The plane touched down, and it was over. I was still thinking about the pilot from the first flight of the journey, from Portland to LA. He was saying some goofy things that were pretty entertaining for me, but some of the other passengers looked a little worried that he might be a tad drunk. They grew more suspicious when the landing was a tad bouncy. A guy near me proclaimed that they had overshot the runway, like he was the authority on landing planes. Then on the taxi in he dedicated some love songs to passengers who “knew who they were”. It sounded like he was playing them through the intercom off his phone. Once it paused while the song loaded. I was also thinking about it being my last flight for awhile, but then remembered I didn’t get to accompany my car on the boat and would have to fly from Australia to SE Asia. Going through immigration was a breeze, but customs took a bit of hassle. Somehow between the United States and Australia the padlock on my giant bag decided to not open anymore with it’s trusty 394 code. I looked very suspicious, claiming that the code wouldn’t work, sweating like a drug smuggler, stuttering my words. I was definitely toast. They would take me to the back dungeon and search every orifice of my smuggling body for all the contraband I held. I would probably cry, beg for forgiveness, maybe even try to bribe them. Except it didn’t really go like that. The guy didn’t really seem too interested with me, and finally offered to cut it off for me. Then I had something done that most people could never claim, the Australian customs official cleaned and detailed my golf shoes. They don’t want any soil or grass or thingamajigs getting into Australia. I thought about tipping him, but I know it’s not as customary here. I dragged my tired bones and 120 pounds of stuff onto the train and headed into the city. At LAX I had decided to be responsible and book a hostel for my first couple nights just so I had a place to go when arriving. I managed to find it almost effortlessly, which should have sounded the alarms. Nothing goes easily with me. I walked in and ridded myself of all that weight. When I told him my name the young german boys face contorted and he asked me some other peoples names. I knew who I was though. After some investigative work through emails we found the problem, my problem. I had booked it for the next week, arriving the 20th. It was the 13th. I thought well thats lame guess I’ll just grab another near by. Little did I know the weekends in the area I was in are super packed and get booked out. I walked all over the neighbourhood getting the same “sorry full” answers, and finding out that the area I was in, Kings Cross, is kind of a little red light district with some creepy creepertons chillin around, but some great people watching and a good vibe. I eventually got the last bed at a place called Zing, and settled into a night of getting zingy on craptasticly delicious dirty wine. I should have known where the night was headed when it was started with two irish guys.
To make a long story short, I finished off all my fairly cheap wine, then was given lots of rum and coke, then pounded glasses of Goon boxed wine on the streets. People kept mentioning it, and talking about it like something to stay away from and be very careful of, like going surfing in a bay with amazing waves, but filled with 26,000 hungry sharks. You would start off having a lot of fun, but end up feeling the pain. When one box was gone a little crew of us went on a mission to a local guys house where he promised us another. It almost felt like we were bums being taken to a garbage can to eat. It was made to sound like a disgusting old box of piss that his grandfather had left him from him first pet hedgehog, and didn’t want sitting in the fridge anymore. But we knew better. At four in the morning on a saturday night it was like being led to the pearly gates into the fluffy amazing clouds. When you end up watching the sunrise you know it was a successful night out. I dominated the Goon, but for the next two days it dominated me. I’ve only had a few two day hangovers in my life. Argentina cheap wine and Honduras everything were a couple good ones, and this one was up there. Luckily it wasn’t much of a belly hangover, but mostly the head. Unluckily, my head hurt so bad for 2 days that I could barely open my eyes or use my brain at any meaningful level. So the search for my future home and ride to London had to wait, while I wallowed in pity and tasty thai food. So let this be a lesson to you, and Never Trust The Goon. I’m sure I haven’t learned my lesson though and will dance with the goon again.