As Marina tells it, she had recently met the guy of her dreams, Jimmy. He was more laid-back than she, but that was part of his appeal. The relationship progressed so well that Jimmy wanted to introduce Marina to his parents in Los Angeles. Flying out there would have been simple—too simple. They were both captivated by the thought of a long road trip together. So they set out without, in retrospect, very much preparation.
The car had been parked in the sun all morning. Marina hopped in, let out a shriek that could be heard all around the neighborhood, and went leaping out. The seat was painfully hot. Her towel was at the bottom of her duffel bag, but her sarong was easily accessible. She tied the two corners of the short end together and looped them around the headrest. Voila! A seat cover to shield her from the hot leather.
Since it was summer, Marina and Jimmy thought they’d save money by staying at campgrounds. The first morning, a major difference in their styles became evident. Jimmy didn’t mind rolling out of bed and getting on the road again. Marina absolutely had to have a shower before venturing into the world. The campground did boast a shower, but Marina was horrified to find that it was an outdoor shower with no privacy whatsoever. It was used by people wanting to rinse sand off after a day at the river. Jimmy was much amused. Marina was not.
“Whose bright idea…” Marina was beginning to think she and Jimmy were not at all compatible when she suddenly got a bright idea herself. Using a rope tied at one end to a post and at the other to a tree, she draped her sarong along the rope, creating a makeshift shower curtain. “That was the quickest shower I ever took,” she related.
The next night promised to be much better. They were staying with friends of Jimmy’s who had a pleasant little home along their route. Indoor plumbing and a shower curtain were in place. Marina checked.
The problem began after the friends had gone to bed. Marina and Jimmy were to sleep on the sofa. They shared the living room with a beautiful—and very loud—parrot. Not used to company at night, the parrot took the opportunity to converse with its roommates in the living room, which got a lot of light from outside. It promised to be a sleepless night until Jimmy got an idea.
“Where’s your sarong?” he asked. Marina handed it to him silently. She was beginning to think about flying home. He draped it over the parrot’s cage and silence descended. Marina and Jimmy and presumably, the parrot, got a good night’s sleep. Marina recalls, “We were still speaking to each other when we got to L.A. I know it seems simple and even a little silly to say this but I doubt we would have been if not for the sarong.”