Never Mind Lost In France!! Bumbling Antics From Budapest!

Back in 2005 I was invited by my Hungarian friends to join them at their homes in Kescekmet for 2 weeks for some sight-seeing and of course sampling the wonderful Tokaji wine. Part-way through my stay the Sziget Festival was coincidentally taking place in Budapest and it was agreed that I needed to experience this first-hand, so off to Obuda Island we set; bearing in mind that my friends are all considerably younger than me! Well, I had a fantastic time although found the music extremely loud and was somewhat concerned when they pitched our tent beside one of the main stages. Tent? I'd assumed we'd all go back the comfort of a hotel - hellish! I merrily joined in with all the partying and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Faithless perform, but after one or two (for one or two, read nine or ten+) glasses of Tokaji, I was what one can only describe as "hammered". No fear I thought, as I staggered off in the direction of the tent - albeit in the wrong direction and without my friends for company, and with a mobile phone with a flat battery! After what seemed like hours (and probably was), I no longer had a clue as to where I was, it not even registering that I was in a foreign county, but I was determined to get back to wherever it was I knew I had to get back to. After dodging all the male revellers relieving themselves on any available tree, shrub, plant, post, tent and in a few cases, each other, I finally found the stage where our small tent had been erected. Climbing in and face-planting on top of the sleeping-bag my first thought was "how the hell am I going to sleep with that music pounding in my ears from only 20 feet away" - this actually proved to be my one and only thought as the next thing was total unconsciousness, where I slept a wonderful dreamless sleep, unaware of the panic I was causing to my friends, who instead of partying and enjoying themselves, scoured the whole island convinced I'd fallen into the Danube and drowned. The local police and security guards were also of the opinion that they should prepare for the worst - as I obliviously snored-on, no doubt sounding like a herd of hippos tap dancing in clogs, on giant kettle drums! How was I to know it was the wrong stage and not our tent! Anyway - next morning, I stumbled out of canvas hell and into a scene of post-party casualties and then literally bumped into one of my frantic Hungarian mates - and it was without doubt the strongest hug I've ever experienced, although still not understanding quite why till all was explained. Apologies made, more hugs from the others when they arrived and off we strode (with 1000's of others), to cross the small bridge from Obuda Island to "mainland" Budapest, with me thinking something was missing, but not being able to put my finger on quite what exactly! It was agreed that a big hearty breakfast was required and we soon found a small cafe serving hot food and it was as I took my first bite and attempted to chew, I discovered precisely what it was I'd left behind on Obuda Island. Forget the classic song "I left my heart in San Francisco" - my apparent signature tune was "I left my false teeth in Budapest" and I'd just like to apologise to the people whose sleeping bag I apparently deposited them in. The rest of the holiday didn't see me smiling much I can tell you!

M James

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