free cokes for the homeless
On the train trip back to Brisbane from Melbourne, there was a
stopover in Sydney for more than 7 hours. I had stayed up all night,
fueled by caffeine and sugar. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to stay up
another 23 hours or so, but my plan was to try.
What is there to do at 7am in Sydney? I wasn't sure, but I ended up
walking from the train station up to the harbour. I took some photos,
but pretty much just the usual thing.. except.. I saw a lot of signs
prohibiting alcohol, and notifiying us all that Big Brother was
At 7am, the homeless population is pretty evident. In Melbourne, I'd
given donations to homeless individuals, and also to various buskers
and to a few people representing causes. By the time I got to Sydney,
I was feeling burnt out. I tried not to look away, and I tried to
acknowledge the presence of the various individuals, but I think by
the time I was here, I was perhaps coming across as increasingly
One young woman approached me for a donation for a cancer charity,
apparently the biggest charity in all of Australia, and while I let
her have her say, when she said that I would know my money made a
difference and was going to save lives if I gave it to her, I rambled
on for a while, and in the end did not give her a donation because
her arguments failed to convince me. On the streets, and out of view,
there are so many people whose lives need 'saving'. What makes a
difference? It is difficult to work that out, and sometimes I am not
sure what you can do except try to decide on an individual basis. I
know that when I give donations, it's more random than about who is
most 'deserving', but I do know that even those who need help realize
that those they approach might have given to others they encountered
before they encountered them, and might not be able to afford to give
sign, sign, everywhere a sign
I walked back from the harbour in search of a public bathroom where I
could wipe off the old makeup and apply fresh stuff, brush my teeth,
apply deodorant, etc. I thought McDonald's might be the place to go,
but I had another thing coming.. (It's been many years since I've
been in a McDonald's) you have to ask a staff member to press a
button to let you in, and when you get in, there isn't enough light
to see to apply makeup. It's UV, and I am pretty sure there are
security cams in there as well. I wasn't able to deal with either
peeing or fixing my makeup, and eventually found a restroom in a food
court somewhere along the George St strip.
I felt a lot better after that, and then wandered through the
Haymarket and Chinatown area, before deciding to head over to Kings
Cross. In the past, there was just something different about Kings
Cross that stood out to me. It was like as soon as I crossed the
border into that area, I felt more welcomed or at home than in other
parts of Sydney. Alas, times had changed.
I felt about as welcome as a boat person, probably just another
tourist to the true locals, but not really concilatory enough for
those who are happy the Cross has been 'cleaned up' now.
the police station
Is this a restaurant, or a functioning police station trying to make
a statement to those who think all cops prefer coffee and
donuts? I wonder if you can have wine with your meal?
I have written in the past that Sydney 'impresses' me, but I think
it's possible 'oppresses' is a better word. Some of the architecture
is kinda interesting, but there are some massive buildings that are
maybe like compensation for something or other, and the way it all
fits together, along with the vibe on the street, with everyone
rushing to succeed, head down, fashion forward, doesn't quite mesh
with my internal geography and chemistry.
the ship song
Warrang, by Brook Andrew.
I wanted to go back to this gallery during opening hours, but
couldn't face the walk up George St to get back. Entry is free, but I
arrived too early.. and didn't think I could just hang out and wait
around. At the same time, I was conscious that to avoid the feet
swelling problem I'd had it was probably better not to spend all 7
hours walking, but in the end, although I couldn't deal with walking
back up here because of the vibe situation, I did spend a lot of time
walking on my stopover. There was fuck all else I could think of to
do. I was burnt out. And walking is usually my best bet when it comes
to wearing off enough nervous energy that I can eventually actually
'see' my surroundings.
I ended up at a train station bar, sipping a sparkling wine while
eating an original glazed Krispy Kreme donut, partly to test out the
theory I mentioned earlier on my travels. (yes, perfect pairing.)
Elegant. I suppose I was making a statement about myself. I was
wearing my Anais Nin dress, but I know I can't pull off the whole
'ensorcellment' mystique off. I have to be a kind of walking
This picture is by artist Colette Miller and is part of her global
series Wings, which depicts themes of enlightenment, hope, purity,
freedom, and flight. People are encouraged to take their photos
inside the wings and add them to the collection.
I had two sparklings in the train station bar. When I boarded the
train, I had a seating companion for the first time, there or back.
After departure, I headed to the buffet car, and got two wine and
cheese packs. I offered one to my companion, but she politely
declined. I can't blame her; I was kind of awkward in my approach and
hadn't totally thought it through. What would you think if a complete
stranger, who maybe looked a bit drunk and dishevelled, or like some
middle-aged neurotic/psycho, offered you wine and cheese on a
I drank and ate the contents of both packs, and then fell asleep for
a while. When I woke up, I offered my companion a Baci out of a bag
I had bought specifically for this possibility. Basically.. Baci
chocolates are chocolate hazelnut things, individually wrapped, and
each comes with a little love message, kinda like a fortune cookie.
I asked her if she would care to try a random message, and this
time, she accepted. This is probably a good thing to know for future
reference, and might work well with females in particular, if they
do not have some kind of nut allergy, aren't trying to avoid 'bad'
foods, or something along those lines.
Some time after this, I went up and bought a couple more white wines,
and this time when I offered her one, she accepted in a very friendly
manner. The short story is: we ended up talking until her departure.
While we were both polite and maybe a bit nervous, and probably both
more comfortable once we no longer had to talk, we shared various
political views, and the overall conversation went pretty well, as
far as 'real life interaction' that people addicted to phones and
tech 'miss out on' these days.
But could I have pushed myself to try this out without the help of
alcohol. Er.. not too likely.
home-baked chococo cookies
When I returned, I made a vegetarian lasagna with garlic bread for me
and GK. I drank a copious amount of wine with it. I had been craving
lasagna all winter, but avoided making it because I knew I'd want to
have it with wine. The next day, I made some chocolate coconut
Can you see faces in each of the cookies above? Which face are you
most drawn to? If you were going to choose one of the cookies above
to eat, which would it be?
I am falling into old patterns and don't know if I am strong enough
to find some way out.
As for those who might be kind of horrified regarding the amounts of
chocolate, sugar, alcohol, coffee, high fat foods, etc, I have been
consuming, and wondering about the effects on my body.. (of course I
am also horrified, but am really trying to go with it and enjoy it if
I can, kind of like embracing my Dark Passenger), the weird thing is
that I think I might actually, for the moment look 'better'. The
weather in Brisbane is warm, and it has softened up my face. The skin
on my body actually feels pretty good, smooth, soft, at the moment,
and my skin seems less droopy. So for perhaps a moment, it's like the
extra fat (perhaps combined with or helped out by the muscle from all
the exercise) is plumpening up my skin in a becoming kind of way,
although I realize it's not long until that crosses the line into
Another Cellulite Horror Story. And of course, I realize that
whatever positive impressions I might currently have, they might be
based on illusions.
My plan was to make it to the Northern Rivers area for GK's 50th
birthday celebration, take a moment to catch my breath, and then see
if I could manage to travel again, and/or try again to move to
Melbourne. At present, I'm not even sure if I will make it to the
My first (and best) Baci: the glimpsed light I imagine consumes
->exile on meme st: a diary