A travel trick and utility from narcolepsy is how I keep 2 seats to
myself on the bus. Sure, I'm out fro most of the 15-hour trip, but
I'm so soundly asleep that, even though I'm in the wrong seat, the
passengers boarding in Canberra don't kick me out of my seat. The
less narcoleptic sap in front of me, however, ends up with somebody
right next to him.
Finally in Sydney around noon, the coolnes of wandering competes with the suckiness of carrying around 2 large bags. I stop at Hungry Jack's, which is either the local Burger King affiliate or infringing on their trademark, and find something what won't be appearing in the U. S. anytime soon: orange Fanta soda with a shot of chocolate syrup. If that's not weird enough, its name pushes it overboard: Fanta Spider. Arachnids are probably not good namesakes for soft drinks.
I check out a good half dozen hostels in King's Cross, a part of town reputedly as wonderfully sketchy as London's Camden Town. As I'm about to give up and settle for something at ~$20 AUD / night, I strike gold: $12 AUD a night with free internet and breakfast. Yeah, it's a bit of a shithole and I can see the entrance to a strip club from my window, but it's too cheap to pass up.
Unburdened of my bags, I take a long walk / run to see many of the main sights of Sydney. I squeeze in Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, a chunk of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Opera House's exterior, and a walk across the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Mrs. Macquarie's Chair is basically just a lookout point names for the wife of one of the many governors who abused Aborigines. It wasn't until like 1969 that the government officially ended the practice of forced separation of young Aboriginal girls from their parents to serve as maids in white households! Probably the coolest is the gardens; I get a neat picture of a cockatiel biting my shoe. Like New York's Central Park, it's a much-needed chunk of wildlife in the midst of a concrete jungle. The opera house is a visceral (is that the right word) image of Sydney specifically and my desire to travel generally, so it's not too surprising that it seems smaller in person than I expected. Ditto with the bridge; San Francisco's Golden Gate is definitely more impressive. But don't get me wrong: I'm loving my trek around Sydney throughout.
Shitty overpriced Indian food on the way back and then I realize a disadvantage to staying in sketchball popular neighborhood: everything's shady and pricey. I can't get to a bar without passing like 4 different strip clubs, and even shitty beer there eats a hole in my wallet. I soon give up, buy a liter and a half of beers I've never tried, and proceed to drink said alcohol in a common room of my hostel.
Bad idea. Attempts to read result in me soon snoozing in the common room. I must have a blinking neon "DRAW ON ME" sign that turns on as soon as I pass out in public, because tonight is at least the third time in my life I've awoken to find my face an easel. I initially decide that, since nobody's taking responsibility, I'll write on everybody in the common room to even things out. This bad idea soon loses luster: probably a better way to get punched than make friends. I talk with the hostel's punkish occupants for awhile, make another attempt to go out, decide that no club could be worth a $15 AUD cover, and fall asleep, actually in my room this time:)