Day 347 - Easy Riders, Raging Baby

AKA - Lake Cesspit

FRIDAY

We’ve just arrived at a lake on the Hungarian/Austria border that quite magnificently translates as Lake Cesspit.  The in-laws are with us and the plan is to hire three bikes between the five of us (the five includes baby Mila), and then spend the next three days making our way around the lake.  We hire the bikes and off we go, looking uncannily like an alternate reality Goonies.  Zsuzsa has elected to drive today so it’s just me, the in-laws and a baby.

The scenery is spectacular and as I mend my merry way through the Austrian countryside I can’t help but feel like I’m in the film Easy Rider.  I’m playing Peter Fonda and naturally, Mila is Dennis Hopper.  You don’t need me to tell you that the mother in law is obviously Jack Nicholson.

SATURDAY

We’re staying in a lovely little rustic motel/vineyard just over the Hungarian border.  It’s three in the morning and Mila is wailing like a banshee.   Alas, it’s my turn to deal with her and Zsuzsa’s turn to pretend to be asleep.  With Mila screaming as though she were on fire, I decide to change her nappy.  I put her down on the spare bed, turn on my phone torch, remove her nappy and then fumble around in a vain attempt to put a fresh nappy on her pink little butt.  Mila is refusing to play ball and is howling and rolling around on the bed like a South American footballer following a rogue gust of wind.  I’m exasperated.  I’m tired.  I’m also naked by the way.  Suddenly the door to the hotel room opens and in walks the mother in-law to help calm my distressed baby.  Did I mention I was naked?  I’m also surprised as I thought our door was locked.  The mother in-law sees me and continues with her relentless advance.  What the devil is she doing!?  I then notice that she doesn’t have her glasses on and is yet to realise that the only thing I’m wearing is a look of utter despair.  I do the only thing that I can do and dive for cover behind the bed.  Luckily, Zsuzsa intervenes and shepherds her mother out of the room like a trusty, old sheep dog. 

It’s now the following morning.  It’s my turn to drive and we’ve agreed to regroup in an hour or so in the next village.  Mila’s fast asleep in the back of the car as we approach the Austrian border.  I notice border police stopping cars and get a familiar feeling.  It’s the same feeling that I get every time I walk through the “Nothing to Declare” section at airports.  Namely, the feeling that I am coming across like a heroin smuggler.  Every time I try and appear as un-heroin smuggler-like as possible, but in my head I’m exuding heroin-smuggler-ness.  Now, as I approach the border police, I’m trying desperately to not look like a child snatcher!  I pull to a stop and the border policeman’s mirror tinted face glares in.  I smile at him, probably in the exact style of a child snatcher.  He waves me through and I breath a sigh of relief.

Twenty minutes later and I’ve reached a village called Rust, parked in a street called Seekanal and I'm awaiting the cyclist’s arrival.  At least I hope that’s the street name rather than some kind of designated activity area.  After a full day of cycling yesterday, I’m a little sore, and that’s pretty much the last thing I’m seeking right now if truth be told.

Absolute gangsters

Absolute gangsters

SUNDAY

The final leg of our cycling adventure.  We spent last night in a spa-hotel and we’re now sitting in a lovely little pop-up cafe/bar in the middle of a vineyard.  The temperature is in the mid-thirties so we’ve found a little shade to cool ourselves while we quench our thirst with white wine spritzer.  

“Mila had five poohs today!” Zsuzsa proudly announces.  “Two before breakfast!  Just like her Daddy!”

Naturally both Mila and I are furious with her mother’s loose tongue.  I’m internally debating how to deal with her, when Mila takes the bull by the horns.  She reaches out, grabs her mother’s drink and pours it away.  Unfortunately for me the majority goes over my crotch.  My hands and my clothes are drenched.  I sigh and then turn to face the sun in an attempt to dry off.  Out of the corner of my eye I notice the father in-law watching me.  I turn to him and he smiles.

“Foreskin.” he says.

“Uh.”  I reply.

“White wine.  Good for skin.”

“Oh.  Is it?” I say.

I have to admit, I'm a little relived.

A few hours later and our cycling adventure is over.  We’re all tired and sore, and as we head back to Budapest I’m remembering when I used to (try) to play the guitar.  After a while the skin on the tips of my fingers became hard and tough to deal with the constant strumming.  As I nurse my sore bottom I can’t help but wonder if cyclists experience a similar phenomena.  I mean, do all professional cyclists have very tough butt skin?  Don't pretend that it’s something that you’ve never pondered.   

That's all folks!

That's all folks!

Day 110 - Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

The Wife and I

The Wife and I

I’m sitting in a waiting room, waiting for a business meeting.  After a few minutes, the lady who I’m meeting appears at the door with a beaming smile.

“Hi.  I’m sorry, but I won’t be giving you any pussy today.  I’m a bit sick”. she says.

I’m now worried that I’ve misread the agenda.  I mean I’m all for being friendly, but that’s the kind of greeting that you rarely get, even in Essex.  I’m also not sure that my wife would approve.  She’s funny like that.

The meeting runs its course, and true to her word, I am given no pussy.  Not even a little bit!

An hour or so later and I’m on the phone to my wife, recounting the tale of the friendly greeting.

“She mean’t ‘puszi'!  It’s Hungarian for kiss!” she explains.

“So it’s not a Hungarian custom?” I ask.

