I rolled into the farm yard, there was a light on and I could here talking, a great start. Just as I knocked on the kitchen window I caught a glimpse of an elderly farmer and his son blow drying the hair of a small dog on the kitchen table. The older farmer, Robert, came out and I tried to explain that I needed a place set up camp. Communication would be through grunts and demonstrations only. He suggested that he could move his car and that I could camp in under his garage in the yard. Delighted, I accepted. Then his son pointed to a small disused house in the yard. Robert showed me around it and I graciously accepted the offer of the upgrade in accomodation. Next he brought me into the main house and showed around a spare room. This was getting mad but of course I accepted the second upgrade and tired to explain how happy I was.
It all got a bit weird from here on as he tried to have a long conversation with me about food and my room. I got lost in his crazy tongue so I started to tell him about the time when we were kids a bunch of us went on a walk in a forrest and a bee hive fell on my friends head and we got stung all over. The he got lost in my tongue so we both shut up and he got back to cooking dinner for all of us. I sat in the sitting room with his son Unay and I just tried to soak up everything that was happening. The place stank of dog, there was a dog in a little cradle with its four new born pups. A guy walks in holding a dead wild rabbit by the ears and gives it to Robert. I say bonjour and he sits and tries to talk in French to me, I say back to him "oh ah Paul McGrath" and then he stops talking in French to me.
The walls of the sitting room where covered with shelves with a million weird objects on them. Tools, framed baby photographs, chemicals, antlers, empty chocolate sweet tins. The room had the feel of a horror movie. All the photos on the walls were from the 40s and did not even apear to be from this family, it was spooky but I just tried to stay cool. The son prepared the table while holding the dog, the father would come out from the kitchen and hand feed another dog part of the meal we were about to eat. All I could think of was germs, food poisoning and me curled up in my tent in a forrest somewhere dying from the contamintated food.
But who am I kidding, here I was panicking over some one petting a family dog while touching my food. I have no running water, I eat at bus shelters, out of one pot that badly needs to be touched with some fairy liquid. It shows how ingrained society has made me paranoid of germs, granted I could still get sick but its soo unlikely. I settled down a bit and just went with the flow and pretty soon I was playing with the dogs and munching on some bread and cheese. Robert came out of the kitchen and dramatically sharpened all our knives with a wild grin on his toothless mouth. The main course was a big pot of boiled Schuh [spelling] with four different types of sausage and chunks of ham. This was heaped onto our plastic disposable plates, the servings were clearly meant for some sort of prehistoric cave man. Dispite how it looked it was actually pretty tasty and I gobbled it up just quick enough so that the rest of the lads had finished off the pot hence denying me another 5kg portion of meat. I think Robert added the sausage bits in order to make the meal more glamorous for me.
After dinner we had cheese and more bread handed out by the son, 10 out of 10 for the cheese what ever it was. We chilled out with bloated bellies and watched the latest French DVD release which was a romcom based around a couple of Post Office workers. I could follow most of it and also what the lads thought of it as whenever the hot girl appeared on screen the tone in there voice would change to that seedy perverted accent guys do. Once the movie was over I demonstrated that I needed to sleep by placing my praying hands close to my head and faked a yawn. Robert showed me down the hall and into my storage bedroom, again as dirty as the rest of the house but it had a bed and I could use my sleeping bag to keep me elevated off the horrible diseases that would engulf my body and leave only my skinny bones by the morning.
My first night in a strangers house
I did my late night pee in the toilet next to my room, it had cob webs, fifty three dead flys and four empty toilet rolls on the window sill. I usually piss on the side of the road and poo in the woods with the bears and here I am looking down on this families toilet. I lay in my sleeping bag trying to write in my water wrinkled diary when I heard a noise at my bedroom door. It sounded like the son was leering through the keyhole and masterbating on the door. What has happened to my mind? Why was this my first thought? Especially considering that Robert had told me to make sure I kept a chair at the door otherwise the dogs would push their way in overnight. That conversation took twenty minutes yet my scared brain still thought of the worst scary movie scenario possible.
Robert gave me his business card and
very a professional send off
I had a sleepless night as the chickens in the yard were going crazy cock a doodle doing their hearts out. The night desrves detail as the Juliens were the first family to invite me to sleep in their house. What went on in my head clearly shows how nervous I was. I have a long way to go to block out the fear of coming across random serial killers. I do not take full blame for my crazy thoughts though as the house was a touch on the bizzare side. I am just glad to have this one under my belt. I do feel bad about what I thought of their house and its something I will work on over the next while. They were wonderful people and I was estatic to share a meal with them.