Just thirty bucks per night!
Having lived in Bondi all of my life, you’d think that one such as myself would’ve seen it all in the suburb we affectionately call “Scum Valley”.
All manner of circuses have come and gone from the salty surrounds in my four and a bit decades of living here… And the associated clowns, chancers and freaky tricksters who have emerged over those years form a rich tapestry of knuckleheads eager to stake their claim on the suburb … or, indeed, claim their stake of it.
There's been guys who claimed they were pro surfers but who in actuality could barely surf; big-noting supposed surf industry figures whose cash-splashing was soon found to be funded by illicit white powder means; high fashion models who were little more than low-rent wannabes with effective boob jobs. All that and more.
For a lot of people, "Bondi" signifies dollar signs and if someone can find a way to cash in –maybe by taking photos of the surf and selling the products, maybe by attaching "Bondi" to their business name, maybe by finding a way to eke out the bucks from the stars-in-their-eyes starlets of Campbell Parade – they will do it.
Which brings me to this bloke …
Sure, there have been dodgy developers who have gouged and pillaged the suburb for years with construction work which seems to adhere to very loose building codes, their subsequent “completed” apartments looking okay for about five Southerly Busters but then fade into peeling paint, seepage cracked eyesores soon thereafter.
But that’s okay, we can live with that. Those blokes know how to turn a buck and we’re used to that. We know their track records and we can pretty much guess their police records.
But this bloke … this bloke has found a whole new level of shyster-ism. He’s bought himself a Toyota Tarago, probably for $80 from some unwashed hippy who advertised on the noticeboard at Noah’s Backpackers, and has taken the initiative to put that fine vehicle on airbnb.com as “for rent”.
Yes, he’s decided that those fold-down seats, lumpy as they are, can constitute a “Bed” and he’s further decided that the Tarago in total constitutes a “Room”, and he’s parked said Tarago in prime surf-check possie on Queen Elizabeth Drive … and he’s put two and three together and came up with the amazing result that that Tarago is NOW AVAILABLE FOR RENT FOR THIRTY BUCKS A NIGHT!
Thoughtfully, he’s provided some key tips for potential guests:
"This van is parked in a residential neighbourhood and they’ll probably complain if they see you at all. Don’t be seen. Just use the van for sleeping and keeping your belongings. Don’t hang out there playing music or anything. This is known by anyone who’s ever slept in a van in the city before: Residents hate van dwellers and most of them will call the police if they see you. Don’t put towels or bags or anything on the front seats. Beach Town Residents are the least tolerant of van dwellers because they come every year in summer and leave a mess. Keep Australia beautiful.”
Don't get me wrong – I've parked my van in many a surfside location and stayed the night. What better way to wake up than to the surf at your proverbial doorstep? Hmm, come to think of it, this bloke may be onto something…
PS. I give him two weeks before the council pounces.