Arkadaşlar elimde şöyle bir metin var ve mutlaka yarına çevirmem gerekiyor. Ben çevirmeye çalıştım ama emin değilim doğruluğundan. İngilizcesi daha iyi olan bir arkadaşım çevirirse gerçekten minnettar kalırım. Şimdiden çok teşekkür ediyorum.
I arrived in Annecy on an unbearably hot late September afternoon, InterRail ticket in my sweaty hand. I had been to this extremely attractive town before and felt it merited a return visit. It's touristy and this is reflected in the accommodation prices, but it also has a youth hostel which seemed ideal in these, my salad days (salad was about all I could afford). The hostel was a little outside the town, about two kilometres according to my book. I had directions to a bus stop from where I would be lifted up, out of the town, and towards the top of a wooded hill. Did I mention the weather? It was unseasonably warm, by which I mean it was hot.
I found the bus stop and read the little notice with a dawning sense of dread as I realised that the bus ran in the summer only and had stopped operating just three days earlier. In blazing sunshine and with the temperature in the low 30s, I wondered how exactly "summer" was defined around these parts. A long walk beckoned but, being the fit young chap I was, I tightened the straps on my rucksack, downed a litre and a half of water and set off.
The hill was quite steep and zig-zagged its way ever upwards. It seemed a really long climb and I was getting hotter and more fatigued with every bend I turned. The heat was truly sapping. To keep my morale up as I trudged on, I thought that I would reward myself for my hostel frugality by eating out somewhere nice - there were plenty of signs to places off this road and the hostel was supposed to be close to an activity sports complex where there was bound to be a pizza place at the very least. Indeed, I rounded one bend and saw a hotel with "Vue Panoramique". I strolled nonchalantly over to look at the menu and then strolled slighltly less nonchalantly back again as I realised that my wallet had certain limitations. Unlimited credit being one of them.
A few bends and several litres of sweat later there was a sign off to another place - it looked nice, less formal than the previous place - this could be my dinner I thought. Having climbed what felt like substantially more than two kilometres the thought of some succulent dead animal on a plate was starting to engender mild hallucinations. But this, this restaurant was to be my salvat... "Closed Mondays". Today was, well, you don't need me to tell you. So, on I went, higher and higher, with at least the promise of a decent bed and a hot shower.
Having passed several more closed or overpriced dining opportunities I was now resigned to the idea of dinner at the youth hostel or a further walk along to this sports place. Head down and mumbling to myself in that way that makes people cross the road to avoid you, I turned a corner and saw a car parked rather awkwardly on the inside bend. Funny place to stop I thought, as the couple inside waved. Ah, now I could see. It wasn't parked - it was stuck. Would I help them push their car out of this seemingly implausible position? Of course. I even managed some sort of Gallic shrug and surrendered myself to the exertion of more energy. I think they were a little suprised by my manner, which seemed to imply that I spent all my days slogging up big hills wearing a large, heavy rucksack, pausing only to push random cars out of ditches. We succeeded and then, in a moment of thoughtful generosity, they didn't offer me a lift. They drove down the hill and I carried on up.
I reached the end. The youth hostel was now in sight - it looked perfectly acceptable. I wandered in and we went through the normal rigmarole. Did they have a bed? Yes. Did I need a sleeping bag? Yes. What time was dinner? Oh, we don't do dinner here. A brief pause, while I picked my shattered body up off the floor. I looked, in hindsight probably quite rudely, at the bloke and uttered an incredulous "What, no dinner?" (in French). Non. How far was this sports complex? Four kilometres! (I may have misheard this). Too far for me in this state.
Weak and dispirited I found my dormitory, discarded my sweat-stained jacket and went in search of the showers. I found the showers and then went back in search of my dormitory. If there was one thing that I needed more than a shower, it was to avoid contracting some sort of infectious disease - and in those circumstances it seemed that the shower block was best avoided.
I lay down on my bed, the sun was beginning to set, and I considered my options. I had none. I was a broken man. As I drifted into a semi-conscious state, a German (who'd arrived in his sports car) entered the room, turned on all the lights and opened the windows. He might as well have hung up a large sign saying "Mosquitoes - Enter here for fine dining". I woke up the next morning to find that although I may not have feasted well - or indeed at all - at least some of God's creatures had not gone hungry that night. Strangely I changed my original plan and decided not to stay the extra night.