Wednesday, May 16, 2007 — Drunk As A Skunk

Back in Braşov, we had a late lunch at the cafe on top of Tâm­pa Hill (995 m), then split up to have a break from each oth­er. I con­tact­ed an acquain­tance in Braşov, Titus Peride, and we met for beers and talk at a sub­ter­ranean stu­dent bistro. A very enjoy­able dis­cus­sion about Roman­ian cul­ture and his­to­ry, eco­nom­ics, and oth­er sub­jects. When this fin­ished, I walked toward the hos­tel, and dropped into a small cafe. But one thing led to anoth­er, and I found myself drink­ing with a group of Roma­ni­ans. Some were actors, one who had played many seri­ous roles, such as the plays of Ioe­nesco and Genet’s Le Bal­con. The con­ver­sa­tion was a chaot­ic mix­ture of Roman­ian, French, Ital­ian, Mag­yar, Russ­ian, Ger­man, Turk­ish and Ara­bic, all jum­bled togeth­er with a back­ground score of Roman­ian doina and clouds of cig­a­rette smoke. I was com­plete­ly unpre­pared for the style of drink­ing in such a con­text: full tum­blers of whiskey fol­lowed by glass­es of sick­ly sweet Red Bull, alter­nat­ing. I stum­bled back to the hos­tel, where Isaac and I shared a sin­gle room. A few hours lat­er, Isaac found me paw­ing con­fus­ed­ly at the door han­dle, try­ing to get to the bath­room to throw up. The world was spin­ning around me, and the only way I could man­age was to crawl on my hands and knees. I was not a pleas­ant sight.

I had not been so shit-faced drunk in many years. I’m not nor­mal­ly a heavy drinker, and this kind of social­iz­ing is not my style. But I sobered up rel­a­tive­ly quick­ly, the next day. We did a bit more sight-see­ing, got tick­ets for an evening train to Budapest, and end­ed up going back to the hos­tel to relax. We watched an Amer­i­can teen com­e­dy called Kids In Amer­i­ca in the hos­tel lounge. The long train ride to Budapest would not involve much sleep. The com­part­ment was full, with some elder­ly women who chat­tered in Roman­ian pret­ty much non-stop. No com­fort­able posi­tion was pos­si­ble. It must have been tor­ture for Isaac, who has very long legs. Final­ly, some­where in Hun­gary, the ladies left the train, and we stretched out, exhaust­ed, for a few hours of snoozing.

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