For some reason, that I cannot explain, strange and downright crazy things seem to follow me wherever I go. This story is about my first overseas "Holiday" on my own. Working in travel for 12 years (nightmare central) I had one of my many epiphany's and decided I was going to go to Hawaii on a whim, on my own. I had been on many trips with work and lived in Scotland so I thought this would be something different. Now the way my brain works is like there are two opposing sides; one is quite logical and the other is downright nuts. So I went about booking my holiday and one of my dreams has always been to drive around Hawaii in a Jeep - Check, booked it. There's a spooky thing about travel agents that no matter how talented you are at other peoples trips, you usually stuff up your own, but I digress. This time I got it right, the Hotel was booked, my flights were locked in and most importantly my Jeep would be waiting for me at the airport. Nailed it. Quite soon (as in hours) after I booked everything, my anxious brain kicked in, how would I drive a Jeep by myself, on the other side of the road without crashing and bursting into flames? I thought about it over and over, but decided to remain resolute to my dream of driving around with the wind in my hair.
So it finally got within 24 hours of my departure and at this point I literally began freaking out. Why did I think it was a good idea to go by myself? Everyone is going to look at me and think " That dude has no mates and cant drive" The Jeep started to slowly become the stuff of nightmares, I was terrified I wouldn't even make it out of the Airport Parking without crashing. Anyway, the trip had arrived and it was time to go. Here's where things started to go downhill, fast.
I boarded my Jetstar flight from Sydney, I had paid for the "works" package which indicated I was meant to get everything I needed - the inflight entertainment, a blanket and pillow and a semi decent meal. When it came time for the crew to bring my delightful package of travel comfort, I was mortified when I was given a blanket that only just covered my knees and a blow up pillow. Not wanting to make a scene, I blew up my pillow only to discover it deflated straight away due to a gaping hole. I politely asked for another one, unfortunately there were none left so I was told I would have to "make do" with the one I had. The flight is only around 9 hours, so I thought I would just suck it up and focus my attention back to worrying about the Jeep.
About 1 hour before we were due to land, I started feeling wheezy, I usually get a bit of asthma when I fly, so I reached into my little bag of travel tricks only to discover I had forgotten to bring my puffer - Cue panic. I pressed the button for the crew member to come and politely asked if they would have one onboard that I could use. The crew member said she would have to ask the chick in charge and so shortly this nasty blonde woman with an attitude the size of Texas came to speak to me. She passive aggressively told me that I could use it and to give it to her when I was getting off the plane. So I did just that. But when I opened the puffer I noticed it started leaking a bit after I'd taken a couple of panicked puffs. Now this is important, because what was to come was nothing short of a nightmare. Bear in mind there was someone sitting next to me so I was maintaining my cool, all the while thinking about the Jeep I was going to crash. We finally landed and I got my shit together and as I walked off the plane, I gave the nasty blonde woman the puffer back and thanked her for letting me use it.
Now travelling to any United States Airport means you don't want to muck around or draw any attention to yourself whatsoever, in fact I always feel like a drug smuggler at any airport I go to, just out of sheer crazy and nervousness. I followed the line of people, popped through immigration without getting frisked and headed to the baggage claim. At this point things were running smoothly. As my bags came around the carousel my anxiety started to creep up again about the Jeep. It was at this point that things descended into sheer horror. I looked over to see the nasty blonde air hostess, in her hideous orange Jetstar uniform, marching straight towards me with, I kid you not, the Captain of the flight and two security officers. I looked around thinking they can't possibly be coming to me, but sure enough a few seconds later I was surrounded by them. She was holding the puffer that I had used in her hands and began shaking it at me saying "You have used the entire puffer and overdosed on the Ventolin". I was all like "What the ACTUAL f*ck?" I explained that the seal on the puffer looked broken and it would have leaked out, not to mention the fact that there are 200 puffs in the stupid thing and I would have had to sit there for 10 minutes puffing away while the guy next to me watched. In addition, WHY, WHY would I want to take 200 puffs and then merrily go on my way? I pleaded my case to the security guys and the bloody Captain, all the while glancing around at the 100 or so people looking at what they could only presume was a international drug smuggler. I finally was able to convince them that I infact did not use the entire thing at which point the hideous blonde said " If someone dies on the flight back to Sydney because we don't have one it will be your fault".......REALLY??? My heart was beating out of my chest and I just wanted to get back on another plane, not Jetstar, and go home. I decided I was too traumatised to even deal with the thought of the Jeep so I scurried out of the Airport as quick as I could and got a cab to my hotel.
