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welcome to barmouta's aussie experience
@ volobuev.com

Barmouta's Aussie Experience
(by Alexander Barmouta)

Hi people. Here is the much promised essay. For those
who dare read the following I have to warn you that
you need time and patience. If you do not have both,
then just delete this email. Cheers, Barmouta.

On the morning of 21 November 2001 I, Roma Kovalenko,
and the driver Kirill Lukyanovich left Wellington
destined for Auckland. Alexandre Morozov was also
travelling from Welly to Auckland, but not with us. He
decided to take train because of his humangous
luggage. While we speeding away in Honda Civic driven
by Kirill, we caught up with the train. I called
Morozov on the cellphone to establish verbal
communication, besides visual. This failed.

So we overtook the train, and entered National Park of
New Zealand. Most of places in this park have Maori
names. So we drove past Papakura, Papahuka, but most
interesting one - Kakahi, which in Russian means turds

In Auckland we were supposed to be met by Antoha, our
friend. He was sleeping, but we did not know. We
knocked on the door many times but no one answered. I
saw an open window, grabbed a wheely bin (rubbish bin
on wheels), climbed on top of it, Alex and Roma
grabbed my legs and pushed me into the window. Inside
on the sofa was sleeping Antoha. As soon as I saw him,
he suddenly rose up and shouted "What the fuck are you
doing?" and was ready to smash me up. That's because
when you suddenly open your eyes for a few seconds
your brain does not produce the picture, so he could
not see that it was me. Anyway, I replied "You fucking
ohuel (this cannot be translated), we've been knocking
on your door for 20 min and you are still fucking
sleeping!". Antoha appologised by offering us some
fortified wine and then said "spots up". After we
reached the required condition we started listening to
some children's music, like "Vodyanoi", "Elochka" (. i
v praznichnyi chas, kazhdoi igolochkoi raduet nas).
These songs certainly have double meaning.

Anyway, afterwards we started drinking vodka, and
after we finished, at about 7 am on the 22 of November
we flew out to Brisbane. When we walked out of
customs, we were greeted by Shoorick Volobuev, who had
an especially prepared white T-shirt with black
letters, written in Russian, "BARMOUTA
Also his friend Anton was there. We drove to
Shoorick's house, where his sister Masha prepared some
delicious soup called BORSCH, and we drank two or
three shots of vodka (we bought 6 liters of
Stolichnaya at duty free), and were totally drunk,
because we were so tired. We had a little bit of
sleep, and when it was dark, we had dinner. Shoorick's
friends came over, and so for such a meeting we drank
about 3 liters of vodka, mixing it with about 2 dozen
of beer among 6 or 8 people. When we finally got a
little bit drunk we headed for the nightclubs. We met
Nastya Gilman, our beloved friend. First club was
"Fridays", which had a special: $2 for any drink. I
would order a shot of vodka and a beer for $4. Vodka
was shot, beer was sculled, and then I changed to just
bourbon and coke. When we finally got drunk, we went
to "The Beat". Some awesome techno music got us
dancing in no time. Everything was great; the clubs,
music, catching up with friends. When we somehow came
home, we had munchies on salad called vinegret, and
also chicken left-overs from dinner (thanks to Masha).
I was so drunk I could not stand still. I had to fall
on the floor and crawl if I had to go somewhere.

Next day I and Morozov woke up pretty early, about 10
am. It's very hot in Brisbane so I could only sleep
till it gets suffocating. We asked Dima, Shoorick's
friend, to drive us to Brisbane markets to buy some
fruits. We bought 4 melons, 20kg of carrots, and a box
of god knows what, but the fruit smelt like it was out
of the toilet. Shoorick explained that it was native
Australian fruit, so all our questions were answered.
Masha had a juice maker, so we squeezed some carrot
juice, drank it, and after about five minutes we all
started laughing. I am not sure whether aussie carrots
have some drug in them, but we laughed for about 2
minutes. In the evening we went to sushi place, where
we ate as much sushi as we wanted (all you can eat
special). Since this place was BYO, we brought 2
bottles of Stoli. Japanese waitresses were shocked.
But after we finished theses bottles among 5 of us
(Shoorick, Masha, Roma, Morozov and me), another 2 of
Shooricks friends came over: Stas and Kolya. They
bought another 1125ml of Smirnoff, we drank it and
went to "The Dome" nightclub. This club had a beach
party theme. They put some white sand on the floor, a
palm tree in a pot, and a rubber inflatable swimming
pool, 2 x 3 meters. So after we had some more drinks,
Shoorick asked nightclub manager if we could take a
swim. And so we jumped in, splashing away, Masha
taking photos on Shoorick's digital camera (photos can
be found on volobuev.com). I had a swim, then
walked out outside to dry my clothes. I took off my
shirt, pants, socks, hung them on the fence nearby and
sat down, naked, on the street, wearing only my
underwear. Some girls tried to talk to me but I was
too drunk and too loaded (zagruzhennyi) to reply to
them so they pissed off. And as I was sitting, a
familiar smell struck me. I saw a guy with long hair,
looking like a hippie, and I asked him to "improve my
mood". I had a toke from his hand, held it for about
30 seconds. The guy went down the street, just behind
a corner. After I exhaled I realised it's not going to
be enough. So I ran down, wearing nothing but
underwear,  begging "the hero" for some more. He just
gave away the roach to me.

