Tinned spaghetti bolognese with bread for breakfast, get packed up and throw my leg over. On my way out of the campsite I notice the swimming pool. "Bollocks!" My back has been stiffening up for sometime and I still haven't scratched my swimming itch. With my lazy morning I don't have the time to take a dip...miffed!
I have 70km to Budapest, since riding with Mihailo this seems like a half day - another aspect of our partnership I have benefited from. Accompanied by The Cat Empire the miles tick by easily as I tap out ryhthms on my handlebars. Hoze has kindly agreed to meet me out of town and ride into the city with me. I stop at a small airfield to watch a microlight take off, I've always been fascinated by such simple forms of flight....uh oh, I can almost feel a new hobby coming on....back to riding.
As we ride Hoze points out various lankmarks and fills me in on some of the country's history. He's very well informed, it's like having my own tour guide/escort. Though I doubt the average tour guide lets on about the corruptible police etc...The ride into Budapest take sometime and we go through a good 10km of suburbs - I'm glad to have Hoze's guidance. Hoze's trendy flat has been converted from a 100yr old hunters house, the dusty spiral staircase discloses little as to the sleek modern interior. I take a shower and relax behind one of his many laptops with Luna (his pet Labrador) at my feet. I meet Hoze's girlfriend Zsuzsanna and the four of us head into town. I sample some authentic Serbian food Pljeskavica coupled with a beer and then we head to a club. If you stumbled into this place you'd think you were really in the wrong part of town. It's on the top floor of a scabby concrete block building. No fancy facade to cloak the fabric of the building. Pipes, metal work and cracked render all on show, the dimly lit stairs are covered top to bottom in graffiti. The open air bar is packed enough, with a surprising amount of Johnny Foreigners. Hoze and I talk in length about the war, in which he served for 9 months (6 of which were front line). Due to my age/ignorance I know/knew little about the war so it's good to get such a comprehensive account. I try to imagine living in a country with National Service still occurs. He also tell me about life in Serbia and what I should expect. I learn about "inat" - finding the big guy in the crowd, and picking him to fight (NATO for example). A favourite quote from the night goes along the lines of.
"Serbs...we may have little dicks...but they are always erect!"
Back at his place we chat on the balcony until gone 05.00. Zzzzzzzz