Previously, on Week of Madness:
Our intrepid explorer has woken up drunk, been shopping, got annoyed at his cleaner for not showing up for work, travelled to Liverpool, flown to Barcelona, got drunk, got a train to Valencia, found his hostel and the venue of a gig despite not knowing where they were, got drunk, watched a gig, met Paul and Amanda, and various other people, got more drunk, lost his phone, got even more drunk, gone to bed, then got up almost straight away, managed to retrieve the lost phone, and was last seen on a desperate trek for water in order to restore the vital hydration balance of his body. Now, on with the show…..
The following takes place between March the 10th, and March the 11th….
It was 10am on Saturday 10th March, and our hero was in serious danger of imminent death. He needed water, much as people who are lost in deserts are reputed to do, only more so than any such foolish traveller. His bodily hydration system was going into overdrive, and if he didn't get water soon he was liable to collapse.
He was also getting really fed up of the sound of fireworks and cherry bombs, as the damn things had been going off all over the place ever since he arrived in Valencia. Apparently there was some sort of Fiesta either on-going or imminent, and everyone was out celebrating by trying to blow as many things up as possible.
Or that's what it seemed like anyway, and constant bomb blasts, coupled with a very late night, with a mix of no cold water, was not exactly beneficial towards the forming of a cheerful disposition!
He'd had a momentary high point in the morning when his phone had been returned to him, but the adrenalin from this had not lasted for very long. No, water was the priority. Actually, food might be quite good as well, because due to the personal proclivity for not mixing liquids and solids, especially if said liquids were of the alcoholic variety, it had actually been quite some time since our thirsty explorer had last eaten!
Unlike water, food was actually fairly easy to come by, in the face of a hamburger restaurant around the corner. They also, strangely enough, seemed to have bottles of cold water in the bar, which considering that there didn't appear to be a single shop or store anywhere in the city that sold cold water, this was a turn up of the most Mod-ish of Mods trousers variety.
Or something like that.
So, a hamburger was ordered, with extra cheese and bacon, and water, lots of water. Two hours and several bottles of the life-giving juice known as H2O later, and our wonderful round bloke was ready for the next stage of his journey, the road trip to Zaragoza.
Unfortunately, it would appear that Paul and Amanda's ability to be much later than originally stated to any given location had carried over from the previous day, and after arranging to meet up at 1pm they finally arrived about 40 minutes after that time. Finally, the terrible trio were on the road and raring to go.
Except, within a few minutes an emergency stop was made at a supermarket to buy enough food to keep a small African nation going for a few days, along with, horror of horrors, half a dozen bottles of water that were warm! Still, beggars cannot be choosers, and nor can people on a tight schedule in a foreign country.
Still, eventually, the gleesome threesome hit the open road and started to head for Zaragoza. One thing they didn't get was Valencia oranges, straight from the trees at the side of the road, much to Amanda's chagrin, but this was an oversight which would eventually be addressed….
Anyway, they started off with a drive along the coast, and very nice it was too, with Damien starting to become properly acquainted with his two new travelling buddies for the first time, and trying to judge their characters as quickly as possible so he would know what level of sarcastic piss-taking he would be able to get away with as time went by.
Around about the time Amanda shouted "Oh look, a kite" like an excited 3 year old, the die was cast, and the scene was then set for the occasional cry of "Oh look, they have buses over here and everything" and phrases of that ilk from the back seat! For the most part, Paul and Amanda bickered like schoolchildren, but it was the kind of bickering that anyone would feel privileged to over-hear, as it not only demonstrated their feelings for one another, but also showed just how comfortable they both felt in each others company.
After a while of driving along the decision was made to stop off at the next service area on the motorway and get a bite to eat, which went kind of awry when the sign-posted service area disappeared miraculously just when they were about to pull into it! Not to be deterred, our brave explorers pulled into a lay-by and passed around some bread and cheese before continuing on their journey once more.
Soon thereafter there was a discussion about magic boxes, pertaining to the announcement the night before by Dave from Marah about them being for sale. Paul had been given some sort of story about them, and explained what it was all about.
