|Note the fireworks in the background!|
There are a few companies that organize nightly pub crawls, so big groups of partiers go to five or so different clubs throughout the evening. We happened upon a club called Shooters where one of these groups was hanging out, so we hung out there and danced for awhile. Then we headed to another club called Sin City. While in line, one guy told us that if we said we were with him, we could get in free and get half-price drinks. I guess if you get a group of 12 people, the club gives you this deal, so we made up 2 of his 12. It was a bargain! After Sin City, we waited in line to go into a club called Vanity. Luckily, I had put my name on an online list earlier that evening while looking up places, so we didn’t have to pay the $15 cover!
After some more drinks and dancing, we were ready to head home. As we were walking past Sin City, suddenly two guys shoving a teenage kid passed right next to us. They shoved the kid up against the corner of the building, and one guy punched him in the head really hard. The kid collapsed to the cement ground; his neck was bent sideways. He was totally unconscious, and we had seen it all. It all happened so fast, and it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever witnessed. The two guys who did it each ran away in different directions. Zack ran to tell the security guard at the nearby club, and people started converging on the kid, laying him on his side and straightening out his head and stuff.
After a few minutes, the unconscious kid was being helped, and there was nothing else we could do, so we started walking back to our hotel. Zack mentioned how he remembered that one of the guys who ran away had a hat, but I had no recollection of what either guy looked like. We hadn’t gotten very far when suddenly two girls and a kid with a hat were walking toward us. Zack had a weird feeling and said, “That’s him!” and pointed. A policeman just happened to be walking right behind us on the sidewalk (there are lots of police in Surfers Paradise!), and he heard Zack. The policeman grabbed the kid, and Zack again said, “It’s him. Look at his hand.” There was blood on one part of his hand, and the rest of it was red. The kid sort of denied it, though he didn’t put up a big fight or act like he didn’t know what Zack’s accusation was about, and the girls just acted confused, almost as if they didn’t know him. The policeman lifted the kid’s black T-shirt up, and he had a white one on underneath. I guess this was what they were looking for, because the policeman promptly hauled him off!
We headed straight back to the hotel, a little afraid that the other guy might have been around and seen Zack point out his friend. When we were safely in our room, Zack called the police and gave him his information in case they needed to contact him about witnessing the incident, but we never heard from them. We’re just hoping the punched kid is okay; it was such a scary thing to see. The whole thing really shook me up; I’m just glad Zack was able to help the police catch one of the guys. Zack is a Gold Coast Hero!
That was definitely the craziest thing we saw, although there were a few other interesting incidents. On both Friday and Saturday nights, a throng of police (in uniform and undercover) walked down the streets with a Labrador retriever and a cameraman. The dog was smelling for drugs, so the policewoman would lead it up to you, it would sniff all around you, and then walk on (in our case-not everyone’s!). On Saturday, the drug-sniffing dog came by while we were in line for a club. As it was smelling everyone in line, two girls tried to cut up to the front. An undercover cop immediately grabbed them and pulled them out of line; they were trying to escape the dog (I guess they had something illegal!).
|Inside one of the clubs-party time!|
On Sunday afternoon, we had a much tamer experience by going to the Palazzo Versace for some tea. This is probably the fanciest hotel in Australia; everything is imported from Italy, and rates range from $400 to nearly $4000 per night. Lots of celebrities stay and/or dine here.
Anyway, the Gold Coast is one crazy place. I can’t imagine how insane it gets during school holidays or the summer if this was just a random winter weekend. I think I'm glad to be back in my safe little South Melbourne home, even if it is raining and cold outside!