This past weekend in Mátrafüred we had our church's 3rd winter retreat. All 3 years we've done it on the same weekend, in the same place, and even in the same panzió (small hotel).
This year, we were sure that we wouldn't fit into the panzió, but we had some people cancel and the panzió was also expanded with 4 more rooms, so it worked out perfectly.
This panzió is nice enough, and they give us a good deal on it, but it is also a bit quirky.
For sure the place was built during communism; even the map at the end of the hall still says "Magyar Népköztársaság" (Hungarian People's Republic).
The room Rosemary and I stayed in the past two years had a leopard bed - with ears on it, mind you! - and a radio built into the headboard (which didn't work).
This stuff isn't bad, it just adds to the campy ambiance of the place.
However, this year when we arrived, we found that some changes had been made. Some were good - the leopard bed was gone, and some old wooden chairs had been replaced with nice couches.
Some changes were not so good though - there was a new picture that dominated the common room:
We showed up to have our nice Christian weekend retreat of studying the Bible and worshiping God, and this was the image we got to look at every time we gathered together in the Lord's name!
We wanted to take it down or to cover it up, but it didn't happen.
I would be curious to know the history of this picture. I wonder if this was a gift, or if perhaps it was ordered, and if so, how did that conversation go?
I kind of imagine it somewhat like this: "Hmm...I'd like a picture that would be perfect for the dining area of my panzió - you know, something for the families to look at while they eat their meals together; something that encourages conversation. Oh, I've got it - make me a picture of a centaur holding a nearly naked woman. On Mars. And make sure the centaur man is stepping in a puddle, so it looks true to life. And I want the centaur to look awesome and buff, and the woman to have giant muscles, like the kind those female body-builders have. Oh, and they should both have hair cuts that have been out of style since the 1980's. And, just to top it off, please put a flying "spirit horse" up in the corner to fill the empty space. That should do nicely. Thank you.
This was probably our last year in this place. There are a lot of things I will miss about it. This picture is not one of them.