top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Poor, Poor, Sydney

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

We arrived back in Sydney.

Neither of us had a pot to piss in... nor did we have a window to throw it out of.

We managed to find the cheapest, and possibly the worst hostel on the planet.

Brenda's Backpacker Review... Very, VERY low budget hostel, King's Cross, Sydney. April 2nd ~ 1995.

"I hate the stairs. I hate the bell on the door that we have to ring if we want in. I hate the tiny little door handle piece and I hate the shower. You get trapped inside. The people at front desk won't give you a spare key unless you have a $20 deposit. It's dirty. It's smelly. There are cockroaches on my bed."

... Tell us how you really feel...

Yet... we endured the cockroaches, stairs, bell and shower trap for the low, low price of $7 per night.

Had about $140 Australian left to my name.

  • Spent $7 for a cot in a dorm room in the cheapest hostel in Sydney.

  • Spent $10 on Subway, getting dinner/snacks... and mix.

  • Spent approximately $20 in the bottle shop.

  • Spent $100 on a Rolling Stones ticket.

What resulted was a helluva good time... getting horrendously lost in the big city... and the onset of ZERO money.

Our plan, whilst drinking, was to meet at a random hot dog stand we had passed, should we manage to get separated from each other.

It was foreshadowing at its best.

Brenda and I did manage to disconnect from each other after the concert, due to the crowds herding out like cattle. As directed, I did my best, in my intoxicated condition, to make my way to the hot dog stand.

There were 50+ hot dog stands.

Everywhere I looked, I saw a hot dog stand.

There was nothing else to do but to cry.

I was lost.

I had no idea where I was, where Brenda was, or, for that matter, where our hostel was.

A lovely couple happened to wander upon me, and offer their assistance. As soon as they asked me if I was ok, I remember breaking into hysterical sobs. Blame the booze? Blame the pot? Blame being lost in a huge city?

Probably a little bit of all three...

As locals, they knew the city and were able, by my convoluted description, to take me directly to my hostel...

Phewf. Saved again.

Brenda was sitting on the steps when I arrived.

Yes. Losers.

This was my journal entry:

"Awesome concert - about 2 & 1/2 hours of excellent music! No one moshed or crowded, just stood up and grooved. Me and Brenda were pretty drunk & fried. Got dope off two geeky Vancouver guys at the pub before hand and it blew us away! Mick sang ~ Brown Sugar, Beast of Burden, Honky Tonk Women, Angie, Satisfaction, Tumbling Dice, Start Me Up, Jumpin' Jack Flash and more... but can't quite remember right now. IT was the best. Too bad Bill Wyman quit though. Brenda and I lost each other in the crowd and I searched everywhere for her and eventually had to walk - but met up with this older yuppie couple who drove me home!! So it was a pretty funky night."

Funky? Hmmm...

First I have to say that I am SO bloody proud of myself for always writing, archiving, saving memorabilia during my journey... AND also for making everyone else document our crazy undertakings.

I would have completely forgotten another epic piece of life's adventure, had it not been for this page in my trusted little memory book.

Notice how I didn't mention my emotional breakdown when I met the yuppie couple???

Wherever you are in the world now, thank you for this, Brenda Gosling.

So there I was, the next day... hungover, broke and absolutely stranded in Sydney.

I had NO money to my name.

I had no place to go, no place to stay, and no way to get there, if I tried.




What to do?



I called Peter and Ethel in Bundaberg.

I have NO idea what my year would have looked like if I had not come into contact with these two guardian angels.

They bought me a bus ticket and I was on my way back up north...

Back to Bundaberg.

PS - Life has not changed much. I still wish I had money.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page