Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Brisbane Coochie and Bryon Bay 2004

I came across this journal entry over the weekend. I wrote it 4 days after getting back from my first trip to Byron Bay with Roland and James. There is more to the journal, but this was my reflection on the last few days of the trip I ever made down the East Coast........ and when I re-read the entry I can't help but smile and become more excited about the trip ahead.

Some things have been omitted to protect the innocent

Thursday. Two weeks since the start of something which will be looked back on with smiles, laughter and perhaps slight regret. No, regret is not the word, those “regrettable” experiences merely serve the same function as the flags on the beaches we spent so much time at, we know where we are supposed to swim, and occasionally straying from that can have dire consequences.

Life has again returned to its empty state. It's in that period between knowing what living is really like and falling back into the boring mundane task of waking, eating, working and sleeping.

True stock on life and the people you share it with should be made during this time, when you know what you really need to enjoy yourself as opposed to what you want to have to distort your perspective of real enjoyment.

Before more reflection let’s go back to our last days of the trip.

Friday we arrived back from Byron. Once again we were awake at 5 waiting for the inevitable “are you awake?” before the car was packed and off tot he beach.

The night before was a turn up for the books... or at least this journal. 5 beer Jim closed shop and headed well before the boys were ready. In fact I think the previous nights were called closed by the boys much later. Regardless however good times were had by all. Our German friends (both physicists) joined us for drinks at the Bay Beach Bar......and that was after I absent mindedly explained to Ben about RSL's and the significance of The Last Post. Luckily Roland was there to make me realise the err of my ways... if only I was there for him later.....but I digress.

The Germans, Ben and Zabeena, had not drunk for quite sometime so the vodka and lemon they had lasted us 3 beers. Zabeena told an entertaining story of her first cocktail experience, with great quotes like “I remember thinking I really really like this feeling and I want to feel like this again” shortly before vomiting continuously for the next 24 hours. Later on, and a different story, all minds wandered when she spoke of twisting her ankle riding “bare back”.

The rest of the night was good fun, excellent company and cold beers. The only shame was the Great Northern, which is definitely not known for their HUGE pizza's.

Anyway, up at 5 and this time the hold up wasn't caused by James losing something, instead it was James getting the German's out of bed and downstairs. We stopped for the usual Diet Coke and Iced Coffee in the morning, and probably should have thought about getting some fuel for the car at the same time.

We went out to Watego's again and James very unselfishly gave his board to Ben, which also meant that he had the tough job of keeping Zabeena company on the beach.

To understand just how attractive this girl was can be explained in one simple way.........James went the whole time on the beach WITHOUT a cigarette.

Waves weren't all that good but it was great being out and in the water so early.

We, with thoughts of walking for fuel, dropped the Germans off at THE lighthouse before coasting back down the hill in neutral to conserve fuel. We made it back, however Rollies 40 Litre take took 42.5 litre's of fuel.

Jim, the ever alert, pointed our my need for super glue (the same glue that stuck 3 pairs of boxers together in my bag on the flight home) and we were off again.

After photo's with the German's we bid farewell to our little town with FAR too many beautiful women, and far too much beautiful scenery before heading back to Bris Vegas.

Of course being a surfing tour (sort of anyway) meant stopping at every beach on the way back, and not to mention the best bakery in NSW “Hot Bread Bakery” in Brunswic.

The surf was quiet at our regular stops, and judging by the wind at Cabarita we nearly bypassed it. Single to 1/1/2 over heads stretching from the far right point right the way down to the left beach where I first jumped on the board, then fell off, then got back on, then fell off again and again and again. Too big too big would be the cry.

Off again, stopping at Kira, Snapper, Coolongatta and our last stop.

The last stop was D-Bar but with a sore right hip and lack of surfing fitness Rol's was the only one who hit the water.

Sitting back on the “grassy nowl” with nearby kids inches away from a lawsuit, I brought out the guitar and played to the ocean. No one stopped and listened, but being in the sun watching the waves and the surfers while strumming away with nowhere to be pretty much summed up what I loved about the trip.

Back on Huessler Street I got one of my anxious “fuck it lets go to the pub” feelings so we sat there, Jim and I and watched Australia make history while getting slightly sauced. Unfortunately someone had 5 beers and wanted to rage all night, and although thanks were passed on in the morning, there was definate distress at night.

