Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Night Train

We bought first class tickets from Byron Bay to Sydney. The last time I did train travel was in Japan when I followed Phish with Senor and Beano. We had first class passes on the bullet train and that was an amazing way to travel through Japan.

There is no train in Byron Bay and we had to take a bus to a town called Casino. There are no casinos in Casino, just the station where we could catch the night train to Syndey. The drive from Byron Bay to Casino was on a small two lane road with plenty of curves, twists, and hills as we navigated through lush farmland. It reminded me of Northern Vermont and I chuckeld when I saw signs that pointed out Koala crossings.

We finally got on the train. The snack bar was opened for about 15 minutes before they sold out of hot drinks and hot meals. I snagged a Lasanga before they ran out. Brandon opted for the meat pie. I had one in Melbourne and they are tasty.

We played Chinese Poker and I looked out the window before it got too dark and you could not see anything. I pondered life's mysteries and tried to visualize my next few months. I have no idea what the future holds with some recent wrinkles that my government has thrown into the money making machine of the online poker industry. The federalies are cock-blocking my livelihood and as they jerk around more and more online sites and banks and companies affiliated with online poker... I see my freelance clients dissapearing one by one.

I'm a writer trying to earn a living wage and in America that's almost impossible. Without poker, I struggled for a decade being dirt poor as I racked up 5 figures of debt. With the poker boom, I was able to climb my way out of misery and had a semblance of hope. I found several amazing friends and launched a freelance career and have been able to travel all around the world. Now it seems that all of this is slowly slipping away.

I anticapted this end of the party after the Republicans cowardly rammed the Internet Gambling Act down our throats in October when they attached it to the Port Security Bill. And that's why I saved almost every penny I made the last six months. The rainy day I was worrying about is on the horizon. There might be sunny skies again sometime in the future. But I can't sit and wait for that to happen.

I'm not going to give up writing. I will die as a writer, most likely deep in debt without any major works published. I accepted that as my fate when I chose to follow the calling to be a writer. I might never make what I did in the last six months, and that's OK. The good side is that I will have more time to travel the world and write about non-poker things and improve myself as a scribe and spend more times with friends and my brother.

I will eventually write a book about Las Vegas at the end of this year. If all goes the way I want it (and life never does), I can afford to take 2 years off to write that book and pen a screenplay. One of them has to be a hit. If not, I'm royally fucked and would have depleted my savings.

Moving on...

The train was nice but the trip was tough. I slept one hour total. The old man and woman behind me both snored in stereo whikle a little kid in the back of the car would not shut the fuck up. I tried to read and listened to music but could not fall asleep. Instead, I sat in the dark thinking about the next few months and the last three weeks (and how lucky I am and humbling this trip as been).

We arrived in Sydney at 7:10am and hopped a cab to the Wood Duck Inn on William Street a few blocks from Hyde Park. Our beds were not ready yet so we dropped off our bags. We were greeted by a smoking hot volumptuous German chick. Our jaws dropped when she let us inside. Drool soaked my shirt and I noticed that Brandon had to shift his erection so she would not see it. She led us up to the roof deck and I could not stop looking at her ass as we walked up several flights of steep stairs. She wore white shorts with no underwear. My, oh my. She spread out breakfast and invited us to eat. We had an amazing view of the city and ate toast. No vegemite.

We wandered through the park and ended up at an internet cafe. I checked my email and I have over 1,200 pieces of unread mail. I'm also exhausted. I haven't slept much since I arrived in OZ and the last few days have been rough. I don't expect to get much sleep the next few nights in the hostel, especially if that German chick wants to party. I have to be a good wing man for Brandon. He's got lots of fans in Germany after he made two final tables on the European Poker Tour. He's huge in Europe. He's like the David Hasslehof of poker players in the Motherland.

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