Fleur de Montagne
My dad and I had just come off the Piatra Craiului. We had set off the day before with 40kg backpacks and had run out of water right below the peak, a few hours’ hike away from our destination. Having had enough of bears, semi-wild dogs and sleeping on rocks under a sheet-thin tent, we’d abandoned our expedition and headed back to Cheile Dambovicioarei early in the morning.
By noon, we were down in the valley, checking in at the local cabin. We wanted to sleep in an actual bed, and to put some sort of solid structure between us and the marauding bears of the Carpathian wilderness. As I unpacked, my dad went to the outdoor washroom to drain the lizard. Of course, when I say ‘washroom’, what I really mean is two holes in the ground (one for ladies, one for gents), with a roof over them and separated by a piece of cardboard that wasn’t nearly big enough to constitute an impediment to seeing what was happening on the other side. The lazy peasants of that region never upgraded to the joys of plumbing.
My dad entered through the gents’ door and was greeted from across the cardboard by the squeaky voice of a crouching lady:
Taken aback, my father tried to put her at ease:
“Don’t worry madam! I’m over in the men’s room!”
The seemingly modest lady then proceeded to unleash a cacophonous attack of hellish sounds from her bumbowol:
“Pardon me, good sir!”
Forgetting why had come there in the first place, my dad hastily made his way back to the room and told me all about his adventure. We laughed about it and then went to the inn’s main hall for a few beers. The lady that waited on us happened to be the innkeeper and she was awfully nice. Intoxicated by her smiles and pleasantly dazed by the lager she had served us, we were in quite a merry mood when we returned to our quarters.
So we started poking fun at the accommodations, which included a living insectarium of cockroaches, mouldy walls, as well as ghastly ‘works of art’ that soothed the spirit about as effectively as the sound of cats mating. We even took a picture of the pièce de résistance, a Gobelin tapestry weaved with neon-coloured threads and featuring a sense of perspective that could only belong to a deaf bat.
Looking back at sleeping in the woods with a bit of nostalgia, I asked my dad:
“Dad, do you think the lady was being nice to us to make up for these conditions?”
He looked at me very seriously and said:
“Son, even if she sucked our d**ks it wouldn’t be enough.”