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2017

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2011-02-10

Worst holiday ever

I was born in New Zealand and the first time I left the country, going "overseas" as we call it in these Pacific island nations, was seven years ago when my brothers flew me over to Gold Coast to spend ten days with them. This is not the most interesting holiday to write about because I mostly stayed at the house while my brothers were at work and when I did go out it was only to go shopping.  At this time my brother was young, more productive, and he drank out of joy, rather than depression.  He made his own home-brew so there was always copious amounts of beer and I drank with him every day.  Eventually it got to the point, at the height of the holiday, that I had my first beer with my breakfast cereal and drank all day.  When my brother got home we got into the bourbon and by the time we went out that night we tried playing pool upon arriving at the first club and I couldn't hit the white ball; then I took half an ecstasy tablet, having never tried the drug before.  My version of ecstasy at this time was slapping guys on the arse on the dancefloor of the club.  My brothers' friend didn't take it too seriously but some other drunk guy threatened to attack me if I continued and when I did continue he swung his fist at me and missed.  I swung my fist at him and missed and suddenly the bouncers were throwing us both onto the street where I, ravenous with aggression, wanted to violently attack this stranger who I had recently been sexually attracted to.  I spent the rest of the night bent over to the left and unable to stand up straight without the utmost concentration so we were not allowed into anymore clubs.  Having not yet got laid my brother attempted to accost men on the street to have sex with me, unsuccessfully.  When we got back to the house he went through the Yellow Pages looking for prostitutes.  He found two women but despite his efforts no male prostitute for me to have sex with.  Two women were ordered and when the first one arrived and turned out to be of Asian heritage, one brother said to the other, "This one's yours."  The second prostitute never turned up and so two of us went without sex that night.  I don't remember being frustrated enough to masturbate, but I do remember making an effort to make the prostitute feel comfortable, offering her a cup of tea upon her arrival.

I can write about these things freely because no one in my family take any interest in my writing.

Four years later one of my brothers, Brendon, was living with me in Auckland.  He had come to stay with me after our mother's death and fallen in love with my flatmate, Catriona.  They subsequently had a child together and the four of us were again invited back to Gold Coast by the remaining brother, Barry.  It was over new year and it was definitely the worst holiday ever.

South-east Queensland in the middle of summer is hot and this was a very hot holiday.  Barry went to a lot of effort and a lot of expense before we arrived, including installing a air-conditioning system in the living room of his not-yet-completed house, primarily for the comfort of 1.7-year-old Sakura.  Catriona subsequently spent much of her time laying on the couch in the living room with the air-conditioning on full, when I preferred to be in the shade outsde, in Sakura's blow-up paddling pool.

Because of the heat, or some other unimportant excuse, we spent most of our holiday laying around my brother's dusty house.  The idea that we do something with ourselves was generally agreed to be a good idea, but perhaps an overwhelming one.  So I found a couple of books in Barry's garage to read.  One was about a child who was systematically abused by his mother, which he describes in great detail and the other was about the careers of two English magicians.  I spent a great deal of time reading because for some reason, when the adults discussed what we should do with each day my ideas were completely ignored.  Whenever I suggested an activity it did not even justify a response; perhaps I would get a derisive stare in reply.  I was only ten days younger than the next-youngest adult.  I have spent the subsequent two years diverging greatly from my family's idea of fun but at this time, mostly, my ideas consisted of going to the beach, which I maintain is a good idea any day of the week.

Unlike my first Gold Coast holiday, my local brother took the whole holiday off work so we could have had fun every day.  We did go to the beach two or three times in ten days, though.  However, the mornings would turn to afternoons and quickly it would be too late in the day to spend an hour driving anywhere along those endless Queensland motorways.  I won't spend any of my present-day morning calculating what percentage of our trip was spent driving along the motorway.