“This isn’t Ancient Rome!”

"And you're absolutely positive it isn't to do with the fact that I'm having a really good hair day today?"

"She meant 'kiss'!"

I’m relieved as I have a few other business meetings scheduled for the next few days, one with a fairly elderly gentleman who smells of tinned spam.

“That’s a very funny misunderstanding” I say.  “It’s definitely going in my blog.”

“Don’t put it in your blog!” my wife says.  “If she reads it she will be mortified.”

Later that evening my wife has a look on her face that suggests that something is wrong.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“Nothing.” she replies.

Shit.  This mean’s something is definitely wrong.

I prod and poke her until she eventually caves.

“You know your blog?” she says.

“I’m aware of said blog” I reply.

“How come you only ever refer to me as ‘wife’?” my wife says.  “Everyone else has a name.  Mila has a name.  You have a name.  I’m just ‘wife’.”

“I don’t know.”  I say.  “I think I just called you wife in the first one and then continued to run with it.  Would you like me to name and shame you?”

“I want a name.” my wife says adamantly.

It’s later that evening and Mila is having one of those nights.  We can’t stop her crying for love nor money.  My wife’s well appears to be running dry and not even the trusty old dancing to AC/DC trick appears to be working.  

We try the dummy, but she keeps spitting it out.  As a side note, why don’t they make dummies with elastic face bands?  If they're good enough for party hats.  By the way, you can have that one for free.  I’ll keep an eye out for you next year on Dragon’s Den.

After several hours of nursing, comforting and "shushing", my wife eventually gets Mila off to sleep.  I sneak in to the bedroom where they’re both lying.  A lullaby is playing.  It's a lullaby that we've heard thousands of times over the last few months, and it’s starting to make me want to eat my own feet, just to take my mind of it. 

"Shall I change the music?" I ask with pleading eyes.

"As long as it's gentle and quiet.” my wife replies, barely audible.

I scroll through my iTunes.  I find The Carnival of the Animals, a magical piece of classical music that you'd recognise from countless films.  I turn the volume down to near silent and press play.

But my iPhone has other ideas.  It quite fancies listening to The Beastie Boys at full volume.  My iPhone is a despicable dick.

"LISTEN ALL OF Y'ALL IT'S SABOTAGE!"

Mila is awake.

Zsuzsa is livid.

There will be no puszi for me tonight.

Zsuzsa aka The Wife

Zsuzsa aka The Wife

Photos courtesy of @zsolt.barabas.

Day 6 - Radio Fame

Radio Fame

Today I was interviewed by one of Hungary’s biggest national radio stations about the Brexit.  And this is unusual as in my six days living in Hungary I have hardly ever been on the national radio.  So when I was contacted by the radio inviting me to share my thoughts, I decided to break my ominous radio silence and the whole of Hungary breathed a collective sigh of relief.  

“Would you prefer to speak in English or Hungarian?” I was asked.  I pondered this dilemma for a few moments before deciding that I’d probably struggle to get my succinct political thoughts across using only the four words of my Hungarian vocabulary.  Especially seeing as one of those is ‘paradiscom’ (tomato) and another ‘fogotmos’ (to clean ones teeth).  You can listen to the full interview below, but if you find yourself struggling to understand the Hungarian translation that has so rudely been placed on top of my sweet voice, it roughly translates as “Bollocks!  That’s me fucked then!”.

It’s crazy to think that I was the glue that kept the UK together.  Of course, I’d always expected that this was the case, but it was only once I actually left the country and witnessed it’s catastrophic collapse in to to chaos and parody from afar, that my instincts had been proven right.  We’ve voted to leave the EU, the prime minister has resigned, the candidates to replace Cameron remind me of the end of the film Ghostbusters when the heroes were asked to choose their destroyer.  Scotland might bugger off and they might take Northern Ireland with them.  The inhabitants of Hull have all turned blue. 

The people of Hull

The people of Hull

Pretty soon we’ll undoubtedly run out of petrol and be ruled over by Immortan Boris.  The next thing to go will be the food and we’ll have no choice but to become cannibals, or something much worse…vegans.  But I’m afraid I can’t come to the UK’s rescue on this occasion.  I’m out here for at least a year now and have a miniature wife and an even more miniature baby to think of, so the UK will just have to pull itself together and get on with things without me.

Immortan Boris will hoard our women

Immortan Boris will hoard our women

It's only a matter of time before we are forced to become cannibals or dare I say it...vegans

It's only a matter of time before we are forced to become cannibals or dare I say it...vegans

I’ve decided that I won’t let fame change me.  I may be Hungary’s hottest new radio celebrity, but I have to keep my feet on the ground.  I have a young family to think of.  I won’t go down the same route as the Justin Biebers and Kim Kardashians of this world.  You might be sceptical of this, but I promise you, I won’t.

But anyway, I imagine you're currently trying to work out what a Hungarian radio celebrity does to distract himself from the shitty mess that is The Brexit.  Well, the answer is get out of the city and enjoy some of the delights of Europe’s largest lake.  I’m of course talking about Lake Balaton.  So, we're now jumping in our Skoda Yeti hire car and will shortly by cruising down the M7 like some kind of Hungarian P-Diddy and Jo-Lo, Petofi Radio blaring out 80’s Hungarian hits as we go, in a desperate attempt to forget all of the chaos in my homeland.

Until next time.