And then the light shone down on me, even though it
was night time. I suddenly knew I had to go back to
the club to dance. So put my clothes back on, which
were almost dry by that time, and made my way to the
entrance. There was a big gorilla-like white bouncer.
He told me: "You had enough, mate". From my previous
experience I know that it is useless to argue with an
animal. So I just stood back and decided to wait until
everyone will come out. For some mysterious reason I
started thinking about what happened in New York. Not
even a few minutes passed, another gorilla-like
bouncer approached me. This one was black. We had
following conversation; he asked me:
- Are you Russian?
- Yeah.
- Is it your friends upstairs swimming in the pool?
- Yeah.
- No worries, mate. Just come with me.
We both approached the white bouncer, the black one
told him some stuff, and let me go inside. There I
found every one was absolutely pissed and wet from
swimming. They were happy to see me after I had told
them about what happened outside. And I heard some
really good techno, and started dancing. Masha was
dancing next to me, then the DJ produced some white
smoke, mixed "Sandstorm" with some other wicked tune,
and pointed laser beam from a portable laser directly
at Masha. She noticed it and looked puzzled at the
DJs. He picked up microphone and smilingly said "We're
watching you". Well, it's good thing they did not
touch, because if they did, about 8 drunk Russians
would have beaten the living shit out of them (just
kidding:). Anyway, we got home safely, had some
munchies and went to sleep.

Next day Victor and Zoya, Shoorick's and Masha's
parents, came home, so we had to behave ourselves like
adults. We packed up our stuff. Me, Moroz, Roma and
Shoorick asked Victor to drive us to Gold Coast. Me
and Roma had accommodation vouchers to stay in
Labrador (about 6km from Surface Paradise) for 7
nights. These vouchers were given to us for about $50
by Air New Zealand, which we flew from Auckland to
Brisbane. We got to our room, left our stuff there,
went out for a feed and then bought 1 liter of
Absolute and a dozen of VB beer in 750ml bottles.
There is an ancient Russian proverb: "Vodka without
beer is a waste of money" (vodka bez piva - den'gi na
veter). Then Shoorick's friends came, some of which we
had met, and some we had not. They brought a steel
barrel of beer, 5 liters of it. After all the alcohol
was consumed, we headed for the night clubs in Surface

We went to "The Drink" night club. I had enough so I
was not drinking. I was just dancing. Roma was also
very drunk, but he bought a beer and wanted to go on
the dance floor. One of the bouncers told him he is
not allowed on the dance floor with a beer. He did not
understand, because the music was very loud plus he
was drunk. So the bouncer threw him out of the bar. I
went outside with him for moral support. I can't
remember what I said to him, but he threw up in the
corner, and then I pissed on the vomit. If police saw
us, we would had been in trouble.

What happened next was totally unpredictable in the
sense that you have to understand that me and Roma
grew up in New Zealand, where people are very naïve
and friendly, but we were both born in the Soviet
Union, where animal laws prevail. We came back to the
same night club, got in, found the bouncer who threw
Roma out just before. Roma tried to explain to the
bouncer that Roma could not understand what the
bouncer was saying. The mother fucker grabbed Roma by
the shirt, leaving a small scar on his chest, and
threw him into the lift. I came up to the bouncer and
told him to let go off Roma's shirt and that we are
leaving this fucking club. The "gorilla" threw me
inside the lift and punched me in the face. He hit my
lower left lip, and it started bleeding. The bouncer
started to have a power trip accompanied by adrenaline
rush, shouting "Come on, bring it on". I just looked
away and told Roma in Russian what a fucking stupid
animal this bouncer was. We walked on the streets of
Surface Paradise, all the girls running away from me
(like nothing's changed :), because my lip was
bleeding, and the cops stopped us and we told them
what happened. They just directed us to the nearest
copa shop, I mean police outpost, and there we were
told that there is nothing they can do about it. This
is usual. But what amazed me is that although it was
not there duty, but they gave me a plastic cup of
water and some tissues to wipe off the blood off my
lip, and then directed us to SES. The first question I
asked SES was what does SES stand for. The State
Emergency Service gave me an ice pack (it's bloody hot
in Aussie) and some special cloth. They were
sympathetic towards me, but just took my name and age
for statistics and let me and Roma go. We went to
Burger King, called Hungry Jacks, where we met all the
others. Me and Roma were not alone! Shoorick strained
his foot. But then he saw Inga sitting just a few
tables away, and heroically stood up and made his way
to Inga. Shoorick never ceases to amaze me. Then we
waited for about forty minutes till the ambulance came
to have a look at Shoorick's broken foot, at least
that's what he thought. He was in cold sweat, dying on
the battle field.

