Csíkszereda Musings

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

Nasal Octopus

Posted by Andy Hockley on 28 April, 2006

This has been a bad couple of weeks healthwise. Bogi came down with mumps (conveniently “mumpsz” in Hungarian) while I was away. This weekend, having sat out the requisite two weeks at home we noticed that she was not hearing very well. A visit to the ENT doctor on Monday confirmed that there was a problem – that she had a large octopus in her nose. So yesterday she went to have it surgically removed (obviously having an octopus in your nose is not especially healthy nor does it make it easy to breathe). All is well now, though and there are no more octopi or any other form of squid or cuttlefish clogging up her nasal passages as far as we know.

OK, OK, it wasn’t actually an octopus. It was a polyp. However, the Hungarian word for octopus and the Hungarian word for polyp are one and the same (polip). So, like a true dad I have been amusing myself all week referring to it as an octopus. In my defence, it has made her laugh too, and helped her reach the operation with at least a couple of laughs to punctuate the pervading sense of fear.

She now has some spots which may or may not be the onset of rubella, another childhood disease which is also very popular at the moment in Csikszereda. Rubella when I was growing up was the best disease going – a week off school with no ill effects barring a couple of non-irritating spots. Of course in those days rubella was called German Measles for reasons I’m not sure of. Was it like Spanish flu in that it seemingly originated in Germany? Or were there more xenophobic reasons? Perhaps it was seen as very efficient form of measles – in and out in a few days without causing much fuss. Who knows? In other etymology-of-spotty-childhood-illnesses, chicken pox may be so called because it’s like a rubbish version of small pox (see also “chicken feed”) or because the spots look like chick peas. Not like any chick peas I’ve ever eaten, I have to say.

To top that off, I have a raging flu, though not of the avian variety. (Although I learned recently that all strains of flu originated in birds). Still, such is life.

Falling Star

Last night, contrary to my usual form, I found myself cheering on an English club in European competition (It’s not unheard of, but it’s fairly rare. I certainly won’t be doing it in the upcoming Champion’s League final). This is because of my overriding hatred of Steaua – and especially Gigi Becali. However, I had been slightly swept up by the seeming unitedness of the nation behind them (though this may have been a media invention) and thought it might be nice if they got to the final (and then got humiliatingly thrashed).

At half past ten Romania time last night, the game was all over. Steaua were three nil up on aggregate (effectively 3½-0 up because they had scored away goals) and there was only an hour left to play. At half time, even though Middlesboro had pulled one back, there was actually a discussion of the possibility that Steaua would get to play Barcelona in the European Super Cup final, and so relive the EC final of 1986. I thought that it was a bit premature, though I did assume that they would at least get to the UEFA Cup final.

The rest, as they say, is history. A stunning fightback by Middlesboro (for the second time in two rounds), and Steaua crashed out at the death, beaten 4-2 on the night. I was happy and still buzzing from seeing such an incredible game of football. But then as I flicked round the TV channels, the shock and dismay of everyone told its own story. This was a match that a lot of Romania wanted Steaua to win so they could represent the nation on a European stage. I don’t really understand that level of national feeling for a club side (I’ll be very very happy if both Arsenal and Middlesboro lose the two finals to come), but I could see that it was there. I’m sure there were hardcore Dinamo and Rapid fans who were happy that Steaua had lost, but most of the country it seems was shell shocked. I started feeling sorry for those Romanians who had willed the team on and seen them crash out in such unbelievable circumstances, so close to the finish line. As channel after channel wheeled their best pundits on to try and make sense of this national calamity, I began to wish that Steaua had indeed clung on to get to the final.

Then one channel cut to live footage of Gigi Becali leaving the stadium. He was so gaunt, so haggard, so white, and for the first time ever didn’t look like he was enjoying being on TV, and in fact remained tight lipped and silent. He looked utterly broken and almost like he was about to burst into tears. At that point my heart lifted and my spirit soared and I remembered why I wanted Middlesboro to win in the first place. Grazie mille, Maccarone.

Sorry Romania – you deserve to have something to cheer, but not led by that cretinous oaf. Rapid in the final? Now that would have really been great.

4 Responses to “Nasal Octopus”

  1. ok said

    Excuse my feeling guilty about this, but after a childhood of enforced Arsenal-hatred (I’m sure this was your doing) I actually have quite a soft spot for them

    OK, so they’re hardly poor relations, but in comparison to the corporate behemoths of Man U and Chelski they have next to no money and have consistently provided the main challenge to those two arrogant outfits for the past 15 years – and done it with some classy football, an erudite, intelligent manager and most of all some ordinary players made brilliant. Where was Thierry Henry before Arsenal, and now he is surely the best striker In Europe. Where was Nicolas Anelka before, and where is he now?

    So I’ll be supporting Arsenal, even if you don’t

  2. Andy C said

    Hi Andy H
    Hope you had a Good Easter and i hope that Bogi gets well soon.
    I watched the game the other night just like you and wiahed Steaua had won but once again it showed how much Boro wanted to win more that the other team, Steaua did like so many other teams in History have done go 2-1 and think well this is it were in the final and just relax and believe they can sit back waiting for the final whistle it only ever happens in dreams.

  3. Andy H said

    OK, ok. I have no idea what kind of football they play has to do with it, nor their half blind manager, who may be erudite but is also a ridiculously dishonest man about anything a member of his team does. Hatred of Arsenal is not a hobby, it’s for life. And Nicholas Anelka? He was nothing for Arsenal too.

    I’ll grant you some of their more ruthless thugs down the years have moved on or retired, so now rather than a squad full of dirty bastards, they just have Robin Van Persie, Ashley Cole, and Dennis Bergkamp.

    That, and when I was at home recently someone on BBC (one of those facelss blokes on MOTD) said “Henry, best player in the world right now, no question”. Which irritated me no end – does this man never watch any football outside of the premiership? I’m hoping Ronaldinho causes him to eat those words in a very large font.

  4. Anonymous said

    I’m quite pleased by the fact that Steaua got defeated. Just because I can’t stand Gigi Becali. If Steaua would have qualified, he would have pretended to be not only the president, prime-minister and mair of every city within Europe, but probably have tried to take St Peter’s job at the Pearly Gates. That’s something that no psychiatrist can cure, and it’s called megalomania…
    I hope that by now you’re both OK (Bogi and you, that is) and health prevailed any disease 🙂

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