One thing one is very unlikely to come across in Perth, very rare, very illegal and very potent.
Something conveniently legal within the tolerant realms of Amsterdam, the capital of Holland. Most come for the cannabis cafés, the freedom, and perhaps the red lights, but us, we could not call our travels complete without going the full Magic Monty. We gamely purchased a box of mushrooms from our local café, not to pricey and serves two. The plan so far was to venture tonight, about seven just as the hostel livens up, not to mention Simpson’s at eight thirty in the TV room below.
Both eager and unsuspecting by unravel the box. The wrapping is discarded to reveal many grayish greenish chunks of moldy looking material, some smaller than others with one huge chunk which stood out from the pack. Both confused and intrigued we studied the pieces of hullucinary goodness. Maybe it was the thrill of adventure or the rush of rebellion that provoked me to take a bite into the sour solid texture of one of the chunks. The raw alkaline taste immediately turned me off, yet next to come was the unforbiding robust aftertaste in which made one feel like running to the bathroom. However it was cause enough to take another bite and keep biting until my half was depleted, all except the lead chunk. Neither of us game the indulge we disputed for many minutes until I eventually lost my nerve, I picked it up and chewed to my hearts content, swallowed and tried to outrun the evil aftertaste with a glass of milk from the nearby hostel kitchen, a near miss as I narrowly kept it down, now only time would tell just exactly what all the fuss is about, almost the same feeling as strapping yourself into a roller coaster, let the adventure begin.
Anyway in the meantime, while we were impatiently awaiting our adventurous chemical reaction we headed upstairs to mingle with the hostel locals. Again we found ourselves pulling up a chair around the royal table, the table consisting of our group, our local hostel group and conveniently located near the pool table. Anyway to pass the time my companion and I order a pint, before we even have time to down it we start to laugh more than usually. Every body at the table suddenly became a comedian, just from talking, a simple well crafted joke would have tipped us over the edge.
Anyway I started to notice things, weird things like lights and sounds, they would jump out at me like I was supposed to notice them, maybe like they had some sort of significance to the unfolding of the night. I noticed my companion looking around confused probably feeling exactly the same way. It was just this moment that I figured maybe that chemical reaction had arrived, or that I was going crazy, probably the later but after some twisted thought I had it figured, the mushrooms had taken effect.
The hostel music playlist usually consisted of tasteful modern altnertive rock n roll, both modern and classics. All of a sudden the ‘ah whop dap a do bop a whop dap do’ in the back ground came alive as I began the drift away to the sweat melody. This old classic I had heard thousands of times before suddenly filled my mind with rhythm and harmony as I could concentrate on nothing else. Still seated around the table I exited the conversation to live in the moment of this cultivating tune. The ‘ah whop dap a do bop a whop dap do’ seemed to be calling me as though it was a secret message to be dissevered. The beats and notes satisfied my mind as I followed the song with full and complete devotion. It was almost as though the song was communicating with me telepathically during my altered state of mind, very confusing but very enjoyable and intriguing.
I was time the head, to escape to surroundings somewhere more suited to our dreamlike state, not that we were anywhere near the peak of the experience. We headed down the staircase laughing and frolicking like their was no tomorrow, we were so happy we could of laughed all night. We make it to the pixie room, a room with a pixie theme, A room with seats built in surrounding the perimeter, with cushions and a setting of an enchanted forest painted across the walls, not that convincing but more than an experience and story unfolding with the appropriate intoxication.
I start to look around the room and my mind wonders, I notice the pixies looking around the painted tree’s, they were just paintings but for a second the room came alive as though telling a story. The conversation ceased as we both wrote out own stories just peering into the depths of the walls with our own imaginations.
Before we could even drift away we heard cheers from the TV room, located just to our right through a archway. It was that time again, well really we lost track of time but we immediately figured the Simpson’s, everybody’s television favorite from home, you would be surprised but this show is everywhere, even in non English speaking countries.
Anyway we quickly relocated to secure a descent seating arrangement for the evening highlight, I stumbled over the make third row, my companion securing a very respectable second, almost a seat worth money within these realms as more eager viewers storm the premises seating on anything with legs.
The Simpson’s , a show I had always adored and laughed somewhat chronically to was suddenly transformed into exactly what my deepest inner consciousness saw. Every other time I had seen Homer as hilarious and Bart as a funny youngen in a rebellious kind of way. Instead this time I could see exactly what the Simpson’s was all about. I finally realized that the Simpson’s, and incredibly popular show was nothing more than everyday humanoid life, perhaps more americanized than local, but still relevant. For me however every character on the show had red eyes, with an evil devilish appearance. At the time this had a certain psychological impact, I had turned most characters on the Simpson’s to evil. Homer was evil and seemed insensitive and selfish, in fact I realized that everybody on the Simpson’s was self riotous and that was why it was so funny. Every character was stereotyped so profoundly to make the show so real. I realized that homer was in fact the typical husband and that maybe there was something to be learnt here, that everybody has a little homer inside them and that it can’t be helped, were all human and we all have weaknesses, self value and selfishness all round. The Simpons was still funny however, despite my mind playing tricks on me.
