Monday, 8 June 2009

My first encounter with Hunter S Thompson and how he changed my holidays Part 9

This is the true story of how My friend Martin and I spent a holiday in Queensland under the influence of beer, weed, anonymity and Hunter S Thompson.
This should keep my blog full for a couple of months.
My first encounter with Hunter S Thompson and how he changed my holidays Part 9

*The Gold Coast Experience (Stage 1)*

The bus trip was a standard hour and a bit ride down to the Gold Coast and as we alighted at Cavill Avenue it had an air of party about it.
It was colourful and bright.

There was also construction everywhere and in some spots it was in shadow all the time due to the high rise buildings.

Marty and I thought we may as well find somewhere to spend the night but didn’t know where to start, there were a hell of a lot of high rise accommodation and it looked pretty daunting.

We eventually walked into an information shop, one of those ones with a massive blue “i” out the front. Martin walked in and proclaimed

“We need somewhere to spend the night. We’re young and rich”

The poor girl behind the counter took him for his word and then proceeded to show us luxury suites available along the beach front.
After stroking his chin and oohing! and ahhing! a lot I pushed him aside and I took over.
“We’d like to spend some of the money on entertainment, do you have anything in a budget range?”

The girl pulled out another brochure showing more fancy places.

“A bit more budget?” I asked

This went on until she eventually she pulled out a piece of paper with four names on it.

“Try these” she said

We took the list and as luck would have it, across the road and down a short side street was an old style dual level motel complete with car parking out the front of the rooms and white metal balustrade on the second story landing.
All you could see were rows of doors and parked in front of the door where old Holdens and Fords with baggage piled up in the back seats.
It was dwarfed either side by larger apartment buildings while behind was a vacant block revealing more apartments on the other side of the road in the block behind.


It had the “drifter welcome here” feel about it.

Judging by all the buildings and construction going on, this place wasn’t going to survive much longer and it had the appearance that hinted the owners were only holding out for a better price.

It only just reached minimum health requirements.

It was on the list.

We found the front desk and after slamming on the bell for about a minute a tired looking guy in his mid thirties popped his head around the corner, looked us up and down and disappeared again.

We were just about to start smacking the bell again when he returned.

“How can I helps ya?” English was a second language by the sounds of it

“We’d like a room please”

“Which one?” he asked whilst playing with something in his pocket.

“Anything on the first floor would be nice” I replied

He pulled a key out of his pocket and tossed to Martin who snatched it out of the air.

“$30 Check out at 10 o’clock, can’t have the room till 2”

He managed all this without looking at either of us once.

“Deal” I said and gave him the money.

I signed my name Hunter S Thompson.

This is probably where I made my biggest mistake.

I didn’t ask Martin to give me the key.

Martin was the world’s worst key-wallet-small package holder in the entire country.
In his short life span he had had so many keys cut and locks changed because of keys lost- it was ridiculous.
This year alone he had already lost two wallets with all his identification and licenses.

He also had this stupid habit of putting keys in his wallet, which was bad enough in its self, but he would snap open his wallet like a note pad to retrieve the key and nine times out of ten it would fly out of its hiding place and fly across the room.

I would regret that later.

We left the motel content that things were going well so far and decided to look around Surfer’s Paradise and see what it had to offer.

We didn’t have to wait long.

We were trying to get past a pack of pensioners who had just alighted a bus when one of keeled over in front us holding his heart.

Before we could even react two minders had pushed everyone out of the way and giving CPR and slapping his chest.

The funny part about it was all the old folk forming groups and saying things like:

“Knew he shouldn’t raced down the stairs so fast”

“It’s because his always arguing” and shit like that.

I got the impression they were hoping he wasn’t taking the bus ride home.

We side stepped the heart attack guy and were confronted by these gorgeous girls in bikinis and sashes. Meter Maids they were and they put money in nearly expired parking meters.
I was really starting to like this place.

We went in and out of shops that were one of three types: Takeaway food, Souvenir or expensive clothing stores.
Not a lot to capture the imagination.
At least Brisbane had some good Comic and Record stores.

We headed down the beach and found it to clean with lovely white sand.
Scattered with people who looked like they’d been in the sun too long or people who shouldn’t be undressed in public.

It was obvious who the Southerners up for a break were.

The glare was blinding.

After grabbing some food and running amuck on the beach asking people if they knew where the murder had taken place last week (the answer was usually the unsettling “Which one do you mean?”) we popped into Cavill Avenue Amusements which was just one huge pinball parlour/ video arcade.
It also doubled as a pseudo crèche for teenagers on holidays whose parent didn’t want them around for a day.
The parents just gave the kid or kids $20 each and told them to hang around here all day.
It was full of seedy looking characters who kept forgetting that they had asked “If we wanted to buy Smack?” 10 minutes earlier.

We carried on like kids and Martin won a 4 foot Pink Panther. We took it to the bottle shop where we then grabbed a slab of beer and headed back to set up base in our Motel room.

We were in a party mood and started drinking and hitting the weed.

After about two hours we realized we should find out if there was anywhere to go for the night.

Preferably somewhere where the dress code wasn’t an issue.

We didn’t walk far, just around the block and virtually behind our Motel was a venue called Bombay Rock. A late night Rock venue that catered for the tourist trade like us.
We were set.

That would take care of tonight’s entertainment and we went back to the Motel room to binge.

Next week: Part 10 *The Gold Coast Experience (Stage 2)

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