One of the Best Days of 2011

10 June 2011 Alicante, España

I spread the word about the kickboxing, last evening. I was asking my friends who worked at the hostel, and they didn’t want to say anything about it.

‘We didn’t want anyone to go because she works here, and it would put the hostel in suspicion of something…’ ‘Why didn’t you tell me or the others who wanted to go?’ ‘Well, we didn’t really think about it’ What a letdown. I didn’t really want to watch the event (likely would be depressing) but it would have been a hell of an interesting experience.

All the new gang have gathered in the pink-green common room, so we start the long march to the beach.

It’s the first time I’ve hung out with Australians this entire year. There’s Australian Daniel who quit his job and is going for eight months. Even now we’re throwing a ball between each other. Then, there’s Australian Shereen, living it up after a year’s exchange in Sweden, because a year in Sweden isn’t enough’living it up’. Oh, and one more Aussie:’China’. Nobody knows her real name, nor what she’s squawking out half the time. She keeps complimenting me on anything at all.

‘I just hate swimsuits, but you have to look for them.’ says Canadian Tyler, down to earth as usual. When I speak to her, I think I’m in an argument, but there’s no point-scoring going on. Refreshing.

We arrive at the beach, just the same as yesterday, but judging by our scolded feet, a lot hotter. Starting a game of volleyball is the opposite of what we should have done as it involves a lot of standing in even hotter sand. I can’t believe how much of a ridiculously good time it is to play volleyball when everyone is actually trying really hard to keep a bit of rubber in the air. You can also tell a lot of a person by watching them do it: Tyler just knows how, Sharlene never dives far enough,’China’ keeps picking up the ball for seemingly no reason. Other random people come, play, and go again.

The Polish guy from the hostel strolls our way, wearing nothing but sandals, Lennon glasses and underwear. A big twenty litre bottle of water swings from his hand. He’s not the finest specimen of human appearance, whiteness and belly and all, but he’s some of the finest in good humour. He sits down with us and watches a west African selling counterfeit sunglasses being chased by a policeman on scooter. We say it’s a chase, but it’s happening, literally, at a brisk walking pace. ‘Fuck the rest, this is a real police chase–a typical Spanish one!’

I haven’t spent seven hours at the beach for at least five years, but it’s the first time I’ve never needed to put sunblock on during such a long time. Such has been the weak, Mediterranean sun.

Nighttime falls, and everyone starts buzzing about the’pub crawl’ tonight. ‘Are you going on the pub crawl?’ ‘Hey, you doing the pub crawl??’ Turns out they–we–are. All twenty three of us on a so-called pub crawl where there aren’t any pubs, and there won’t be much beer drunk.

The first bar is empty, and it’s midnight. Places and people lose inhibitions at around two in the morning. I’m given a lot of drinks again, which makes my time being a complete moron with dancing and large groups of people, often with Daniel, much much worse.

At what is supposedly the last bar, I remember going into the bathroom just to have a sit down, but just a moment later, seemingly, there’s banging on the door. My world’s spinning but the stairs out are my best bet. Fresh air outside. I take another seat in a corner by a shopfront and wait to sober up.

It never happens, and I have no idea how to get back. I wait a little while longer, and by chance, some Italian guys recognise me and we all walk back over what streets and promeandes I think I recognise.

‘Hey! Man!’ says Spanish Esteban, shaking my shoulders. I can’t open my eyes, I can’t really feel anything except a hard thing against my back. It’s a chair. Then I feel a cold thing against my cheek: plastic.

I stand up and look back to where I was’sitting’; I passed out on the table in the kitchen, and people are about to get breakfast. It’s eight in the morning and I have no idea why I chose there to go as my bed is just thirty metres away. I touch fists with Spanish Esteban, for the hundredth time this week, and enter the dorm where the sunlight streams in.