Just as I snapped out of my Simpson’s revelation I noticed the people sitting around me, suddenly the Simpson’s ended and people began to communicate with each other. Ohh shit, I was way to messed up in the head to talk to anybody. Anyway this was the point were I really started to freak out. Even during the Simpson’s I had noticed certain changes in my surroundings. Such as the book case behind the television had become mysteriously curved, even thought I knew it was a straight line from wall to wall the book case had become a curvy line, the books followed the pattern also as thought in some sort of third dimension, it was weird and it freaked me out. My companion latter told me he had seen flashing lights on the spines of the books, almost like neon lights flashing as in a circus display, he was just as confused as I.
Anyway it is true that people see exactly what they think they see but persuade themselves to see normally because they are sober, when not under any such influence.. This statement may confuse you but everybody judges someone on there first impression.. It is true that people have very active imaginations and it sometimes takes a little intoxication to bring that imagination out. Anyway what I am trying to get at is this. Most people in the hostel I had at least spoken to, some I had had conversations with, nevertheless as soon as the Simpson’s finished I was freaked, even my companion could not help me now even though I knew he was in my exact situation. I pictured everyone in the room exactly as who I imagined them to be, one fellow in whom I was not overly keen on I pictured as a orc, a green monster such as in Starwars or the like. I think this was the peak of the mushroom’s and I was more scared than I have ever been in my life. I tried to remind myself that it was just an hullincination but it I couldn’t snap out of it, through my eyes this fellow traveler, this man not much older than I was an ugly scary frightening green monster. As I stared in astonishment he noticed and said something to me, I think he said what channel do you want to watch, I was so stunned and in shocked I said something like, whatever, which in fact didn’t even make sense to me, I mean I said this but I heard it as gibberish. It was at this particular moment that the English language suddenly meant nothing to me, I mean I could still speak but I couldn’t understand the concept or meanings, conversation from people talking around me sounded like another language, words I had to focus on to see meaning, like an alien language I could not put my finger on where words would end and finish, instead speech sounded like a never-ending, continuous gibberish all mixed into one halloing noise from around the room.
Had I completely lost my mind, looking over towards my companion I made a futile plea without words, instead he was staring at his arm, a curious and frightened look explained all. He was to later tell me that his arm had turned to wood as to blend into the pine surface of the table he was sitting at. I for one was way to drug fucked to be in this situation, just the thought of having to communicate with anybody was enough to freak me, my fellow companion looked exactly the same way. Not being able to speak or understand my own language in my current state was too much, I thought of making dash for another surrounding, perhaps the street, the dormitory, the lounge, anywhere. It then hit me that I could not run away from it because this was going on in my head, my surroundings would make little to no difference. I would have to fight it out until the effects wore off.
So far the trip was similar to the effects of LSD, but in some way less controlled, the mushrooms were more intense and confusing than anything I had previously experimented with. I was completely unprepared for my current state of mind and I could do nothing the diffuse my situation of anxiety. Just at this moment the green monster man relieved himself of his seat and walked straight past me, at least that eliminated one of my problems, although the gibberish noise around me still made no sense It was time to bail. Not knowing what lied ahead I raised myself to my feet and made my exit, my companion saw the move and followed soon after.
We navigated the stairs to enter into the heart of the hostel, now it didn’t seem like such a good idea. Anyway friends of ours were sitting over on the round table and we trekked over to force out a greeting. We pulled up a chair and sat, not talking, just listening to the conversation, We were probably half obvious how affected we were by our total lack of presence and enthusiasm in the discussions. Anyway again we were both swept off our feet by the musical atmosphere blaring from the most impressive hostel sound setup , even thought I can’t even remember the tunes we tangoed to inside our heads. After a while of non communication my companion decided to order a familiar pint of beer, Heineken, the brewery was practically next door, perhaps it would do some good in bringing us back to reality.
Anyway my companion ordered his beer, I managed to force out a ‘how’s your beer’ , my first form of the local language now thankfully coming down from the magic mushrooms. A few minutes later we were back at the table laughing and chatting with the local boys. Thankfully our heads we now intact yet nothing would ever suppress the memories of our recent mushroom trip to hell and back. For some, mushie’s may be a thing of recreation, yet for me it was a roller coaster ride through the unknown. Until next time.