As is normal for the “pre-assessment crunch” I, once again, have started to attempt to write something vaguely interesting to post on this blog. In my “stage 4 of procrastination”, I always tend to write about 300 hundred words vindicating why I’ve been so lazy and why I’ve stopped writing posts. I never actually post them because the writing and enthusiasm always patters out, I begin to procrastinate writing the post by doing other things. It’s about then that I realise the substance and quality of my writing is incredibly average and that I should move on to stage 5 of procrastination - exercise.
Maybe the lack of enthusiasm to write has got something to do with me “throwing in the towel” on the whole journalism career (one I do not regret in the slightest), but more likely it’s just because my life isn’t really exciting. And I’m lazy. While travelling blog posts are easy to write because exciting things happen all the time. Anyone can make travelling sound fun and entertaining because that’s what it is – every day life on the other hand, not so entertaining – at least to read about.
But here goes because I really, really don’t want to begin studying for my exams on Friday and the gym is not an option due to fire damage.
Last night amidst one of the most horrendous hangovers I’ve ever subjected myself to, I got a phone call at work saying my apartment complex was on fire.
Rewind 10 hours. Wake up in Sydney feeling that the day is going to be pretty shit due to my excessive drinking for the first time in 3 (?) weeks to celebrate a friend’s 21st. Adding to the fact that I realistically only knew a solid 4 people at the party made for me having the time and making sure I was so drunk that I really didn’t care who I was hanging out with. Not recommended. However, I woke up, accepted a glass of juice, had a berocca and got a lift to the train station.
I guess I should mention that I’m only new to the whole berocca hangover solution. I swiftly downed it without a second thought to my housemate’s wise words of warning: “make sure you don’t drink it too soon or it’ll end badly”. Well, let’s just say it was definitely too soon for me to be drinking it. As for the juice, well that was a terrible idea all along but I didn’t think the consequences would be so dire.
Curled up in the foetal position on the train somewhere in the Sydney suburbs, things were not going so “swiftly” post berocca consumption. I made it to central station, switched lines and got on the airport train with many painstaking looks of either sympathy, confusion or disgust from strangers – I was in too far over my head with feelings of self-pity and utter discontent to care. I must have looked like a homeless wreck (yes pun fully intended given what happened later in the day). At the station before the Domestic Airport, things turned from “okay this is a shit hangover” to “holy shit I’m going to loose it, this is the worst day of my life”. Leaving Mascot, I knew it was too late to get off and that I was stuck on this toilet-less train until the next station. I guess you can probably guess what happened next. I looked at the window, the floor, the seat and then finally my eyes came to rest on my overnight bag of clothes. Sitting there, waiting unexpectedly and completely innocent, I unzipped it without a second thought and threw up into my bag.
Probably 40 seconds later we arrived at the airport. Thankfully it was just berocca and juice that came up otherwise I would have been far less amused but the whole situation was completely absurd. Hangover in tow, I was literally trying to contain my laughter the whole way through check-in. Did that seriously just happen? Why didn’t I just throw up on the floor? But alas, no. In the bag it was. I almost lost it when the poor security guard unknowingly stuck the bomb trace detector into the bag before I had the chance of going to the bathroom to “clean my shit up” – at least it wasn’t chunky.
In the terminal, I gave liquid another go and had a very small sip of some water. The result wasn’t catastrophic so I continued to clean out my bag and then went and waited in the departure lounge for my flight. Ironically, I had a lot of time before I was due to take off so I sat there drifting through waves of nausea, willing it to be over already.
Somehow, I fell asleep. Waking up to find the lounge completely empty, I obviously had a stress. I looked at my watch and ran over to the desk just in time for the hostess to hold off on the announcement for “Miss Ambar Maddox to make herself known to airport staff as your flight is fully boarded and waiting for departure”. What a mess. I run on to the plane, hoping I’ve cleaned my bag well enough to be stuck with it for the next 7 hours.
As we’re sitting there on the runway waiting to take off, I have this horrible feeling - something that feels distinctly like sneaky berocca making its way up my throat. We’re about to take off, I can’t get up, water was a bad choice – I grab the little sick baggy that I swear no one ever uses and give all airlines an excuse to keep those baggies on board.
What feels like aeons later, my parents pick me up from the airport and drop me at the train station, pissing themselves at how they’ve raised such a derelict child. I get on the train and the pain seems to be subsiding, although I took the risk of sipping some water in the car because surely by midday I would be fit to drink a sip. Evidently not. An hour into the train trip and a mere three stops before my house that sneaky little berocca decided to come back to play. The gift that just keeps giving. Really. Astoundingly, I’m relatively sure that through my three separate voms, not a single person noticed. The last one on the train in Brisbane (again, into my bag) was pretty traumatic though, by 2pm the alcohol had worn off and I was ready for it to be over.
In a world of pain, I flew back from Sydney so early for work, so to work I went. Just as my hangover was to the “bearable” stage (ie. I could drink water) I was ecstatic that the pain and suffering was over for the day. In a couple of hours I would be able to eat some food and have a solid sleep and life would be good - it was about then that I got told my apartment was on fire.
What do you even do in that situation? I sure as shit was lost for action, words, thoughts or anything come to think of it. I actually ran around like deer caught in the headlights between calling my housemate, friends in the building, the body corp and frantically trying to google some source of news on the subject. Being at the vantage point of being able to run out on to the pier and look in the direction of my apartment, the helicopters circling around and the smoke pouring into the air weren’t exactly promising.
It’s kind of weird being in that position, “Ambar, you need to call your housemate, your apartment’s burning down”. First thought into my mind was my cats. Funnily enough, my cats have never, nor will they ever, live with me in this apartment. One happens to be in Vancouver and the other one is on the Gold Coast so that was obviously ridiculous. Not to mention my lease doesn’t even allow pets, so not too sure where that came from – nevertheless, I guess it’s common knowledge that panic is seldom ever rational. Second thought was “oh this day just gets better”. Third thought was “definitely not passing my exams on Friday now” and then “holy shit, I literally have keys, a bank card and my phone to my name right now”.
Thankfully, after half an hour of running around panicking doing who the hell knows what, I found out that it wasn’t my building that was on fire. Sent home from work for doing no work (um, I’d like to think being told that your house is on fire warrants for some leeway in productivity, but that’s a rant for a different time), I wander home lost and confused. At least my house wasn’t burning down. Five hours after the fire broke out and the 8 fire trucks are still trying to get the blaze extinguished. There’s a good 800 of us just hanging out in the park, understandably evacuated from the building with no news on how long it’s going to take or whether or not the sprinklers had gone off and ruined everything.
Happy that if nothing else I had my bankcard with me, I wandered to the 7/11 to get some chocolate milk for comfort in light of my spastic day. I laughed a bit, called a friend and gratefully dragged myself into bed with my chocolate milk. And, hey, given that I didn’t throw it up, things were looking better already.