Next day our guests went back to Brisbane and we
stayed in Surfers Paradise. To our misfortune, it was
cloudy in the Sunshine state (I mean Queensland), and
by the time the night came, it started raining! God,
we came to Aussie just to escape cold, windy, rainy
weather, and what do we get? Same shit as we could
have had in Wellington! Oh well, the hell with it. We
made the most out of it anyway by going to liquor
store and buying whatever we like to get drunk in
order to comprehend the weather; alcohol keeps you
warm. I mean I was seriously cold, wearing trousers
and a long sleeve shirt! Moroz bought his favorite
bourbon & coke (Coca Cola that is, not the illicit
drug :), me and Roma got some sweet Champaign worth $6
a bottle. Then we sat down on the beach to drink,
celebrating the end of our exams. As we were sitting
there, drinking and smoking cigarettes, three guys
approached us asking for a lighter. When we gave them
a lighter they asked if they could take it away, but
we said no. They started to walk away. Having done
logic this year, I quickly realised why they wanted to
take the lighter away. I called them and showed them
the international hand sign for getting high. They
started smiling and came back. I asked them if they
had any "medicine for relaxation". They did. Then I
asked if they knew where we can get some. One of the
guys pulled out a bag full of packaged "medicine". And
that is how we got a fifty dollar bag. Nobody else we
had met knew where to get some. So it was our lucky

Then we called a Russian guy Vitalik. He is a friend
of Shoorick, and we agreed to meet (zabili strelku)
under the metal ark which says "Surfers Paradise" (it
is the main entrance to the beach from the mall). We
did not know Vitalik at all (not speaking about how he
would look), but when we were waiting for him, a
Russian-looking guy approached us and just stood
there, looking around, as if he did not know us (which
was true). Five seconds later we all cracked laughing
and started the introduction. There is something about
Russians which distinguishes them from the rest of the
crowd. And it's not clothes. Maybe it's the expression
on our faces, maybe it's the fact that we prefer to go
out (tusovat'sya) as a crowd rather as an individual.
In any case, the Soviet Union had made us different
from the rest of the world.

Vitalik turned out to be a really cool guy, and his
flatmate Iin - a really cool girl. We drank at their
apartment and ended up staying there overnight, and
the next night for that matter, and I can't remember,
but I think the night after as well. Oh god, we drank
so much and slept so little that I was just about to
have a nervous breakdown or something. Out of seven
nights that we had in our hotel, we stayed only 3 or
4.  Iin (Gisala) is from Indonesia; she is learning
Russian, and I was learning some Indo from her. She's
got a car, Hyandai Excel, which is cool to drive, but
hard to turn on. I mean first you have to mobilise it
by shutting all doors, then press the clutch to the
full, and then turn the key to start the engine.
Anyway, she and Vitalik showed us Australian native
flora and fauna. We cruised to panorama, where you can
see all of Surface Paradise (sort of Mt Vic in
Wellington). Also we went to a cave in forest where we
saw glow worms (svetlyachki). What was amazing is that
their colour in the dark was deep blue. I have never
seen such beauty ever in my life. There was a water
fall in that cave, and the whole place was sooooooo
romantic. I definitely want to go back there.

