Sydney, or Sarah’s traumatic experience

On our arrival in Sydney we went to see if we could check into our hotel. It was around 9:00 in the morning, as our flight from Singapore was overnight. The good news was that they let us check in. The bad news is that our room was right next to the elevator shaft. This made equivalent noise and vibration to a freight train rolling by every couple of minutes. We were both exhausted from lack of sleep on the flight, so we took a little nap and went out for a lunch around 1:00. Next to our hotel was a beautiful victorian covered shopping arcade. We walked around the shops and came face to face with a horrible truth. Things in Australia are expensive. We had expected it to be similar to the US but it isn’t. The Aussie dollar is still a little weaker than the US dollar but only by one or two cents. For all practical purposes they are the same. A paperback book from Borders that would be $8.99 at home is $15 or $20 here. My tall Starbucks latte was almost $6. Almost twice the price of at home! The jeans at Target were $50. They wouldn’t have been more than $30 at home. We quickly came to the realization that we won’t be purchasing much here.

Our second day in Sydney we woke up to find it raining, of course. We did a bus tour of the city which was very informative. We got off of the bus at Bondi beach on the outskirts of town. It is world famous for it’s surfing and the drizzle wasn’t stopping them. The waves weren’t that high but it was impressive to see so many people surfing at once. That night Andy wanted to go to dinner at a revolving restaurant located in a tower in downtown Sydney. About 30 minutes before we left I started to feel a little bit unwell, but I didn’t really give it much thought. I tend to feel nauseous fairly frequently, like after my malaria tablet, after my vitamin, if I haven’t eaten, if I’ve had too much coffee and all kinds of other things. It usually passes. We got to the restaurant and placed our order. It was an atmospheric place, with expensive, fancy food. As the waiter left I felt really kind of sick. I went to the bathroom, waited there for a minute and threw up. I actually stood there and thought “that was weird”. Like I said, I feel kind of yucky a lot, but I never throw up. Ever. It’s a thing with me. I just don’t do it. I felt better so I thought “maybe it was just a fluke”. I went back and sat at our table. For awhile I felt fine. We admired the view of Sydney harbor and the opera house. Fairly quickly, however, I started feeling worse again. The fact that the room was moving didn’t seem to be helping my situation any. I managed to stick it out long enough for Andy to wolf down his dinner, but I couldn’t eat any of mine. During this time I made two other trips to the bathroom that emptied out everything from the lower portion of my digestive tract. The waiter wanted to know why I wasn’t eating my food and I told him I wasn’t feeling well. He was kind enough to get the slow elevator to take us back to the ground. He thought the “free fall” sensation of the fast elevator would make me feel worse. He might have been right. The slow elevator is, however, slow. And the tower was very tall. And I really wasn’t feeling well. Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. There was only one thing I could think of. I took my wallet and lip gloss out of the little black purse I was carrying and handed them to Andy. Finally the elevator stopped and the doors opened onto a concourse of fancy shops. Andy said to the elevator attendant “is there a bathroom?”. The guy said “yeah, I’ll show you” and took us around to the elevator to the street! At this point I was making gagging noises and knew I had no choice. I opened my little black purse and threw up into it. The elevator man then found us the bathroom! It’s unfortunate. I really liked that purse.

I spent the rest of that night curled into a ball on the bed. The fact that the next day we were scheduled to leave for our overnight train journey to Adelaide and I had to get on it no matter how I was feeling really did nothing to help me feel better! Luckily I did recover enough to get on the train, more on that in the next post.

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  • It’s scary to be sick when you are so far from home….once while traveling I got a bad case of food poisoning and right after I recovered from that I slipped on an icy sidewalk twice in a row (don’t ask) and injured a disc! So I know what that feels like….but I hope you are fully recovered and all is well now.

  • perhaps the coffee in the revolving restaurant made you ill!!! you sure no alcohol was added?? we all hope you are better . enjoy rest of trip…..eliz + ivor..

  • Scott Blish

    Dec 12th, 2007

    Wow, the money situation has certainly changed since I lived Down Under. Back in the early days of this decade, the Australian dollar was about half as strong as the US greenback, and for that reason everything in Australia was very cheap as compared to the US. Of course, I spent most of my time in Adelaide so my view may be skewed…Sydney is by far the most expensive city in Australia, and I was only there every now and again. It’s too bad that the fates seemed to conspire against you on your visit to Sydney, and hopefully sometime you’ll have a chance to give it another try; in my humble opinion it really is the greatest city on the planet. 😉 Well, except for its airport. 😛

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