Couldn't have felt much worse this morning if I'd tried.
Comedy situation with the Banana Benders cleaning staff. At 9:30 a French girl who I kinda knew came in to tell me to get up. I ignored this first request as is traditional. Ten minutes later the lass was at it again, this time I got out of my sleeping bag as if to show willing. With a drum beat rocking through my skull I drifted back to sleep. 10am came and she was back again letting me know I'd probably miss out on claiming back my $10 key deposit because of my tardiness. In this state I'd pay for another nights acommodation just to sleep for another couple of hours. So the girl rocks back up at 10:30 and tells me she needs my sheets, no worries, take 'em mon amie. She obliges and jiggers off to the laundry with said bedlinen, which afforded me another opportunity to get some shut eye, genius. I crashed out yet again, this time on a fully stripped mattress, being horizontal has never felt so good, well, nearly never! Finally I'm allowed to rest in peace (death would have been more comfortable right now), but what is this, zut alors et quelle domage all rolled into one, the hussy is back at 11am, by this time I'm feeling like one of those poor fellas who's drug trail went wrong a couple of years back. The Shandy's head feels like it's metamorphosising into John Merrick's. Anyway, the bint, who has just about twigged that she is dealing with a complete basketcase asks me to vacate the matress area. To her credit she was very tolerant, I watched her put new linen on the matress and then she looked at me and said in a very motherly voice (if your ma' was Gallic) 'you won't get back in there now will you?', I'd pushed it enough and even managed a grin as it dawned on me how patient she'd been. Allez les Blues! All this hokey-cokey meant that yet again circumstances (or a complete lack of self control) had conspired against me and lo' I had missed out on my $10 key deposit due to a late check out. I'm probably the only person ever to check out of the same hostel twice and miss out on my deposit both times. I could almost smell the sense of incredulity as I staggered out of the hostel with all my worldly possessions. The geez at reception just looked at me with a mixture of horror, concern and a sneaky glint of repsect.
A taxi whisked me to the Europcar centre and I picked up my car, another Nissan (get in, it'll never graduate to a ShandyKopter tho', it's no Pulsar), this time a white Tida, which rhymes with Night Rida. I pretended to read the small print on the 'sign your life away' form in a vain attempt to convince the manageress that I was with it enough to take charge of a gleaming new car. I've never felt so bad whilst sat behind a wheel, and somehow I had to cruise on up the coast to Noosa. 'Ropey' doesn't come close. I stopped off half way up to the Sunshine Coasts most exclusive town to procure some water and a watermelon (my secret hangover cure) both of which would hopefully help me stay awake, reduce my hangover to manageable proportions and with a bit of luck help me drive in a straight line. Upon nearing the Sunshine Coast I turned off before Noosa to find a beach where I could hopefully have a nap and sleep off the effects of last night. Sure enough a beach was located, infact I was so rough I sought out several beaches in succession (Peregrin, Sunrise, Sunshine), progressively feeling less death-like on each beach. I slept in the sun for a good couple of hours before launching into an angry looking hot dog from the nearby surf cafe. Why does a hangover induce cravings for junk food? Job done, hangover almost exorcised, and so a quick dip in the sea was in order. The beaches were populated by surfers, kiddies swimming inside the lifesaver-protected yellow flags and kite-surfers. Ooh, I wanted a dabble at the kitesurfing. The water was as warm as I've ever felt sea water, the locals though insisted on wearing wetsuits due to the chilly temperatures, the water was a tropical 20+ degrees. It was like bath water. The locals looked at me like I was some sort of freak for braving the autumnal waters. It was no Lake Windermere in March (The Rear!). I guess it's all relative.
Drove into Hastings St which is the main drag at Noosa Heads, the poshest of the three Noosa areas (Heads, Village, Junction). I sat on the banks of the river in the Nature Reserve and watched the boats gently chug by. The sunset was typically stunning and made a good accompanyment to the music flowing ad liberatum from the Shandyman's fingers. Dined at the 'Wok on In' where Mr Fu (a Malaysian expat. with long greying hair and a broad smile) treated me to a rollickingly hot thai green curry which caused me to use a whole box of tissues just do stop myself drowning in my own perspiration. Anymore sweating and Mr Fu was about to call the lifeguards. By comparison to Noosa Heads and the opulance of Hastings St. Noosa Junction is a little more down to earth, but still pricey all the same. After checking in at The Junction Backpackers I headed to an Irish pub across the way and watched a collection of Irish folk players play some uplifting jigs. Fiddles, accoustic guitars and tambourines (played by a stroking action from a sort of paint brush) worked in harmony to lift the atmosphere and distract me from the fact that the pub had the rather annoying policy of increasing it's beer prices as the evening progressed. After a short discussion with the barmaid (who acknowledged it was a daft policy) I asked what time they opened the next morning. 'Ten am' was the quickfire reply, 'Right' says the Shand sharp as a razor, 'I'll be waiting for you at ten for the cheapest beer this side of Thailand'. She giggled as I handed over the gross GDP of Ethopia for a beer that half an hour ago had been semi-reasonably priced.
Had an early night and chatted to yet another English girl, this one from 'a place no one has ever heard of... Hertfordshire'. The lights went out as a bloke in the corner bed lay snoring and the adjoining backpackers bar pumped out the same music as every other backpackers, catering for the drunken-monkey european market.
Good Night Vienna
Sleep ... interupted! Some people have respect and manners and some don't, with various shades of grey inbetween ofcourse. And then there are Complete Arseholes. Sometime during the wee small hours of the night a young man bowled into our shared dorm room and rather than quietly slinking into bed, he put the lights on and began telling us all via a mobile phone conversation what a good night he'd had and how rozzered he was feeling and how much beer he'd had, which girls he'd leched over but not had the balls to talk to and how much pot he'd managed to smoke. Now I am a pacifist (not in 'Nam ofcourse), but this behaviour struck me as a little rude. There are many things that the Shandyman can tolerate but there's a line, man. So the girl (I can't remember her name) asks him to quieten down and switch the lights out. She was ignored at first and upon a second request received some garbled verbals in an annoying whiny accent. This charming young man was about to receive a two minute warning. The Dude politely requested he ceased and disisted or in two minutes I would insist he was deceased. Fair warning had been given and two minutes later, after convincing all present that he was indeed worthy of tasting the 33.5mm, The Dude decided that this aggression could not stand. I hauled myself from my sleeping bag, totally unnoticed by the hoodie who was engrossed in his tales of nearly-ism. 33.5 millimeters later there was silence at last.