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Friday, 27 February 2015

The Bottle-O

It is surprisingly, even amazingly, hard to buy alcohol 'after hours' Down Under. Firstly, you can only buy 'grog' from liquor stores, also know as 'Bottle-Os', (and the occasional pub in the form of 'take aways'). Secondly, legislation tends to be followed a lot more strictly, and although it varies from state to state, by 11pm most places will be closed (in NSW service stops at 10pm!). This proved problematic for me a number of times, but none more so than on my birthday.

This year my birthday fell on the bank holiday weekend of Australia Day, and as you can imagine it turned into a four day escapade; more bottles of vodka were consumed per capita within our household than I wish to say. (It was at least 2 .... )

At midnight on the third day we became a totally dry house, needless to say we didn't need any more booze, but we were not ready to call it quits, not yet. Two of us were far more committed to the cause than the rest, and took it upon ourselves to undertake the quest for alcohol (not realising what this would entail). We also did not realise how totally steamingly wrecked we were at the time ....that penny didn't drop until the morning after.

We jumped in a cab and headed to the nearest pub still selling takeaways (these are far and few between at that hour), and leaving the meter running, jumped out to grab the goods and return instantly. Or so we thought. My comrade did not have ID.

Although I placatingly pointed out that it was unlikely that I would spend my 22nd birthday with an English 17 year old, and I even suggested my companion leave so that I could buy it alone, nothing was to come of it. I even reiterated that I was my birthday. I pleaded a little, I'll admit. But this power-hungry, jumped up 18 year old (although he looked about 12), was immovable; we were forced to leave empty-handed.

At this point we had left the cab for some fifteen minutes, and we had accidentally (no really it was an accident) left the pub through a different exit. In the throws of a moral dilemma, we came to the decision that, above all, we were unwilling to return empty handed after coming this far. Realising that we could not afford to pay the waiting time and buy more alcohol, we decided to hide and plan our next movements. I am not proud of this moment, but we were incredibly drunk, and although I have never done this before, it seemed like a golden opportunity.

Ducking behind a car we searched online for the nearest watering holes. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the taxi driver appears by our side, outraged and demanding payment. The first words that left my mouth were, feebly, 'We were looking for you....'; we were literally crouching behind a car when he found us. To make it worse we had no money; reliant on cash back from the pub to pay him with.

Things rapidly escalated, and after his attempting to steal my comrade's phone, and a verbal stand off, the situation resolved itself with the retreat of the angry driver, and us, very much shaken, sitting and formulating our next step. From here we could walk to the next nearest pub in twenty minutes. We arrived to find that the bottle shop had closed at one. Devastated I decided we should have, nay we needed, a drink.

We entered into what I can only describe as The Inbetweeners meets University Freshers Week; I have never, in my life, seen so much cringe, terrible music, orange faces, high heels, PDAs, the lot!It was awful. I suddenly felt very old and quiet, which was ironic considering I was standing at the bar doing shots, of what I can only describe as paint-stripper. And was made all the more ironic by the quest that we were on at the time.

After several shots, we decided to get a cab to the last place open this side of the city, reliably told to be open until three. Gripped by the overwhelming fear of hailing the same cab as before, we plucked up our courage and got a lift the next bottle-o. Success! With my comrade remaining in the car, I bought two bottles and we returned home, a mere two and a half hours, and 150 bucks, later.

After all of this, we returned to a much deflated crowd, and although we were coursing with adrenaline from our escapades, it was a mere twenty minutes after our triumphant return that we all crashed. Whatsmore I blame the last few drinks for the hangover from hell that I woke to the next day - although it wasn't too bad because we had another bottle and a half of hair of the dog ready to go in the morning ....