The residual euphoria from our triumphant results day was only to be enhanced by the arrival of two of our very good friends from back home. Doubling our numbers, and consequently the chaos, were Jake and Charlie, two quality editions to the trip bringing both entertainment and annoyance in equal abundance. Due to Bani’s company becoming a growing pain in my arse the new summer signings were a welcome recruitment, and so we headed up to the airport to pick them up. As we waited for the duo of juveniles to appear at the gates we speculated over the potential havoc bound to ensue, whilst some Hungarian Olympians paraded through the gate we expected to see our mates at. Finally, the pair appeared to a reception equal to what we presumed were the Hungarian hammer throwing team and jumped in the van. The van had been demoted to just the coolest airport transfer vehicle about as its service as our home was replaced by air bnb’s to facilitate the increase of inhabitants. The flat we were to reside in was situated by Budapest’s largest park where we were to induce the new guys into the van life with a drinking treasure hunt. On our walk around the area a few hours earlier we had hidden a number of cards with tasks on them in various spots e.g. under benches, at the millennium monument and in a hedge which strongly resembled a crack den. For every note they found they were to complete a challenge which if failed resulted in a drink, and for every note they failed to collect they would do the punishment regardless. Needless to say, this escalated into a very wild night out.
The best way to describe it is in a Pulp Fiction style multi-lateral concoction of our nights which were divided as soon as we got out the taxi. Sandwiched between the treasure hunt for alcoholics and stepping out of the taxi was a boozy reunion of catching up over drinking games, leading to a gross overconsumption of any spirit we found in the van which set the tone for an incredibly messy night. The taxi journey itself bourgeoned our intoxication, with some suspicious gift from the taxi driver compounding our intemperance beyond sense. It is at this point that we went our separate ways. The new members of the team enjoyed an interesting first night out in Europe as they stuck together to gain entry into the club where they searched for me and Bani. Only finding Bani they went about their business indulging in the nightlife until they realised they were once again alone. Being the sensible youths they are the decision to return to the flat was made and they hopped in the taxi to Budapest Park. The main problem with this plan is that the park we were staying next to was not Budapest Park, but was in fact a twelve mile walk away from Budapest park. Having only enough money for a one way taxi they lacked the funds to make it home and were thus forced to trek back. Rambling through a dark, strange city and equally mystifying parks they impressively made it to the nearby park. Once they were in sight of the block of flats they recognised as home they were heckled by a familiar voice which they ignored before bumping into Bani at the gate of the apartments.
My recollection of the night is a hazed jumble of broken memories combined with the information provided by my equally inebriated counterparts. Post taxi ‘snack’ is where my ability to retain facts ends but legend has it I may have not have made it into the club but instead went on a cross town adventure. I personally deem whatever happened in those forgotten hours as a success as I woke up with all my personal belongings, no unwanted bodily fluids anywhere and in the comfort of my van which in my sorry state I had managed to enter, draw the curtains, make the bed and lock before snoozing comfortably until the morning. The following day I realised I was in my van because I had no way of getting into the flat, a problem I still faced. Unbeknownst of the code I knocked constantly for what felt like an hour until and old, Yoda representing Hungarian women reluctantly let me in so I could dawdle up the stairs and knock on our door and continue my sleep on the sofa.
Bani had an even looser night. After meeting the others in the club, he noticed we were a man down and ventured out the doors in pursuit of myself. His quest was unsuccessful so he attempted to find his way back to the club only to get lost. Eventually he found his way but was refused re-entry and so set off into the streets again where he made some new friends at the bus stop who treated him to another suspicious package. Rejuvenated, reinvigorated and ready to go he continued his journey homewards, where once again he encountered some welcoming strangers, who willingly shared their night-time treats. The results of the Romanian backpacker’s gift left Bani a lot more chilled out and ready for bed so after an hour of relaxing he resumed his journey home. After aimlessly stumbling around he laid eyes on the familiar sight of the van. The flickering light and hinged door drew him in until he found his original objective- Me. Working around my passed-out body he drew the blinds and tucked me in bed before locking the door. He now faced the struggle of gaining entrance into our flat. Fortunately, Jake and Charlie weren’t too far behind but they ignored Bani’s heckles until they go to the apartment gates to let him in. The trio of them enjoyed a deep slumber in the comfort of the leased home until a knock on the door the following morning to let in a very tired, sore version of myself.