Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Da! In sfarsit! Am fost la schi!

For two winters now, I’ve been having this exact same conversation with people:

“Do you know how to ski?”
“Yes, I know how to ski.”
“Have you been skiing here?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Why not?”

This is where I would spew whatever seemingly sufficient excuse was the first to arrive on my tongue: “I don’t have skis.” “I’m busy this weekend, and then every weekend after that forever.” “I don’t have legs.”

However, the truth is that I really didn’t have a reason, so finally, after last weekend, this conversation no longer ends this way. Instead, it goes:

“Have you been skiing here?”

Skiing in Romania, specifically in a great village about 15 miles away called Borsec (famous for its mountain spring water that it exports throughout the world), was certainly a new experience for me.

The rental process is similar to the places I’ve been in the U.S., although I paid about $6 for skis, poles and boots. That, and I got some sweet pink boots to rock on the slopes. Yes, I noticed that they were this color before I left the rental hut. No, I didn’t request different ones.

After that, the lift ticket is about $8 for four hours. However, this is where it starts to get interesting. At this particular slope, they don’t have chairlifts. They sort of just have buttlifts.

Let me explain.

Basically, you stand in line like you would for the chairlift in the U.S., and they have a similar support system running up the hill. However, here, they have this tiny little retractable seat attached to the overhead line, which you grab, shove into your nethers and let it drag you by the rump up the hill, while your skis glide along on the ground below.

As a byproduct, everyone has little wet marks on their butts all day. At first, I thought it meant these people had fallen on their butts and silently mocked them. Then, I realized everyone had them and put together that it was from the chairlift. Then, I realized that meant I had one too and silently chided myself for mocking others' wet-buttedness while being wet-butted myself. You know what they say about people with wet butts and glass houses. Get out of the kitchen. Or something.

Anyway, it’s an interesting, new experience, but realistically, it’s much more tiring on the legs, especially if those legs haven’t been skiing in four years.

Other than that, the slope was extremely well groomed, partly because we all take a forced break when this guy comes out to groom it.

And, as always, I can’t complain about the scenery.

I'd call it a success story. It was a new experience and a beautiful day on the slopes with zero injuries, unless you count the wet butt.

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