There is blood on our hands again

(From the song 'Blood on our Hands' by Death From Above 1979).

What I'm clumsily trying to say is that here's a blog what I made whilst I should've been doing something better and that if you're reading it then you should be doing something better too. Also, the fact that you and I have the time and resources to respectively make and read this gumpf is why the World is so screwed.

19 August 2005

Campsie... the arrival

On the 23rd of July 2005 I drove a rental car over four hundred miles to Loch Lomond in Scotland to begin a week of walking, driving, spending money I don’t have and moaning a lot. Sure, I could have done those things at home but then I wouldn't have been surrounded by strangers with curious accents (admittedly the Cardiff and Valleys accents are annoying but are no longer curious after 22 years of living amongst them… although most of them are indeed strangers). As always I’m fully aware that any entry here is mostly for my own benefit and I am under no illusions as to how many people will be reading it… and so, in that spirit... Besides one mistake whilst driving finding the hostel was pretty easy. Glasgow was a nightmare of traffic lights, strange alternating areas of affluence and poverty and easily the most annoying part of the whole journey with regards to navigation. Despite Glasgow's (Glasgee as I'd been calling it) best efforts we arrived at the hostel and time was getting on for about half nine. As you'll be able to tell from the picture below the place is pretty impressive but it could've been a porta cabin at this point for all I cared (as long as it had a porta cabin bar)... as I was fooking knackered. Check-in took seconds and we were presented with two electronic card keys for the room which we learnt was up two flights of rather large, rather wide stairs. A large man was the only visible occupant of the room although two other beds had signs of being in the possession of fellow hostellers and so we put our bags under the two available beds. A ‘hi’ of greeting was answered but nationality was hard to discern. Being large and bald it seemed natural to assume he was German. Somewhat less natural was the ‘consumption’ (tuberculosis) that Andrew and I ‘gave’ him. Imagined scenes of pale-faced sweating and cries of agony as he laid in bed dying made us laugh… of course it did. He was therefore and henceforth named ‘Klaus von Consumption’ whether he knew it or not. After ‘de-bagging’ we took the wine my parents had given me and went downstairs and outside to enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding area and even the hostel itself!

Although the outlook was stunning and the wine very much welcomed after eight hours of driving the famous Scottish midges decided that they wanted a piece of my face as a souvenir, a cultural exchange maybe. After moaning a bit I persuaded Andy to go inside the hostel and into a large communal dining area that had windows facing out onto the loch. Already it was obvious that this place was a magnet to just about every nationality that enjoyed talking loudly and having kids that followed in their mouthsteps… you heard me. The most instantly apparent of nationalities were the Germans and boy! were there a lot of Germans, on that day and all week. A group of British girls were at the back of the room playing a seemingly hilarious game of cards and there were various other people sat around reading or eating. The girls provided a ‘reflection-based entertainment’ for me, as I was able to switch focus between the rapidly darkening landscape through the window and the lively game they were playing behind me. A solitary Chinese girl drinking tea or coffee seemed to grab Andy’s attention and so we both had acquired possible ‘conversation-targets’ within an hour of arriving. That we were unable to achieve either of our goals should be obviously telling as to the effort we were willing to put into such adventures and, more importantly from my point of view at least, the irrational fear of strangers we have. After an hour or so of this it was time for bed and for the first of seven nights, bed meant sharing a dorm room with at least four other men.

1 Comments:

  • At 22/8/05 16:23, Blogger Comrade_S said…

    Wow, i mean i'm gobsmacked, you mean you DIDN'T go talk to those girls, i mean dave that's like totally unlike you. I mean seriously.

    Yes yes, i am crapping my pants in anticipation for el next section of your diaries.

     

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