By now You’ve read our fucked up stories about how we used to drive around the great land down under using just our national ID-cards as driver’s licences. At one point, the situation became absolutely absurd for me. As You may recall, some evil cunt broke into The White Sabre and stole my passport, along with other things, such as GLive’s dirty underwear. From that moment on, I was in the country without any form of valid ID. The only thing I did have, was my Estonian ID-card, which only works as an ID in, well, yeah You guessed it – Estonia…
And since I didn’t have a driver’s licence either, the only thing I could show to the po-po, was that same national ID-card. The trick was to wait until the cop asks You for Your driver’s licence and then just confidently hand the ID-card over, like that’s how everything’s supposed be. It worked every single fucking time. To be fair, on a quick inspection it does resemble a driver’s licence, if You ignore the big header that reads ‘Identity Card’ and not ‘Driver’s Licence’. Sure, most cops questioned it and one or two requested information from their home base using our Estonian social security numbers, but the home base was none the wiser. And so they always let us go, after mentioning that we should get an international driver’s licence. “We’ll be sure to do that, officer.”
But I digress. We encountered hundreds of different backpackers during all our travels and one thing backpackers always do, is share the information. I have no idea where we heard it first, but at some point someone let it slip, that by law, it’s not considered theft, if You fuel up at a petrol station and You drive off forgetting to pay. That’s also why so many petrol stations were manually padlocking their pumps – automatic systems weren’t yet developed enough. We actually forgot all about it for a while. Until I randomly remembered it, while camping out in Kalgoorlie. I had all the time in the World over there, so I decided to Google the shit out of that. After hours of research into different state laws, I found out, that it was indeed the petrol station’s own fault, if they let You drive off without paying. Only in Western-Australia though. Other states saw it as theft. It felt like valuable information, even though we had no cars back then…
Balls of Steel
Fast-forward one or two months. I just got The White Sabre and we were just beginning to discover the new endless possibilities provided to us all thanks to having some means of transportation. After doing our first thousand km round trip to Adelaide, we also discovered how fucking expensive fuel is. After that cunt broke into The White Sabre and stole most of our shit, we finally lost it. I guess that’s what bad treatment does to people, like how a dog mirrors it’s owners’ temperament. You see other people getting away with shit against You and You feel the need to start playing on the same level as them – fucking someone over, that is. Only instead of fucking over people, we were going to be fucking over big corporations. It was going to be our own little outback version of Robin Hood.
Fill a man’s tank and he drives around for a while, but God forbid You tell him that petrol’s free, if he has the balls… and huge balls of steel is exactly what it took. I still remember my first one clear as day. We didn’t dare to try it anywhere near Perth at first. I think we were either in Cervantes or Geraldton when I had my first go. We only had a few hundred dollars left between the both of us, so it was either that or sell the car for scraps and try to find work without transport. So the plan was to just casually drive into the petrol station and fill up the tank. Then make it look like as if I was going in to pay, but then I’d start patting my pockets, as if I’d forgotten my wallet. After that I would turn around, open the driver’s door, pretend to look for my wallet and then just sort of slide in and drive off into the sunset. Boom! Done and dusted. Even though everything went according to the plan, I still remember shaking from all the adrenaline, as if it happened yesterday. GLive was up next. He popped his cherry one full tank later. I reckon his experience was similar to mine.
Then it was my turn again. Only this time we got stopped by police, 5 minutes into our fabulous getaway in the middle of the night. “Shit! We’re busted”, we thought. What if my research was wrong? And what if they impound the car and take us to jail!? Our adrenaline filled brains produced a hundred different plots right there on the spot, while the police officers approached The White Sabre from both sides. That was it. There was nowhere to run, so I scrolled down my window to greet my destiny..
Cop 1: “Hi boys, we got a call from the petrol station down the road, that You guys drove off without paying. Can I see Your licence?”
Me: “Yeah, no problem”, as I handed him my Estonian ID-card. “It must be a mistake”, I added.
Cop 2: “We don’t see cars like this around these parts. That’s a real beauty You got here.”
Me: “Thanks, it’s a classic.”
Cop 2: “What I’m saying, is that we know it was You boys.”
Cop 1 to his partner: “Hey come here, check this out”.
The police officers were both puzzled with my licence. But it looked like it had been a long night for them, so they ended up just handing it back to me.
Cop 1: “We strongly advise You to return to the servo and pay for Your fuel. Also You need to get an international driver’s licence.”
Me: “I understand, we’ll do that first thing in the morning.”
Strongly advise!? So it was true! They couldn’t do anything about it. All that doubt we had, was now gone. We ended up camping the night in a nearby parking lot, before driving off towards the next town early in the morning.
What followed was a journey of a lifetime. We drove around the whole Western-Australia like an unstoppable duo. Of course we were really looking for work, but no place was suddenly too far. We just kept driving for over a week. And if You’ve driven around WA, You know it’s just massive. We drove from Perth all the way to Port Hedland. We made a 1750km trip only to find out that we had to drive all the way down to Pemberton for some farm work. That was another 2000km. I remember feeling like a desert outlaw of sorts, who kept riding away from his problems through all those small desert towns. And I guess in a way that’s exactly what we were. There was one occasion, where one of the servo attendants tried to follow us with an ute, but that thing had no chance against The White Sabre.
