. When we ended up behind a bus of tourists gawking at tons of giraffes I asked David if it would be a problem if we got out of the car. Despite what it sounds like we weren’t those obnoxious tourist trying to feed the giraffes, but just stood near our van to get some pictures. Next thing I knew a man pulls up in a tourist van yelling at us, “Get back in the van. Get back in the van. This is not allowed! Never has this happened before!” I stand there stunned and mortified. David sips his coffee and smiles. I try to get back in the van and remember that David removed the door handle from the door closest to us. I wait panicking for him to open it, but he is slowly finishing his coffee. The other tour guide yells, “Get in the van quickly! I am going to report you!” I run to the other side, slam the door, shut the window, and hunch down shaking. At this point I had images of park police speeding through the savannah to arrest us. We drive away and I tell David I am scared and ask if everything is okay. He is still completely unfazed and replies, “If anyone asks if you were out of the car you say no. They have no proof.” Now I have images of them doing an analysis of our footprints and finding an image of us out of the van on another tourist camera. I am envisioning an intensive investigation under a bright light and have decided I would definitely be the first to crack out of the three of us. David also reassures us that there are so many exits they would never find us. A quick get away out of the park was not what I was anticipating. After about an hour and another lion sighting my panic has finally subsided. I am not a rule breaker and could not believe I could have gotten chuckling David or us in trouble just to get a good picture. Although to be honest the picture might have been my best one.


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