I spent the weekend in Fallsburg in Sullivan Valley. Nine of us gathered there to celebrate a friend’s birthday at a weekend getaway house. The house is part of “a bungalow colony” where locals and Russians co-exist. I learned many of the Russians had built a banya (sauna) in their homes. One resident, married to a Korean woman, transformed his home into a fully decked out banya for others–like our party–to rent out.
I’m a newcomer to this group. Most of them grew up together in Sheepshead Bay and all of them–with the exception of one, a lovely Brazilian woman who married one of the guys–were born to Russian-speaking parents.
I had a spectacular time. Admittedly, I’m still…struggling. It may be a few days before I fully recover from the decadent consumption punctuated with daytime excursions that served as an attempt (FAILED) for us to not feel like fat hungover sloths.
The birthday boy, quite the enthusiastic itinerary builder, scheduled visits to farmers markets, a short train ride on the historic Catskill Mountain Railroad (kinda meh next to the gorgeous drive enroute to the train station), and what I would’ve described as a tame hike through Mohonk Preserve were it not for some antics that resulted in a missed jump and an injured heel. I still can’t fathom how, after our first night spent into the wee morning hours around the firepit, two of our group–golf obsessed–managed to roll out of bed before 7:30am to play several rounds at The Lochmor Golf Course (this involved, by the way, a harrowing experience with a possessed golf cart that left both of them traumatized and literally white knuckling the Oh Sh** bar for the remaining weekend every time we traveled in the car).
I can’t remember most of the minutia of that first night we spent around the firepit and as hard as I try, I’m missing some details of the brief anecdote told by the birthday boy that left me in stitches because of the punch line: Apocalyptus. In his anecdote one of their friends, female, used apocalyptus to describe what their banya needed, what they needed to make the experience better. She said apocalyptus but everyone realized soon that she was talking about eucalyptus–eucalyptus oil. I’m dedicating this post and this weekend to apocalyptus. To the new and to the nonsensical that somehow manages to ultimately make absolute perfect sense.