That leaves us on Saturday. The final part of the holiday chapter, and things were looking good. We hadn't drunk so much that I had no recollection, that Jim wanted to go home early, or that Roland was a broken shell of a man.

How much 24 hours can change a situation. But before I continue I have to mention that my friend, and pathological liar, did come to visit us at the pub on Friday. And although James made me say “slotted” while she was in ear shot, and the fact that she didn't recognise me from a foot away it was good to see her....... and her car....... which after a quick description Jim decided he had seen before, no need to leave the pub to see it again.

Anyway, we were dressed and ready to go to the races after another great breakfast at the pandamonium. After a middy at home we jumped in the cab with Joe, a friend of Roland from Mullins, and with directions from Joe headed off to Doomben.

Pretty soon we were in the Chief De Beers room with Joe, John, Mark, Jim, Rol's, Luke, Mark and Kate.

The pick of the day were the 2 girls in green being picked up by bogans while we stood on the members balcony reviewing the entire race course, or at least the crowd watching it. The worst was done by Mark (mullins) and I. Turned out that what was good from far was far FAR from good. In fact she was about 60 years far.

Next there were spirits, 14 rums on the table (thankyou Roland) and we were on a bus heading towards the GPO.

Now are Sterlo always says “If we freeze it here” the footage stops and we look at the playing field. Roland is throwing a handful of coasters across the bar, James is telling some pill popping kids he's a NSW policeman and I'm buying Vodka Smirnof Black for myself and 3 others. Alarm bells are ringing for our short term memories, knowing that only bad things can happen from here. So they do what they do best in this situation...............shut down.

Of course not all memories are lost. We can still identify the following
Someone hit on an engaged girl
Someone kissed a married woman near the toilet
Someone spent $41.00 at the servo
Someone had to catch a cab from around the corner because they were lost
Someone pashed a random chick until the pub closed at 5am
Someone got locked in a toilet
Someone hit on Michelle while completely naked (Michelle was clothed)
Someone was out danced 3 worms to 1 in a dance off.

When the morning rolled around I found myself hanging out in the front of a kabab shop enjoying a Diet Coke and speaking with two girls (I even remembered their names).

A short walk home found my usual bed taken so onto the floor with what felt like a bed sheet as a coushin, but by that stage I could have slept drenched in honey on a fire ants nest without complaint.

Unfortunately the sleep was far too short and I was soon retelling stories (and finding out some others) with Benny, Rol's, Jimmy and Michelle (I wonder why she slept on the couch and not in the room).

We had done it again. We had managed to make it through 7 days of relaxation with rol's before cramming in 3 months worth of anxiety into him within 24 hours.

The trip was over.

There was nothing left to do but pack our bags, load up the guitar and surfboard and think back on the fun we had all had over the past 10 days.

Although we finished feeling fairly ordinary on Sunday, those feelings were, eventually, well outweighed with the entertaining week before hand.

I laughed then, and each time I look back on the car ride out to the airport. Always a quiet ride, watching the cars pass us by as the sun sets over the horizon. Everyone is thinking about what had been done, try to remember what we'd forgotten, and striving to hold onto the feeling of being free and alive you only seem to get on holiday. And always, just as we pull up to the Virgin doorways Roland turns and says “Well boys you've done it again, you've destroyed me. Are you happy?” Of course it's always said in jest, but it's EVERY time we leave.

Shell of a man.

He calls every so often to make sure I'm saving up and have booked my flights, knowing full well he'll say he's happy to see the back of me at the end of the trip.

Ahh, although the staff change at the PADO, we meet different people, the Pandamonium moves down the road, we live with different people we can be sure that we will always leave him a shell of a man.

Although I've had many thoughts about it, the move to Brisbane would kill our careers, however we'd have the clothes on our back, guitars and surfboards, a bit of money and an entire countries coastline to explore and conquer.
As I sat back at the end of the bar at shenannigans, with completely new staff working and Louise crying on her way to the toilets I realised something.

Things will Inevitably change, however some things will always remain the same.

So from our trip to Brisbane, Coochie and Byron Bay I say goodbye, good luck and see you again in 2005

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