This is the story about the people I’ve met in Sydney in the most unusual ways.
My first day of exploring and my phone died. It happened around 3 times that day. I charged it in many different ways and places. On my power bank, in the electronic equipment store and finally in the magnificent Opera, at the entrance counter of the hall. Here we are, Elvis, the Greek guy, Brandon, the Australian who was in Croatia last year and one lost Croatian.
Oh how much we talked and laughed. There was this moment when I was sitting on the bench because they were talking to some guests and I paused for a moment. It almost felt like I was outside my body. I’m here, at this place I’ve only seen on movies and postcards and look at me now, sitting and chatting with the employees as if we were old friends. Wow, life can be so unusual. And I should buy a new phone now, but who knows in what new odd situations I’ll find myself because of this old thing.
And the most stupid thing of all is that I didn’t even ask them if I can take a peek at the concert hall. But I’m sure there will be next time!
These guys were not the only ones being kind. One day on my way to Manly, the suburb of Sydney, I went in a second hand store. I had earphones and was listening to music, but at one moment I though I heard something Croatian. But I continued browsing and I picked up this CD for 2 dollars. It’s called 22 dreams. It kind of sounded interesting and I wanted a souvenir. So I’m coming towards the cash register and taking off my ear phones and I hear a sales lady saying Korčula, which is a Croatian island. I was so surprised that I asked: Who’s Croatian here? And she said: ‘Me.’ A nice lady from Osijek, moved to Australia when she was 11 and her husband is from Korčula. She couldn’t believe I was from Croatia. She moved from the counter and came to give me a hug. I could see tears in her eyes. She wrote all the addresses and phone numbers and said I should visit her in Korčula. Such a nice encounter. Mrs Veronica, if you happen to see this post, write me a message. I’ve sent you this photo on your email, but I’m not sure if you got it or if the address is correct.
You can see how it all looked like in my video – Trip to Manly
Let’s carry on with the people of Sydney, the city in which I got lost many times. Actually I think there wasn’t even one day that I didn’t get lost, at least for a moment. There wasn’t a day when my phone didn’t shut down in a key moment. There’s no day that I didn’t triple my route home. I would walk at least 4 hours per day and got lost that many more. Unbelievable, but the term navigation was unfamiliar to me in this city.
One night I was getting home from a night out and I said goodbyes to my friend at the station. It was only 20 min walk home from that point, but to a normal person. Not to me.
1 am. I go in one direction but then realize it was the wrong direction, so I come back and spin in circles a bit. Then walk 10 min in the wrong direction again and do this thing about a thousand times. Go back again and realize it was wrong again. So I’m walking down a small alley, it’s already 1.30 am, I should’ve been home by now and I have no idea where I am. I put my earphones, turn on some music and my navigation is kind of working in the background. All of a sudden, next to me I see something big in my peripheral vision and I spook myself so bad that I literally jump in the air. And I hear the laugh. Young Michael Jordan leaned on a street pole, laughing at me and giving me his hand to say hello. I started laughing, too. And then I explained to him that someone had apparently jinxed me with the navigation in Sydney and he showed me which way to go and we said our goodbyes.
I’m watching this photo with this lovely gentleman and I cannot believe. Two in the morning in a big, unfamiliar city, in a dark alley and here I am, chatting and laughing with this 2 m guy with a beautiful smile. Was I scared? Not a bit. And you know what? It’s a lovely feeling having these weird and cool memories.
And at the end, I’m going back to these beautiful people of Sydney. To Veronika, to Michael Jordan, to the boys from the Opera house, to couchsurfers and all the nice people I’ve met along the way. I’m getting back to that feeling when you arrange a date with your cousins you’ve never met before and walk in a pub, see them behind the table and even though you’ve never seen them before, you know it’s them. You know they’re your people. I’m going back to Goga and Vido, people who were practically strangers to me when I got there and became one of my favourite people when I was going away. People who invited me in their small studio where I slept on my blow up mattress that looked like lilo and slowly got in to bed with them. People who took me to Balkan, a restaurant in the middle of Sydney which you enter and hear our language, our songs and get to drink Turkish coffee which is very popular in Croatia. I wasn’t alone there.
Next to all these beautiful people I’ve met, how can you be alone? And are there better memories from travels than the ones where you get thrilled by the city and the people?
Dear Sydney, at the end, I give you a thumb up. You’re great.
Check out what to visit while in Sydney – Must see.