The big day of the trip, somewhat more wholesome than the last due to 1.7-year-old Sakura being the heart of the holiday, was a long drive to Australia Zoo a few hundred kilometres up the coast.  Australia Zoo is a big place and there are a lot of imprisoned animals to look at and Catriona and I wanted to see as many as possible.  Brendon and Barry, however, after spending hours driving there, decided to wander around slowly, dawdling.  Hearing that the camel was being fed Catriona and I decided to run off together to see this once-a-day phenomenon.  The beautiful strange specter of the lone camel in his pen was the highlight of my day.  We figured out later, however, that this assertion of will by Catriona and I annoyed Barry.

I had salad for lunch and everyone else had fried food, which didn't seem appropriate to me in that weather.  My self-righteous self-respecting awareness of my bodies dietry needs may have contributed to the fact that by the end of the long hot day my anger had passed through me very quickly but the other four members of my family ruined each other's and their own days by marinading in their anger for hours.  Barry decided to be so angry that he did not speak to us for the remainder of the holiday, another few days, and once driving us home from Australia Zoo refused to drive us anywhere in the vehicle he had hired and he and Brendon had paid half-each for.

Every morning of this hot, boring holiday I would be woken up at 05.00 by the heat of the day.  The latest I ever slept was 06.00.  Sakura would also wake up early and somehow everyone else would sleep in for hours.  So the first few hours of every day was spent with my beautiful niece in peace, sitting outside in her paddling pool, Sakura usually naked and me in my underwear.

On the morning of new year's day the other adults slept in even longer than usual and so Sakura and I had the whole morning alone together.  We took a walk down to the supermarket which turned out to be very far with a 1.7-year-old.  It was a particularly hot morning and my beautiful little niece and I got hot and thirsty and very iritated with each other.  On the way back she was insolent and I was impatient and she was crying and I was swearing.  We decided to stop at the park halfway home and sit in the shade.  The best moment of the whole holiday was when Sakura sat on my lap, hungry, thirsty and hot, and stuffed her face with watermelon.  The poor desperate girl in haled this juicy watermelon and juice poured from her mouth all over my body as she quenched her thirst and raised her blood-sugar.  We walked the rest of the way home somewhat more calm and energised.

The last few days of our lame holiday in Gold Coast our brother and host did not say a word to us, even to tell us why he was angry.  We figured out that it was because of the events at Australia Zoo but he told me later that it was because Catriona is generally inconsiderate.  Brendon was justifiably annoyed about Barry's behaviour and considered packing our bags and going somewhere else for the last few days.  At this time of crisis, when no one else knew how to behave, I was able to step up and be listened to.  I calmly suggested that we leave our belongings at Barry's house and focus on enjoying our day.  The four of us took a bus into Surfers Paradise and we went to the beach, having the best outing of all at the low point of the whole holiday. We had a wonderful day and I realised that the heart of Gold Coast culture is the beach, the rest being vapid consumerism.

The only thing Barry allowed himself to do for us over those last few days is drive us to the airport when it was time to fly away.  We left early that morning, which was lucky because there was a massive traffic jam on the motorway and we had to wait on the tarmac in the sun for hours.  Catriona was apparently put off eating eggs from caged chickens because one of the vehicles next to us was full of hundreds of miserable imprisoned chickens.

We got to the airport just in time to rush through the procedures.  Barry always says "I love you" as a form of goodbye and I am sure he still loved me despite his wrathful frustration, however when we departed and I said "I love you" he did not answer.  I took my flight back to New Zealand glad to leave this socially and culturally impoverished over-developed area and relieved to end my holiday.

It's funny to look back on the fact that I was invited on this holiday involuntarily.  Brendon and Catriona and Sakura were planning to go together but Brendon and Catriona broke up and so I was offered her ticket.  When they got back together Catriona decided it was not fair that my ticket suddenly went back to her and she convinced Brendon, without consulting me, to buy me a ticket.  I would much preferred to have let this little family take their holiday alone together, but that's not how it turned out.  Otherwise I would have gone to Prada in Coromandel with Lauren and had a wonderful time, as she did, swimming naked on the beach and spending time with hundreds of beautiful open-hearted strangers.  Rather, I spent my holiday as described above.

2 comments:

removals Gold Coast said...

Which message you want to convey through above picture?
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Chris Kirk said...

The experience is the message.

What message did you receive?