We often stopped to chat with a few locals in BK or Maccas, who’d just be checking out The White Sabre in the parking lot. We used my archaic Nokia (with buttons) to connect our laptops to the super fast 3G mobile internet, so we could Google for public showers and libraries during our travels. Since our Garmin GPS got nicked from the car, we did the whole trip using some old school maps. It was fun and different. We often had to stop at random spots to figure out just where the fuck we were actually at on those maps. Life was awesome. We rode that high wave all the way back to Perth.
We arrived in Perth around midnight. Our destination was Pemberton, which lies around 3 hours south. We decided to do our last fuel run in Perth. We figured this way no one would be able to figure out where we went. We found a nice petrol station in the CBD. Went in and out like pros. We’d done this a countless times now. After zigzagging through different streets, we finally stopped 5 minutes later in a really nice neighborhood. We had to find a way out of Perth. Half-way into our maps, a police car pulls up next to us. Holy shit, did we get busted already!?
Cop: “Hi, how are You guys tonight?”
Me: “Hi, we’re lost. We’re trying to find a way out of Perth towards Manjimup.”
Cop: “Follow us, we’ll show You the wae.”
What!? That’s right. We got a police escort out of the city right after doing a fuel run. How the fuck does that happen? And there they were, doing something really nice for us, without any idea what we’d just done right before this. And so we kept on riding that high wave all the way to Pemberton. And that’s where it all came crashing down with The Death of The White Sabre. It took us around 6 months to build ourselves back up to the point, where we had another means of transport – GLive’s Toyota Ferrari.
And soon enough, we were ready for another road trip. This time we had a third crew member, Face, with us. Our budget was, yet again, tighter than Asian pussy. There’s never enough money, when You’re always living in the moment.
After getting some inspiration from the “Project X” movie, we threw an epic farewell party for ourselves. Some keen as dude showed up with his DJ set and the whole thing was just full on. Things got really out of hand once the guest count went over 100 and uncontrollable fights started happening all over the fucking house. We had to 86 ‘em all. Police got involved and it all ended as a major shitshow. The three of us took off early in the next morning.
Since our little fuel trick only worked in WA, we figured that we should squeeze as much as we could out of it. And so it all started again. A few refuels later, the three of us were on our merry way towards the state border. We started daydreaming on our way to South-Australia. We were still blogging everything we did and so far we’d gotten away with all of it. So we came up with a stupid idea – we should share our neat little trick with everybody else. I mean, what could go wrong? As immoral as the whole thing was, it was completely legal. And we were probably the only people who would ever dare to do something like that. After all, fuck it, why not? The plan was another no-brainer, go in, fuel up, pat the pockets, take off. Wham-bam, thank you, mam. And that’s exactly how it went, only this time we filmed it.
On one of our last fuel runs before crossing the WA-SA state border, we also encountered a minor setback with our plan. You see there was usually a 500km distance between these desert petrol stations. This meant that they were in a power position to set way higher prices, than You’d normally pay for petrol. It also meant that You had nowhere to run with Your empty tank – You had to buy from them. So one of the petrol station attendants called the next petrol station and told them we’d taken off without paying. When we finally arrived at that next petrol station, we were told to either pay off that last petrol station’s bill as well, or fuck off. An outstanding move on their part as we had no choice, but to comply…
We were actually producing so much other content, that I totally forgot all about the video for a month or two. One evening, when I was extra bored in my hostel bunk bed in Darwin, I had a look at all of our unpublished material and came across our fuel video. So I slapped our amateur intro video on it, uploaded it and then posted it onto our blog. After a good full night’s sleep and another hard grindy workday under the sun, I was ready to enjoy the weekend. My girlfriend came by for her dick appointment, after which we headed up to the rooftop bar by the pool. I finally had a chance to check in to the social media and see how our video was doing.
I was looking at our blog’s stats and they were unreal. 50k new visitors in 24h!? And then I logged into my Facebook. 40 different message requests from people. Oh shit, looks like something’s up. Some people were sending me links from Estonia’s main news sites articles, others said they saw us on the national TV news programs. We fucked up alright. I had emails coming in from my parents. My girlfriend was freaking out sitting next to me. So I called my partner in crime – GLive. We had a long chat, while reading and chuckling at the comments on those news articles. Eventually we figured that we should probably try to fix this a little bit, so GLive emailed all the media sites. He told them something along the lines of “We sometimes exaggerate our stories to make ourselves seem cooler.” He also added “We cut the part, where we paid for our fuel, out of our video to make it look like that.” Basically the kind of stuff, we now use on The Blog’s entry pop-up to stay out of trouble.
All the news sites added his email reply to the article. What I found funny, was that the publisher from one site asked us for money to change his article. Well he didn’t ask for it literally, but it was strongly implied in his reply. Talk about free speech.. I was monitoring our stats this whole time. Once we reached 100k new visitors in 30 hours, we figured the only way to still avoid that certain reputation, was to simply cut the cord on the whole thing. Our blog actually had a built-in off switch for an emergency (courtesy of our webmaster Marx) and that was the only time we’ve ever used it. Maybe we shouldn’t have, but that’s the road we took. We went for a 6 month break. We used that time to reflect on ourselves and enjoy our lives offline. What if the whole White Sabre crash and The Incident itself was karma getting even with us for being idiots? Last I heard, the whole drive-off problem ended up becoming so big in WA, that they finally changed the law a few years back. So it’s no longer possible to pull off. I’d like to think that we played a part in highlighting that whole problem. While our lives during the downtime were still great, they were also so mundane. We used to live for our blog. Always looking for the next cool thing to do. And then suddenly that rush was gone. But as You can see today – all roads lead to The Blog…