Vitalik and Iin put us on the bus. The bus took us to
railway station where we boarded a train to Sydney.
Most of the journey we slept. But the last 4 or 5
hours (out of 12) were quite interesting. It was quiet
and then all of a sudden Moroz was speaking to a man
(about 60 years old) about the origin of the universe.
This certainly attracted my attention. When Moroz went
to toilet, I started to ask the man questions. It
turned out that he is retired mathematician, one of
the first computer scientists who used to write
programs on paper punch cards during late 50's, early
60's. We talked about logic and several other
subjects. And like Moroz knew, I changed the subject
to horoscopes, which, from my point of view, are
similar to psychology and statistics taken together. I
argued that psychology and stats are both only 50
years old, but horoscopes had been there for centuries
(even during BC in China) and you cannot just ignore
them. I said certainly horoscope do not tell you
anything if you cannot interpret them. It's like a bad
translation from Russian to English. For example, how
could anyone translate "smekalka", which is purely a
Russian concept. So a certain arrangement of stars
sometimes is hard to interpret.

The man agreed with me! Maybe he was afraid of
Russians, but I believe it's because he is smart
enough to understand me. I think all old
mathematicians are crazy, that is, their
interpretation of our world changes dramatically as
their lives progress. Anyway, this man tried to guess
Moroz's star sign, but he failed. So I guessed the
star sign of a girl sitting just in front of us. I
"Are you a Gemini?"
"Yeah! How did you know?"
"I did not. It was just a feeling." - I answered. And
that is what differentiates humans from computers. Our
feelings are unexplainable, our intuition is

Anyway, we got to Sydney, managed to get a room at
Kings Cross backpackers and had just enough sleep so
that we could last next night. We got up at 10 o'clock
in the morning, walked around Sydney downtown (I saw
world famous Opera House for the first time live), and
by 1700 hours we got to Olympic Park, where Olympic
games were held last year. As soon as we came out of
train station, we could immediately hear techno music.
THE GATECRASHER WAS ON! I and Moroz checked out the
Park. Roma was visiting his sister during this time
and promised that he will join us later. So me and me
mate Moroz had a bottle of Polish vodka (what a crap
it was!), drank about half of it, then had some
"medicine" according to our formula. For those who do
not know the formula I am explaining. It's very simple
(everything genius is simple). You drink about 300 ml
of vodka very rapidly, in about 10-15 minutes (you
have to be experienced, so kids, do not try this at
home :), and then quickly smoke a joint. You get
stoned straight away, and then you go in to
Gatecrasher, like we did, and inside you will feel
vodka still absorbing and making you more drunk. And
since you are already stoned, you get enormously high
and because you are also drunk, you will be energetic
at the same time. In other words, you will be
synergetic. That is, synchronized (stoned) energy

I am not a big expert on techno music, so I will not
describe all zones that the Gatecrasher had. All I can
tell you is that it had the latest techno. I liked
energy zone, hip hop and rap, but most important one
was the main zone called "The Gatecrasher". It was
TRANCE. And as we consumed substances according to the
formula mentioned above, I spent most of the time in
trance, literally. The trance zone was in one of the
Olympic Park buildings call The Dome. The Dome
building is in the shape of a dome, circular floor
with diameter of about 150 meters. I'll do the maths
for you: that is about 17600 square meters, and about
2/3 of this area was full of people by 3 o'clock at
night. Sometime during the night a really beautiful
woman came out and sang live. The crowd was wild! I
was in trance, not caring about anything in the whole
world. I felt that I was truly free for the first time
in my life. I mean I felt free before, but relatively
speaking, I had never been so free before. This added
some magic energy to my subconsciousness and I danced
through the night just enjoying what I had at that
time. I simply cannot describe this feeling. It has to
be experienced.

Next morning me and Moroz got to airport and left for
Perth. Roma stayed in Sydney. In Perth we finally had
a chance to catch up with some sleep. Next day we went
to Gatecrasher in Perth. Not as good as in Sydney, but
still quite cool. Moroz's bro Costa showed us around
and we had great time. Not much to tell. I was glad to
leave Aussie by the end to go to Russia, my final
destination. When I was flying Korean Air from
Auckland to Seoul, I got really hungry during the
night because I just could not go to sleep. I asked a
stuardess for some food. She brought a packet of milk,
a bread bun and a small pack of butter. I looked at
those and realised that I would need a knife to cut
the bun in half and spread the butter on it. So I got
up, went to one of those sections in the middle of
aircraft where stuardesses prepare meals. I approached
one of them and asked: "Can you give me a knife!". Her
Korean eyes suddenly went to the size of European. She
must have thought that I am one of Bin Laden's people.
I explained the situation and she gave me a plastic

I finally arrived to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, where I was
met by my parents. They are alive and kicking. They
took me home in their Mitsubishi Pajero. Excellent car
for Sakhalin's roads, which are all fucked up. At the
moment I am waiting for Max Krysanov's (small Max)
call so that I can give him a hacky sack.