wrapping it up

I just got done playing a very argumentative game of Taki, which is like Uno.  Tony quit mid-way into the game because he couldn’t take the arguing and cheating that was dictating the card game.  I was right at home.  Tony’s spot at the table was quickly filled by Sagi, who added to the on-the-spot rule making and card stealing.  No one was seriously injured.

The team’s only here for a few more days.  Everyone’s packing up their bikes, spending their last euros on chocolate bars “for their families,” and rounding up all their clean clothes that have been left hanging on the drying lines for the last four weeks.  

Our last race with the team has been canceled.  All the other U23s have already left, other than Tomer.  And Tomer is sick.  So tomorrow we won’t be racing.  I’m not too upset.  I just found out that there are four or five races near Gent every week.  I think I’ll be staying near the center of Gent in a youth hostel.  It’s the cheapest place I have heard of so far.  Only 20 euros a night.  

I’m riding again.  Yesterday I did a medium paced 2.5 hours and today I did 1.5 hours in preparation for tomorrow’s race that we won’t be doing.  Instead, I’ll probably do 3 or 4 hours.  And maybe some intervals and another long ride on Saturday.  

The weather here is bizarre.  One day it will be hot and humid, the next it will be thunder-storming and dumping down rain.  Speaking of dumping, Tony’s farts have gotten to the point where it is impossible to be in the same room as him for more than 20 minutes.  My eyes water.  My throat swells up.  My nostrils pucker and mucus comes pouring out in gallons.  My vision becomes fuzzy and my head throbs like a thumb nail that has just been smashed by an ill-placed hammer.  I begin to feel my intestines groaning as my lunch does a 180 and starts heading the wrong direction.  My knees buckle.  I fall to the floor on my hands and knees, vainly gasping for just one–ONE– breath of fresh air!  It won’t come.  It never comes.  Hours later I wake up in a pool of my own vomit, struggling to regain consciousness.  Tony is long gone, but the foul stench of his bowls remains with me forever.

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