AKA - Lake Cesspit
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.
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.
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.