The Big Swimming Pool

Well, this is the life.

I’ve been fortunate enough to land in another great little hostel – dirt cheap but without dirt, which is the way I like ’em. I’m currently in the (outdoor) bar, sipping an ice cold beer, which cost approximately 50p. I’ve had to develop a taste for beer on my travels, despite hating it for most of my life, because soft drinks are expensive and nowhere’s heard of cider.

Anyway, I’m sipping my beer, listening to weird but upbeat Hungarian music, fighting off the occasional spider, and congratulating myself on leaving the beach before the sunburn became as horrific as I’ve allowed it to become in the past. Tonight, I had dinner at a little restaurant recommended to me by the hostel owner, who understood my worries about not knowing how to communicate with Hungarian waiters. There’s a nice leetle place on the shore, just over that way, he said, gesturing, which ees very cheap and serves good traditional food. They do not speak Eengleesh, but they have peectures of the food on the walls, so you can just point!

Amused, I set off to find it, and was not disappointed.

As instructed, I pointed at a picture of something that looked vaguely like fish and chips, and was served something unidentifiable but delicious. Not fish… probably not chicken… look, as long as I don’t know, it’s fine.

The earlier part of the day was spent wandering around the villages and sunbathing on the grassy beach. The water is wonderful – it’s like a giant heated swimming pool, and because it’s not seawater, you don’t get the nasty side effects of tasting salt for the next week, or your hair going all matted and dry. It’s the first time I’ve been able to swim properly in such a large volume of water without getting battered back by enormous waves – I swam out for about about 15 minutes, and then realised how far away the shore was, so headed back to dry off in the sunshine. Had one of my “this only happens to rich people!” moments as I lay there basking in the heat, but those are starting to pass much more quickly, these days.

Photos of the beautiful scenery will hopefully follow tomorrow, when I hope to navigate my way to the Lookout Tower (oh, woohoo, more steps!!), as it’s apparently going to be a bit cooler by then. For now: cheers! Wish you were here. Actually, today I was watching a couple of girls chatting to each other on the beach, and had a sudden pang for the company of The Sister. She’d love it here, I thought to myself. When I returned to the hostel room, however, I remembered why I’d realised the previous night that she’d actually hate it here:

There are a lot of spiders and insects in Hungary. Fortunately I’ve learned to become less afraid of such things, so I can quite easily ignore that familar mosquito whine in the dark, brush off the millions of large, bizarre-looking green flying things, and let the multitude of enormous spiders go about their helpful business of building webs to catch them all. I’m trying not to think about how many spiders must be running all over me in my sleep. They’re not doing me any harm… I hope. I may need to rethink things slightly if I suddenly become violently ill.

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