Csíkszereda Musings

My life in and around Csíkszereda, also known as Miercurea Ciuc.

The curious incident of the dog in the minivan

Posted by Andy Hockley on 21 February, 2005

I realize that I haven’t spent a lot of time talking about the weather. A serious omission for someone of my background I realize. And as I don’t have much to say at the moment, when better to drag out the tried and tested method of filling awkward silences in conversation. Or in this case, monologue.

So, the week after I got back from Bishkek, it was cold. Ridiculously cold. Blisteringly cold. Colder than a welldigger’s arse, and a witch’s tit. Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. Colder than Jeremy Irons’s dick. There isn’t really an expression in general use that matches that last one, but just looking at him you get the sense the he’d have one of the world’s coldest dicks. Plus I saw him on TV yesterday supporting the odious fox hunting community so I’m particularly ill disposed toward him today. It was so cold, that upon leaving the apartment I was unable to prevent myself from uttering “Holy fucking Christ”. Now I realize that there are some who’d find such language offensive, but I‘ll wager those people have never walked out into a temperature of -35 degrees Centigrade.

This week things have perked up and it has hovered around the zero mark. A vast improvement and almost balmy after the week before. It felt springlike. Lambs frolicked in the glades, buds burst forth, and the whole animal kingdom engaged in a mad and frantic orgy of sexual congress. OK, so none of that actually happened outside of my fevered and frankly perverted imagination, but it did seem nice, although, it has to be said, decidedly slushy.

To celebrate the snowy but warm (well warmish) winter wonderland, we headed out this weekend to enjoy the snow. Specifically we went with Elvira, a friend, to assist her in her new hobby – sled dog racing. You know the kind of thing – team of huskies pulling human being through the tundra for no reason other than they are dogs, and will do any old shit that humans ask them to. In fact, I can say that this weekend has confirmed both of my concerns about dogs.

1. That they are (as mentioned) insanely willing to humiliate and exhaust themselves for the sake of their humans.
2. That they stink. Fortunately our two trips in Elvira’s minivan to different locations from which to begin these mini-iditarods were both short. Being cooped up in a confined space with dogs who are not well acquainted with the concept of personal hygiene can be a trying experience. Even the 15 kms we had to travel at times became an olfactory endurance test. On Saturday’s trip the dogs stopped to partake in the gastronomic delights of a pile of horse shit (Hungarian: Lo Szar – see how my language skills are coming along). Subsequently (and unsurprisingly) on our way home one of them proceeded to vomit this delicious feast back up. Let me tell you if you’ve never spent time in a confined space with horse shit that has been chucked up by a husky, then you’ve never lived. To give an indication of how bad it was, I can honestly say that parmesan cheese smells better.

If anyone ever read this site, then chances are that one of those non-existent readers would be a dog lover and would write in to complain that I am being grossly unfair. Dogs do not, in fact, stink, but merely exist in a different plane of understanding of smell from us. Spend time with dogs, they would go on, and you will soon love to appreciate their delightfully playful aromas. It is true, I have to say, that the only people who don’t seem to recognize how horribly smelly dogs are, are their owners themselves. So possibly I have hit on something here. Some kind of nasal acculturation takes place. I’m just not sure if I want to spend that long becoming acclimatized.

Anyway, we had a good time, chucking snowballs at one another, sledding, building snowmen and walking through the snowy hills (occasionally cheering as Elvira whooshed by in the midst of a caninic cloud of snow powder). I even had a short go on the dog sled myself, but had to do most of the work myself as the lazy bastards couldn’t be arsed to really pull. It was a fairly steep uphill climb though, and I could use losing a kilo or ten, so it may have been understandable (here the dog lovers are thinking “oh that’s why he’s so down on dogs, they couldn’t pull his huge blubbery fat arse up a mountain”). They have nice eyes, huskies. That’s about as far as I’m prepared to go in a conciliatory direction.

Ice hockey update

I know how desperate you all probably are to hear how the ice hockey playoffs are going, after I so successfully piqued your dormant interest last week. Well, I’ll tell you. On Friday night game 3 went in a predictable way and ended up in a 5-2 win for Steaua. Frankly the game was similar to the one I saw up here, and I really couldn’t imagine anything other than a 4-1 series win. Then yesterday, and by some miracle, we (ie Sport Club) won 4-0. Yes, 4-0. After conceding at least 4 goals in every previous game, we managed to keep a clean sheet. I have no idea what happened, but the series is coming back here for games 5 and 6. I still can’t see SC winning, but it looks more evenly matched than I thought it was. The stadium was distinctly half empty though which only goes to show me that we deserve it more. There are 2.2 million people in Bucharest and they can’t fill an ice rink. Puffs. We have 40,000 and packed the place two or three to a seat. Half of the fans there seemed to be from here anyway. They really don’t deserve it. Plastic fans, plastic team. Csiki-csiki-csiki-csiki-csiki-csiki-CSIKSZEREDA!


I have fiunally put some of my photos online, and they can be found by all you lucky people at http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/adhoc.rm/my_photos One day I’ll caption them so you can actually know what they hell they are.


3 Responses to “The curious incident of the dog in the minivan”

  1. The_folks said

    Hi there!

    To the uninitiated, your reference to the smell of Parmesan cheese might not mean much!

    The photos are interesting. We look forward to seeing the captions sometime.

  2. Luke said

    MINUS 35 deg C !!! Holy crap.
    My heart would stop, I would die – in fact just trying to imagine that temperature makes me have an aneurysm or something like that. Here it was plus 35 last week. (Johannesburg, SA)
    I like your writing style and I’ll pop back from time to time.
    One of my friends’ takes his Huskies down a dirt road here in the ‘veldt’, which I think is completely stupid. They do the ‘sledding’ at about 0400 in the morning, before the sun comes up, else I suppose the dogs would just pass out from the heat.
    Cool, cheers

  3. nojer said

    I once saw a Great Dane driving a car in Esbjerg. And by a Great Dane I mean a dog, not Peter Schmeichel or the bloke who invented Lego.

    Don’t know if he smelt though (the dog, not Peter Schmeichel or Lego man).

    I could put down that old joke about my dog having no nose here, but I won’t, suffice to say he smells awful.

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