Thursday, 19 May 2011

Lost in translation

In Budapest and doing my usual which is 1/ cycling on the pavement and 2/ wondering which way is East  - I come to a standstill and reach for my map. I look up and see a vaguely familiar face also on a bicycle and on the pavement riding towards me. We look at each other baffled while saying hello. He points to my skirt (which is silk with a distinctive pattern, my rest day city outfit and a refreshing change from padded shorts) "Vienna!" he exclaims through his laughter "McDonalds!" and then it twigs. In Vienna I had noticed a man on a mountain bike looking as hopelessly lost as me on the bicycle 'ringroad' of the city. 3 possibly 4 times we had passed each other and our last time was when I was quickly checking my emails using McDonalds free wifi.

So David from Argentina is touring Europe in a camper van, recognised me by my skirt and his English is as poor as my Spanish but we spent the day together cycling up to the Citadelle, trying on hats made from ancient funghi, drinking too much beer in a tourist-free side street near the Opera house that resulted in the barman giving me a hug and 3 kisses on departure and getting totally lost in the suburbs of Budapest despite the aid of Google maps and a GPS

Lost in suburbia
So now I will continue south of this delightful city following the Danube which has already led me through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and will also accompany me through Serbia and Romania before I leave it to head south east through Bulgaria and in to Istanbul. 

Before I leave I will share a secret with you that only 2 people know yet communicating it to David via drawings and gestures yesterday and his retort of "crazy, crazy woman" I offer it to you to see if my sanity needs checking

As you know I have had a few encounters with wildlife while camping hidden in the woods: the grey furred beast that tripped over my bicycle, stubbed his 'toe', crashed into my tent and swore in the way only a grey furred beast can swear. The hedgehog that would try burst his way in and then scuttle away when I unzipped the door, only to charge again when I zipped up. The slugs and snails that have tried to stowaway on my mudguards or hide in my tent from village to village, country to country. Yet the other night while camped in some open ground near a forest there was a mini stampede. My mattress trembled and so did I. I am too much of a coward to shine my torch into the darkness of a forest after it met the yellow eyes of an animal before so instead I prepare myself should a wild boar trample on my head in the middle of the night.. and this time I reached for my yet unworn bike helmet, placed it on my head, tightened the chin strap and fell asleep reassured that no wild boar would be making sausages out of me that night.

1 comment:

  1. Magic helmet stuff - I will have to store that one away for future reference. Ta.