Liam Ratcatcher! 1983
I can honestly say with hand upon heart that it was during this particular holiday that l stopped liking Manilow. Don’t get me wrong, l didn’t particularly like him in the first place, however my Sister at five years my junior was a huge fan, posters, fan art almsot groupie to Mr Beak himself and of course non stop Barry playing at home when she wasn’t out with her friends. But it was that journey in the VW pink campervan that put me off him for life!
To make matters worse and l do mean exceedingly worse, Liam liked Kustov’s choice of music and sat at the front [Liams only spot in the van for the entire duration of Romania], and the pair of them would sing to their hearts content and laugh and joke and drink and pay both salut and homage to Mr Bloody Manilow! Worse, was somehow, yes he did maintain it was a ‘somehow’ and not a ‘deliberation’, he had only picked up two tapes one was the greatest hits of Barry and the other was John Denver! Liam also loved John?
My Father liked Denver as well, so in addition to listening to Manilow and Denver at home l also had to listen to the two tapes containing their greatest hits for 85% of the tour. The remaining percent was silence, and after the end of out first day, oh how l longed for that silence!
The first day out of Mamaia was a bit of a disappointment in truth. Kustov informed us that we would be travelling to Constanta the city which was just over 10 miles away from where we were staying in the hotel. That we would take in the sights before moving on for the rest of our ‘Dracula Tour’.
So we saw some fine buildings, some historical ruins, some excavations, a museum or two and the main shopping area and that mostly ate up the day. It wasn’t ‘that’ bad, but you got to the point where one building pretty much looked like the rest of the buildings. I took a few photographs, bought a few postcards, a nice scarf for my Mother and then we all [including Kustov] sat down for a traditional meal at a ‘local restaurant’ of his choice. Which comprised of some tripe soup, cabbage rolls, mici and eggplant salad which was very enjoyable and married up to some local wine which kept on arriving all the way through the meal and afterwards until around eleven. Traditional music played all the night, which was very jolly indeed, and when we left we were all still tapping our feet and humming!
We were then driven [yes he was somewhat tipsy] a few hundred yards to a small inn and offloaded for the night where two rooms only had been booked and Liam and l found out we were sharing with Kustov himself, whilst Dolly, Dana, Sally and Molly also all shared one room!
I know, like what ………. could it get any worse?
Yes, yes it could and how!
Kustov turned out to be a heavier snorer than Liam, who as l have said not only snored but giggled as well, so in truth that night l got no sleep whatsoever! But at least l could look forward to the next day when according Kustov, we would be hitting the countryside!
Joys, oh joys!
Part 10 Soon