Having said bye-bye to Dave and a temporary farewell to Doug I had a week or so to kill before making another RV, this time in Paris with Deb (ex-flatmate), Brian (Deb's husband to be), Mick (good cricketer and sort of ex-flatmate) and Mick's cousin Tim. So I looked at my map and diary and realised I could do a quick 2-dayer to Lauterbrunnen, catch up with a drinking acquaintance and get back to France and maybe check out a town or two on the way to Paris.
Fine. I hotfooted it to said Lauterbrunnen which is set in a valley surrounded by huge fuck-off mountains, like the Jungfrau and Schilthorn. Its fan-fucking-tastic. However I realised I'd left my towel in Lyons so I was no longer a cool frood who knows where his towel's at. I was forced to go and buy a new one which upset me because I was attached to my old towel. It had served me well for a few months, like a faithful retainer who is only noticed when he dies. Anyways, the scenery in the Lauterbrunnen valley is picture perfect and I caught up with Mark and had a couple of sharpies with him, which we chilled in one of the creeks whilst taking in the views. Brilliant stuff. We caught up, shot some shit and enjoyed being in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful parts of the world you could ever wish for. The next day Mark had to take off on his Contiki bus and I made a bee-line back to France. On the way I had a quick re-union with a couple of Aussie girls I'd met a couple of months previously and told them to meet me in Paris. They looked doubtful. I forgot to remember that Aussie chicks could see right through my bullshit, no matter how homesick they be and in need of good old Aussie frolics. They weren't keen and its bye-bye to Lauterbrunne and the idea of catching up with Gabrielle and Kaylz in Paris. A shame really, they were well in tune with themselves and would have been a blast to knock around with.
So no bends, back to France. I settled on going to Sete. No reason, just because it was on the coast. I landed there and checked out the hostel. Man, the queue was long, very long, but in my opinion it was worthwhile. That's because I spotted an attractive nordic girl at the end of the queue and jumped in behind her. After a minute or so Leina and I were getting along famously. I was concerned that the hostel may be full but I stuck by her side, come hell or high water. That's because I'm a chivalrous sort of gent and wouldn't want her to be left alone amongst the swarming, desperate hordes milling in front of us. We were soon joined by Ann from Sweden and had a merry old time. I got onto feeding them all sorts of lies about Australia and they politely endured my bullshit. In fact they were becoming interested in my crap stories and time flew until we were told that the hostel was in fact full and could we all fuck off and go somewhere else, hopefully to our own countries and never set foot in France again. This is the sort of situation where you need to drive up in a VW, speak something guttural and wait for the mayor of Sete to come up with freshly signed surrender documents, the keys to the local winery and his three ballerina daughters. Seeing as how I was out of VW's another course of action was needed. Hmmm. What to do? Here I am in the company of a hot girl from Norway and another from Sweden. Hmmm again. Ha! An idea.
"I guess we'd better find a cheap hotel or something." I suggested. The girls agreed. They didn't run away! You bloody little ripper, a bloke's a dead cert here! A Norwegian and a Swede! Woo hoo! So we tootled down to the centre ville and started casting about for hotels. We lobbed into a cheap dive and got a room which had two beds, a shower and toilet. Yes that's right, two beds. I realised that fantasies of three-in-abed sex romps were simply that, fantasies, but a bloke doesn't get a lot of opportunities to test such water, so I dunked my elbow into the bath and gauged the temperature. Lukewarm at best. A cute laugh from Leina and a shake of the head from Ann. I put that idea on hold.
I wasn't surprised at the rejection but its always best to ask instead of wondering. It was now time to see if alcohol could shorten the odds so we headed off to a cafe and had a feed plus beers, plus wine. I snookered a bottle for 'afters' and we strolled home, nicely fed and fuelled by a good measure of alcohol.
Back in our palace I popped the vino and started on with more stories, telling the girls about previous adventures involving the Crazy Belgian, Fruhstuck Express, pizza joints in Lyons, as well as other doings in my travels.
They told me stuff about Norway and Sweden and started to loosen up. I still had nordic porn running through my head and couldn't get my tactics sorted out. Do I play a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 formation? Is it an up and in defence or sliding and should I chip and chase on the last tackle or simply go for distance? A field goal's no good, we're two behind. Have to go for the try. Fuck, its in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and we're 5 behind but the opposition midfield keeps on killing the ball. We have it in our back pocket, what do we do? Three kicks up the ground and bank on the full forward taking a mark against the two talls? Is there a small up there to do the roving and sneak a major?
I settle for a 4-3-3, chip and chase and three kick option. I pour more wine. Always go for the booze option, especially with Norwegians and Swedes. That was all fine and good until Leina's defense hardened the fuck up and intercepted the match-winning pass. Her stoic defenders made her stomach empty itself and her brain to shut down. At least she'd made it to what served as the ensuite before the eruption. Bugger. Should have just taken a shot from outside the area instead of bringing on the super-sub bottle of vin ordinaire. At least she'd cut loose in the toilet proper and managed to even flush away the evidence. Her stumbling effort and death collapse onto the big bed ended all hope I had for a 2-0 victory.
At this stage Ann was looking a bit pasty as well so I dutifully fetched her a glass of water, found a bucket to put on the floor next to Leina and brought a couple of towels on from the interchange bench. If you're going to lose, may as well do it properly and with a semblance of pride.
Ann managed to navigate her way through pre-sleep ablutions while I was looking at my guide book. I was looking up night spots in Sete but this book had nothing. No answers. Sete was a bust on all fronts. Ann was in her nightshirt ready for the sandman, Leina was looking quite comfortable sprawled across the bed and I decided to go for the big specky, thirty five out on a fourty-five degree angle with ten seconds remaining on the clock. I invited the Swede to share my bed. She shook her head, untangled Leina and made herself all nesty and bed-bumpy. Bugger it Therbs, you really need to brush up on your tactics here m'boy. You know better than this.
I abluted and got into bed, but couldn't get to sleep. In the ambient light the recumbent figures of the two girls was annoying the shit out of me. I rolled over, facing the wall and started a bit of rumination. Here I was in the south of France having made an arse of myself with a couple of nice girls and was likely never to see them again after saying goodbye in the morning. I had about a week before my RV in Paris with my work colleagues and ex flatmates so I figured out I may as well go across to Lourdes, drink some water and then start north. I drew a mental map and had pencilled in a stop at La Rochelle before I started dozing off. I had a semblance of a plan nestled lazily in my mind when I felt something else lazily nestling itself against my back.
"Are you sleep?" whispered Ann, "I think prefer sleep with you not Leina."
"I'm glad you do" I whispered back while my cartoon self started dancing around the room whooping, whistling and yelling out to the world, "Yes!" The goal umpire signalled a major just as the full-time siren sounded. I dipped past the left back, shaped over the ball, swung left, toed right and struck the ball hard and high, bending it into the top left corner. Goooaaaaalllll! Fifth tackle, five seconds to go and I received the ball from dummy half, spotted a big forward in the line a metre in from of the rest and grubbed the ball past him, dove and grounded the slippery ball. Try time!!!!
The cartoon ended and we got busy with the reality of summer in Sete.