The first memorable glimpse of Sydney that I have is crossing the Harbour Bridge to the City core.  At first I thought that Sydney was a peninsula sticking out to the north proper, but the entire land mass area is more of a very spiky letter “E” if you can imagine it.  The different inlets to the shorelines make up the various bays, and the City core is just a bay that happened to be big enough and calm enough to make a decent quay. 

While entering the city we passed by my hotel (more on that later) and I sighed as I was taken further and further away from where I eventually needed to go.  But the group photo must be taken!  Couldn’t miss that :).  We headed to a peninsula of the Botanic Gardens that had a fantastic view of both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the background, and a photographer named Dave took our picture.  He told us to say “Moneyyyy!” instead of the standard “cheese”.  I thought it was appropriate considering the rate at which cash has been dissolving in my wallet along the east coast part of the trip.  You would think, for example, that $150 would be enough for my last two days in Sydney, considering my credit card was also available.  But poof! One night later and hellooo ATM.

But I digress.  Back to happenings.  We were brought the hotel that many of the group booked with Contiki (it was full when I booked my trip) and left to our devices from there, the tour (not-a-vacation) was officially over!  How sad… but incorrect-sad for most of us.  Because most had planned to stay in the city for a few nights after the trip like I had.  But, we’re all pretty sad sentimental stupid people anyways and said goodbye in any case.

I shared a cab to my hotel and took a breath, because the Marriott entrance was just fantastic.  It was pricey but after the lack of privacy and truly good sleep for the previous month, it was absolutely worth it.

After doing a little jig after seeing my king-sized bed with six, count ‘em, six, pillows (who actually needs six?), I ventured out for the first time in my life into a brand new city, alone.  I stared at the inside of my room door for a little bit steeling myself for it too.  It was trivial, but there you go.  I didn’t even end up spending too long by myself, I got some dinner and then headed out to meet up with the rest of the contikites that were still in town.  By extreme chance I met up with a whole group of them on the train platform that I was taking to get there – and its strange, but that sort of thing kept happening over the following days.  Even in a large city like Sydney, you can still bump into people you know.  I’ve been living in Montreal for a very long time and stuff like that happens, but not often.  It probably has something to do with how dense the city center is, which is very.  Traffic is a nightmare…

Speaking of dense… so, let me paint the picture: Kings Cross area of the city.  This is the party district, and I mean that in every sense of the word.  Lots of clubs, adult stores, red light corners, bars, everything.  All the girls wear as little as possible and all the guys wear whatever will get them laid most often.  Drinks are a reasonable (!) $9 or more for anything and the floors have superb gripping action due to the sugary cocktails that get spilled on them.  Barkeepers wear rain boots while they thrash around behind the counter.  The density of nightlife is staggering with everything that comes with it.

Got it?  So you’ll have to admit that it was pretty stupid of me to try and ask someone directions to a bar.  The best possible answer in that situation would have been a “fuck off”.  Unfortunately I got something else.

Me: “Do you know where World Bar is?”
Dude looks over, his eyes are unfocused
Dude: “No man, but you gotta have some of this!”
Dude has small blue pill in his hand
Dude approaches hand with pill to my mouth
Me: “Uh, no thanks, I’m good.”
I back away
Dude stumbles towards me, pill extended
Dude tries to put pill in my mouth
Dude: “Its fucking amazing man! Try it!”
I move further away and Dude turns back to his buddies 

Ahh, Sydney.  You’ve got some dirty underwear on.