Because science into life doesn't go

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


In honour of my permanent departure from Hungary, this weekend I took a trip down to Hungary's premier holiday resort, Siofok. It was a boys only affair, and we left Budapest straight from the football ground where we'd just recorded a 5 - 1 victory over league bruisers, FC Celtic. The contingent consisted of myself, James G, James B, Nick, Dean, and later, Mark. James B must've exerted himself more than most on the pitch, because on the drive down to Lake Balaton he promptly fell asleep --- on maybe it was the conversation...

We arrived in Siofok around eight and immediately Deano fell in love with a quaint, pink house topped with turrets and bunting. He bounded inside and moments later emerged triumphant. Rooms were vacant. We'd found our digs! Bags were dumped, hair gelled, deoderants applied, and during James G's turn in the bathroom shouts of 'You're a Tiger!' could be heard.

A walk down the strip (Siofok's not very traditional, bar, restaurant, and club packed street) and back, and the worst of the weather-hinted fears were realized --- nobody was here. Maybe it was early, we hoped, and settled down in a steakhouse. Of course, being practically the only patrons in the place did nothing to improve the service. We were routinely ignored, lied to, and sneered at. And the food was crap!

With stiff upper lips we headed into the night --- up and down the strip --- only to conclude that the resort really was dead tonight. Passing a small bar/club I heard the funky sounds of MC Hammer, and decided, despite the fact the only people in the place were the staff, this was where we would boogie. We tentatively entered and then huddled on one side on the place, outnumbered 2 to 1 by the sum of bartenders, deejays, and doormen. The tunes kept on coming however, and soon the vibe was good with James B flirting with a pretty member of the barstaff and Nick busting some moves on the dancefloor. Our energised presence sparked the place into life and soon we were surrounded by at least ten other people, including Nick's friend, Latzi, and two girls who alternated between jiving and snogging their men.

Deano, like a highland gorilla alpha male, lumbered to the centre of the dancefloor and did a version of the NZ rugby team's Hakka to Warren G's Regulate. Girl One took note of the new adonis on the floor. Flicking her hair she narrowed her gaze onto our primate King, otherwise known as Rik Ferrari, and began a swinging hip walk towards him. Deano started preening himself, checking his breath, and mouthing his opening line ('Have you seen my snake?'). Just as she got to conversation distance, Deano's opening word on the tip of his tongue, she shimmied right like a non-fat Ronaldo and without pausing continued onto the DJ's booth. Deano's chin dropped and the rest of us cracked up. Classic.

By the time we left the club, day was breaking, and Nick thought it a good idea to check out the lake. Cue five very drunk men feeling even more drunk because of the choppy water. How no-one threw up, I don't know.

After a leisurely lunch at an American Diner, Sunday was spent detoxing: a drive round to Tihany where we wandered about, drank cappucinos, and pondered on why Lake Balaton was so popular with Germans. After a ferry back, we were soon encamped in one of the rooms watching Brazil - New Zealand: five grown men strewn over a double bed. It was during the match that Mark arrived. Boy, was he overjoyed to see us all together!

A different dining strategy for the second night (avoid the strip) paid dividends. The hospitality was great, the food good, and prices reasonable. Even the presence of a whole football team in the place didn't spoil the occasion --- in fact they were just loud enough to stop the live folk music which suited me fine. Then it was on to the strip, where we descended on a different bar from the night before. And amazingly, it filled up to bursting point. At one moment the barman cleared the circular bar of drinks, poured vodka over the surface, and then dropped a match. After the flames died, the barmaids were invited up onto the smouldering bar where they danced half-heartedly. Perhaps that experience was why one of them tried to rip me off. By the time the bartender lit the bar again, I was ready to leave. It felt like being in The Event again (a "meat-market" in Brighton I used to go to for nights of cheesy music and shattered hopes). We ended back in the same club as the night before. It was equally as empty as the first night. Perfect.

However this didn't stop the DJ playing tunes nobody wanted to hear. It was only after persistent harrasment --- finger waggling from Mark, and philosophical musings from myself ("What is the purpose of a DJ?" I asked the indefatigable mixmaster, before answering myself. "To keep the clients entertained. And who is enjoying these songs? Nobody!") --- that the DJ backed down and meekly started playing more Jacko and Warren G.

It was a fine end to a fine weekend.