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SPAIN | Tuesday, 10 March 2015 | Views [412]

Kirsty and I have so many good photos together. This is definitely not one of them.

Kirsty and I have so many good photos together. This is definitely not one of them.

Unfortunately this is not the first time I have had to start a journal with a warning, and if you are a long term reader, either previous warnings were heeded and you live in ignorant bliss, or warnings were ignored and you're ok with the stupid things I do. This is about as crazy as I've gotten, and as incriminating as I've written. Therefore, I urge you to read on only if you know me well enough and your opinion of me is somewhat immutable. Or you don't know me, then who cares.

Most of the former would know that I grew up playing a lot of basketball so my teens and early 20's involved alcohol and playing video games while waiting for the internet to be invented. Most of my mid 20's were spent living in Buddhist communities that didn't permit alcohol or the overload of porn that was flooding the newly invented internet. By the time peers were acquiring boats and their second mortgage with kids who were grown up and such and such, I was just starting to travel and find a more hedonistic way to live.

This would be on my Christmas card if I wasn't smoking a joint. 

So drugs were never a big part of my life. I can still count on my hands the times I have tried nearly all of the more common drugs. I had tried cocaine twice so I was always a little concerned about going to South America, thinking that it was cheap and easy enough to go from newbie to rock and roll burnout in a week. The cost is incredibly exhorbitant in Australia so it was never an option. This is not a problem in Europe so Barcelona had always been pencilled in as the time I let my hair down and widened the nostrils.

I was a bastion of restraint and didn't even consider the stuff for the first four days, knowing full well that it was best to have Kirsty there as my partner in crime, that being either the best or worst way to describe her. Awaiting her arrival, I couldn't help but pace relentlessly, but that had far more to do with the excitement of seeing another dear friend I've missed greatly for the last year or more. The fact that she was off chasing weed as soon as she arrived contributed to the grooves I walked into the apartments fancy rug.

The first night was rather sedate, by our standards, thanks to the lateness of her arrival. A 6-pack of Estrella beer that I had bought from a shop for completely the wrong reason, and that was that. That may have lulled the liver into a false sense of hope but by noon the next day, the liver knew exactly what to expect.

Lunch was at the lovely Black Lab brewery, where I decided I liked the staff enough to buy a glass rather than just pocket one. Next was a highlight that had been a very long time in the coming. Being Scottish, Kirsty and I had always bonded over Brewdog, and had talked for hours about making it to one of their bars together one day. This was that day.

That is the look of two happy people right there!

Luckily it was early afternoon so there was only two other punters that saw our eyes and our tongues enter before we did. I bought a t-shirt first, to commenorate the ocassion, then sunk a few of the usual delicacies before moving onto the big boys. I knew Kirsty would love the U-bolt as we share a fondness for dark drinks more like gravy than beer. Then shit got real, as you would expect it to with a 24Euro beer. Every year or so Brewdog get highly experimental and release some limited edition random idea under their 'abstrakt' range. This was a triple coffee rye imperial porter and was without a doubt worth every cent spent on it. The bar even had an 'End of history' bottle, one of only 12 ever made that contained a 55% beer wrapped in a taxidermed squirrel or stoat. Unfortunately it was empty, but licking the inside of the bottle, like so many before me probably, felt like licking Jim Morrisons grave stone. Fortunately I hadn't had been able to do that.

I reckon the beer would have tasted even weirder than the bottle looks.


As we wandered circuitously back to our apartment, we noticed the streets had filled with all manner of shady characters selling Estrella beer cans. That was obviously a front for something a little more illicit, making my Estrella purchase from the shop an idiotic mistake that Ash will never let me live down. Apparently sniffing in their general direction was a sign you were looking, and for something more expensive than just tissues.

I sniffed in the general direction of everyone walking passed me and the strange looks they returned meant that I needed to be a bit more judicious with my nostril signals. It didn't take long and before we knew it, we were in some shady upstairs apartment down some back alley with a room full of Pakistanis. They were super friendly and at no point did we feel threatened in the slightest. We even walked out of the first one because Kirsty reckoned we could get better stuff elsewhere.

10 minutes later we were in another room full of Pakistanis. Apparently Colombians flood the city with goods and the transaction was so routine for them they were more interested in talking about the cricket. It all seemed so surreal sampling the goods, not having any fucking idea what was good and what was not, and trying to bargain knowing that being such an ignoramus was blatantly obvious to them. It may not have been as cheap as you can get it, but it was still one tenth of the cost in Australia and was probably a 1000% profit for them. No wonder they were such friendly and welcoming people.

There is no need to detail how the night went as such experiences are beyond description, and more often than not, beyond memory as well. The most important thing was that when my alarm went off at 7am to go to the airport to fly to London, I still hadn't been to bed. The most logical thing to do was snort whatever was left, get to the airport and make it abundantly clear that you were not smuggling drugs because you had already taken them all. The only thing I felt like doing was to keep going and just miss the flight. I've missed flights for as many reasons as there are for doing so, and at least this one was vaguely volitional.

Photos don't come much more incriminating than that!

Once I realised that a cheap enough flight could be booked as a replacement the following day, the party continued on until something A.M. when it became apparent that not even drugs could keep an exhausted corpse animated. Having another night in Barcelona meant doing it all again, so that is exactly what we did, so exactly that I could just 'copy and paste' from the first half of the journal and leave it at that.

Fortunately I had to leave or my fears about going to South America might have been realised in Spain instead. The replacement flight was booked in for mid afternoon meaning that an earlier night was needed than the last, but 4am wouldn't be considered early by many peoples standards.

Everything about changing countries went far more smoothly than you'd expect after a 3 day bender, until I got to British customs. Fuck, I thought Australian immigration was bad. I've had job interviews where they've asked less questions than this guy. He had gotten to know me so well, I wouldn't have thought twice if he'd asked me for a date at the end of it. The whole time I was trying not to look too sketchy while holding in a fart because I had long since passed the time when I could trust them.

Once in London I was able to give thanks for the incredible time I had had in Barcelona, but also for the fact that times like those are not sustainable at all. It was awesome to have set a new standard for blowouts between Kirsty and I, but it's done now. As addictive as my personality often is, this was one experience I don't need to repeat again for awhile. That's probably not an umcommon statement made two days later when you're coming down, freezing your bollocks in London and shitting more times in a day than you normally do in a week, if that is a week you don't spend in Paris.

Tags: illicit

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