Thursday, December 6, 2012

Slippin' and a slidin'

I awoke from my sleep face first on an unfamiliar futon. My head was pounding and my wallet was empty. My mouth was so dry, it was like my lips had been super glued to my gums and my breath caused some low hanging plants to wilt. A sharp pain coursed throughout my hip and lower back whilst a duller, throbbing pain had found a home in my upper back. My t-shirt seemed to be splattered in someone else’s blood.

As though prompted by the pain, my memories started flooding back. I was in Whistler. And Whistler had won.

Alright, to paraphrase Maria Von Trapp, let’s start from the very beginning as it’s a very good place to start.

Having packed up all my stuff from the hostel in Vancouver (where I found neither the loose women or cheap beer as promised to me by a friend), I quickly scurried across town to board my Greyhound - destination Whistler. 2.5 hours later I disembarked the bus to find snow and ice covered roads.

Whistler is a beautiful place. The cool wind cleans out your lungs and the snow over everything adds a magical element to the place, making me feel like I had emerged into a fairy tale world. I have to admit though, for all its beauty, I did feel a little out of my element. I am used to sun and surf. I was lucky enough to have my friend Cara to meet me off the bus to help me get my bearings, which helped immensely.

Something I learned rather quickly is that ice is very slippery. As I have a tendency to be slightly clumsy at times, I quickly became aware this could be a recipe for disaster. Maybe a little more than slightly clumsy. Ok, I am what could be aptly termed, a clumsy oaf. To give you an example, I was out to dinner with a hot young lady a couple of weeks ago. Generally dinner is a pretty safe environment for me – sitting down the whole time gives me precious little chance to display my oafish clumsiness, allowing me instead to exude a fa├žade of detached coolness, which sends the ladies crazy. Whilst attempting to exude the aforementioned aura, I spotted my glass of water through the lenses of my sunglasses and whilst raising it to my lips, I somehow managed to empty the majority of the contents over my carefully selected sleeveless shirt.

Getting back to the point, knowing my clumsy limitations, I was mindful to tread carefully on the slippery ice. That was, of course, until I started to get drunk.

After a couple of drinks it was decided to head into Whistler Village to continue the festivities. Sadly, I felt the jeans with joggers look that I had been rocking with such aplomb may not fly in the clubs of Whistler, so I threw on some leather shoes to ensure I was looking my best for my first foray into this winter wonderland.

Poor choice!

Within two minutes of donning my shoes I attempted to climb the wooden stairs, slipped, nearly did a full backward flip before landing square on my back. In immense pain I checked my right hand to make sure the bottle of vodka I was clutching did not smash before swivelling the head around to see if anyone saw me. Luckily I spotted no one so, gingerly, I returned to my feet and headed up toward the car. Fall one.

The nightlife in Whistler is pretty cool. People from all over the world grow their hair beyond their shoulders, learn proper snowboard lingo and come together to hit the mountain and have fun. I did look a little out with my shaved head however I just had to say words like ‘shred’ and 'gnarly’ every couple of seconds and I was quickly accepted into Whistler's cool embrace. There was a bit of a queue to get into Buffalo Bills so I slipped the bouncer $40 and headed in with my supposed new found Kiwi friend who gave me the slip as soon as we passed the front door.

From here, the rest of a night is a bit of a blur. There were a few more falls, a backhand to someone’s nose on a friendly dare (hence the blood splatter) and later on, some incoherent dribblings to a taxi driver who somehow managed to understand just where it was I needed to go. This was rather lucky as I had no idea where I was headed myself.

My first night out in whistler. Great night, met some new friends, caught up with some old ones however the score card reads:

Whistler – 1
Bails – 0