You would think my bad luck would end there, but the best was yet to come. I settled into my room overlooking Waikiki Beach and popped a valium to calm myself down. I became determined to enjoy this trip, despite the lack of a Jeep.
I lazed around the afternoon, had a nap and woke up ready to rock. At that point the only gay club I knew was called Houla's and was about a 1km walk down the beach road away. I fought off my anxious brain and downed a few Vodka and Redbull's to get my courage up to go alone. I may have overdone it slightly.... Anyway, I spruced myself up and headed off to the club. Now this part is important to the outcome of this story. As I walked on the left hand side of the road, opposite the beach, I noticed probably about 4 police cars and a whole lot of action going on. I ploughed on, I couldn't be distracted by another police incident. So I arrived at the club, nervous as hell and ordered another drink. This is where, in my defence, I realised they don't really measure the drink, just pour it on in and off you go. I had about 3 or 4 of these and was, I would say "fairly" inebriated. Sitting on my own, I was suddenly approached by a group of 4 very good looking guys, who were super friendly taking pity on me sitting on my own. We chatted away and they told me how adorable my accent was ( It's not) and I discovered they were all in the Navy. We drank and danced and one particular guy started getting overly attentive, which I didn't mind at all. "Bugger it" I thought, I'm on holidays and no one knows me and I can do what I want. So when they suggested we go for a swim at the beach I was all in!
So off we went, heading for Waikiki beach for a 3am swim. In my mind it was super exciting and my special friend suggested as we got closer that we would all strip off and go naked. It was right out of some cheesy porn movie. Things went downhill fairly quickly after this. I remembered having to stumble over the yellow Police tape that said "Crime Scene" on it, apparently not caring at the time. Into the water we go, butt naked and things seemed to be going well. I was like "check me out doing something I thought I would never do". Right at this thought entered my mind a massive spotlight appeared from the beach and over a megaphone came - " This is the Police, get out of the water immediately". Panic stricken once again I looked to the Navy guys for support only to see they were just as terrified as I was. We swam to the shore towards where our clothes, and 2 Police Officers were standing shining the big torch at us. As I fumbled around desperately trying to get my clothes back on, they informed us that we were illegally swimming naked for one, and secondly we were doing it in a crime scene. They demanded ID from us and I quickly got out my license and started begging " This is totally my first time here and I normally wouldn't do anything like this, Im SO sorry". The Navy guys were advised that they would be reprimanded separately, of course. I was told that I would have to hand in my ID and report to the Police Station the next morning to learn my fate.
Needless to say, the second I could I hightailed it back to the hotel in complete shock and horror, thinking I was going to be locked in a cell for a night and have to use all my holiday money to bail myself out. I didn't sleep and waited until 9am when I was due to report to the Police. I meekly went up to the desk and told the Policewoman why I was there. "Oh your'e the Australian guy who went swimming naked in a crime scene" she smirked. Yes, yes I was that idiot that literally climbed over the yellow tape. Thank god I wasn't charged with anything but given a $250 fine which I had to pay on the spot and told my name was now in their database, incase I was thinking about going on another illegal rampage during my trip.
I went back to the Hotel, relieved but still completely mortified at what had happened so far on the trip.
Traumatised at the Airport - Check.
No Jeep - Check.
Humiliated and nearly arrested - Check.
And all of this on day one of my two week holiday. For an anxiety driven person like me it triggered off crazy Kyle and I spent the next day in the Hotel, just incase I managed to get myself into another situation. Thankfully, I went on to enjoy the rest of the trip and Hawaii has become one of my favourite places in the world. Since I have been back, I chuckle when I walk past the Waikiki Police Station and have been back twice since and had amazing times.
I'm sorry this post is so long but I hope you enjoyed reading!