Apparently Dave had gone and bought some boxes from somewhere, and drawn all over them, mainly artwork from the different record covers and so on, and had personally signed them all. These boxes were in two sizes, with the small ones being available to buy for 75 Euros, and big ones for 100 Euros.
It was decided that this was the reason they were called Magic Boxes, the fact that they cost a few Euros each to buy, but with just a little bit of work with a couple of marker pens suddenly they were worth 100 Euros! Not that the trio in the car were in any way cynical or judgemental of course! Like anything, a magic box is worth what people are willing to pay for it!
Not long after that, Amanda let out a squeal of excitement that a seven year old at a Westlife concert would have been proud of, having noticed a stall selling oranges at the side of the road. Understanding the unwritten rules of keeping females happy that automatically come into play at such times, Paul duly pulled over and went and purchased an extremely large bag of oranges for the ridiculously expensive price of 3 Euro's.
And thus it came to pass that on the 10th of March, 2007, somewhere on the road between Valencia and Zaragoza, whilst in the back seat of a hire car being driven by two people he didn't even know properly, the piss artist that is sometimes known as Spawny actually ate a piece of fruit!
The journey thereafter continued apace, and our glorious heroic fruit eater, overcome with the sensation of pure, real, and good orangeyness, passed out for a while in order to allow his body to cope with the feelings coursing through him of health and vitality!
For perhaps a full 60 minutes, without any break at all, a length of time almost unprecedented, our drunken friend dozed, snapping awake suddenly for no visibly apparent reason, but he deduced it as the imminent approach towards Zaragoza.
Again, this was a city, indeed, an area of Spain, never before travelled to by our narrator. And yet, as they came through the outskirts of town and in towards the city he started to get the weird feel for the place that overcomes him with all new cities. This was somewhere that he understood, although it was a big, old city that he knew nothing about.
Still, he found himself pre-empting the Sat-nav in the car, the same navigation system that had been apparently responsible for the extremely late arrival of Paul and Amanda the night before, and yet seemed to be working fine now. Perhaps it was picking up the signals from his brain or something!
Anyway, it took just a short time to find the hotel that Paul and Amanda had booked, and at this point Damien took his leave from them, to go and find himself somewhere to stay as he had been unable to pre-book anything for this part of the journey.
For many people, in a strange city, finding somewhere to stay could prove to be a difficult task, but not for our great investigator. Walking around the corner from Paul and Amanda's hotel, he noticed a hostel just a little way down. A brief look at this told him it was not the kind of place he liked, so he took a couple of random turns, and there, out of nowhere, was a street of hostels!
He went past the first couple of places, deeming them not to his taste, and then finally settled on one he liked the look of. A brief attempt to discover whether there was a curfew was unsuccessful due to language barriers, but he wasn't bothered about that.
There is always a way around a curfew if you know what you're doing….
A quick wash and it was time to go for a drink or three, and perhaps also some food, and Damien set off into the city of Zaragoza on a mission to find the following….
The venue for the nights gig
Somewhere to get some food
Not necessarily in that order!
In true Spawny tradition, he walked straight to the venue, and noticed the Italian mob hanging around outside already. A check of the time told him that he definitely had time for food, so he carried on around the corner to a conveniently located restaurant. A quick bite to eat, with a beer of course, and it was back around the corner to the venue, just in time for the doors to open!
He immediately went to the bar and got a beer, before sending Amanda a message asking them how long they would be. Apparently Paul and Amanda were busy driving around in circles looking for somewhere to park, and had been for some time. Two beers later, and Marah came on stage, no support act this time, and the club went wild.
Shortly thereafter, Paul and Amanda finally arrived, and Damien marvelled at their propensity for never getting anywhere on time! It truly is a gift to be able to be late for absolutely EVERYTHING, and a gift the pair definitely seemed to share!
Damien immediately took control of the wheelchair, and ran a load of Spaniards over with it prior to depositing Amanda in her preferred just left of centre stage right at the front position, and, after checking that Paul didn't require any assistance, proceeded with the important job of consuming as much alcohol before it went past it's sell by date as possible!