25th April – ANZAC Day

If there’s one good thing about being let go a lot sooner than planned, its that I at least get to spend one Australian holiday somewhere other than Perth. 

I’ve spent 2 Australia day’s in Perth – and frankly the second was a non-entity.  Don’t even remember what I was doing for ANZAC, but can probably guess it was more of the same.  This morning I woke up to crowds settling in for the 9:30 parade, so I hunkered down around 9:15 on George Street for a good spot (which ended up being not so good as I got security and safety standing in the best vision location for the majority of the parade).

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ANZAC Day (short for Australian and New Zealand Armed Corps) celebrates all Australian soldiers who have fought in every war since the early 1900’s, starting with the Boer War, leading into the WW1 & 2, Korea, Vietnam and of course Afghanistan and Iraq amongst others.  It began on the 25th April 1915, when Australian and New Zealand Forces went to the Gallipoli peninsula.  What was expected to be an easy fight ended up ending in failure after 8 months, but these soldiers became known as the Anzacs, and every 25th April, these 2 countries celebrate and honour any Australian/New Zealand men and woman who die in military operations.

The majority of World War vets understandably drops every year, but the majority who still come for the parade now get driven around in either a golf cart or a taxi with their name, age and division written on the side.  A few gentleman had even provided signs listing family members who died but were involved all the same.

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There are also marching bands from the city and nearby towns, along with current servicemen in the army, airforce and navy, as well as a few bomb dogs (and puppies in training!) taking part – with fighter jets shooting over the parade right twice – my only warning of that happening was when the 7 New’s cameraman handling our section suddenly stopped filming and got out his own phone to film the sky.

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This isn’t a short parade though – and around 11:45 I called mercy and had to get something to eat.  Pretty sure it was still going strong after 12, and I was near the start of the route.

There were other ceremonies and events going on through the day, but as a non-Australian I chose not to seek them out as they were probably going to be pretty packed as it, and the parade was my one memorable event.  Course, in doing this I found myself with very little to actually do as pretty much everything in Australia closes for ANZAC Day.  Even the supermarkets (which I still can’t wrap my head around – Oz, you’re doing it right).  In the end, I chose to walk around town, checking out different hostels.  After just under a week at Base Brisbane, I’ve decided to have a change of pace.  The lack of work success and its sheer proximity to things I spend money at is becoming a problem, so figure going somewhere else might actually perk me up.  Do a little running round, and finally decide to go to Brisbane Backpackers Resort, as it’s around the same price, and has a free job club (along with a few ‘on the day’ jobs that get announced on an irregular basis).  Will be heading there on Sunday for a few days while I plan my next move.

As it turns out, this plan turns out to be a little serendipitous, cause after what happened tonight, I really didn’t want to spend another night in that room.
The entire room (save me) cleared out this morning, and I found myself with a collection of new roommates, the majority of them on teaching exchange visas and having a short break during Anzac.  Another guy who was tagging along, was pretty young, and ended up having a little too much fun early in the evening, so ended up back in the hostel for 11pm.

Come 12:30, I’m still awake, but my ears immediately pick up when I think I hear someone choking.  As I get up, the choking quickly turns into vomit.  Poor guy (on a top bunk no less) has deteriorated to the point where he’s throwing up in his sleep.
No clue what to do – never actually been around people this drunk before (in general my friends either have a very high tolerance or happen to get exceedingly drunk around other people), but even when he wakes up and I can hear it spilling to the carpet, I can’t get words out of him.  Just this dry, gutterly, ‘heh’ sound.

End up going down to the reception, but they pretty much tell me that so long as he’s still breathing and not causing a problem, there’s not actually much he can do.  I haven’t turned even turned on the light as to not disturb anyone else, so don’t know how bad it is.  In the end, I’m too tired to care – guy is still breathing, so crawl back into my bed and try to sleep.

Get just under an hour or so of sleep before 2 more roommates appear at 2am, and I’m immediately jolted up by the horrified ‘what is that smell???’
Cause I’ve been in the room, and sleeping, I hadn’t noticed, but that side of the room smells hideous.  Guys have to turn on the lights, and discover just how bad it is.  Not only is the drunk guy covered, but so is his mattress, covers, and a good portion of the under bunk’s linens.  Under bunk guy is not happy.  Manages to coax/drag/yell the drunk guy out of bed (though he’s still not capable of saying anything more than ‘heh’), almost sending the bunk beds crashing to the floor, and into a shower, while he strips his bed, then carries the upper bunk’s entire mattress out into the hall.  It stinks to high heaven – and he pretty much states that the guy can sleep out there.

He gets some new linens…and then we realise drunk guy isn’t in the shower.  No clue where he’s gone, or if he even got there.  In the end, we warn reception that there’s someone MIA, and go to sleep.

In the morning, wake to discover the mattress has been dragged into the bedroom again, and drunk guy is on it.  He apparently woke up around 4:30 in the emergency stairwell, no clue how he got there.  His towel was wet so he knew he showered, but had no memory of anything else.  When he got to the room and saw the mattress outside, he had a little desperate mantra of ‘please don’t be mine’ before having to drag it inside.

So now the entire dorm room reeks of vomit and the sickening air freshener stuff they use to nullify the scent, and there’s a lot of linen’s and a mattress in dire need of washing.  So glad I don’t have to deal with it tonight.

The moral of the story?  If you’re staying in a dorm room, watch how much you’re drinking, and make sure there’s someone around to help you if you don’t.  Otherwise you’ll find yourself in an emergency stairwell and having to sleep in your own vomit – then having to pay extra to the hostel for the privilege…

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About Batale

I am an aspiring writer - though since I haven't written anything original in about 2 years, so calling me a writer is like calling a man who makes dinner every night a 5 star chef. I started this blog to force me to write. From the 1st January 2013, I intend to update this blog every day. If nothing interesting happens, I'll write about something that does interest me, whether that is a movie, a book, something I've heard about, or even some of my stories growing up.
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