How to Survive a Day in Sydney

by Ponderings Radio

Jasmin Pedretti

Jasmin Pedretti


How to Survive a Day in Sydney

My boss took my colleague and I to Sydney for the day. 


I should’ve been excited but was shrouded with apprehension. If you’re the type of person who shouldn’t leave the house without body armour and your belongings strapped to your chest, you will understand why.

This is how the day unfolded.


10:00 am: For the first 15 minutes of The Rocks Walking Tour, our Swedish tour guide discussed the First Settlers arriving in Australia without a single mention of the brutal massacre of the Indigenous people. Hmmm…

We also wanted quirky stories. We wanted to know about the man who was chopped up and shoved down a fireplace. We wanted to know about the rumours and the whispers of vulgarity and vice. Instead, we endured two hours of dry historical facts. We watched Playing Beattie Bow for crying out loud. 

12:30 pm: Pasta at The Grounds, surrounded by 1940’s décor, made up for it. We decided to hold off on dessert and wait for the highly-anticipated scones at our next stop.

2:15 pm: Sitting at the Chinese Garden of Friendship Teahouse, my heart was full, until everything began to derail. For starters, there were no scones because the Teahouse was under new management. Feeling sorry for myself, I saw Kirsten frantically searching her bag. Her notebook that held a manuscript forged over years was missing. We headed straight for The Grounds.

4:20 pm: Kirsten jumped out while Cassidy and I waited in the Uber. Suddenly, the driver pulled back onto the road and started driving off, heading for the airport. I panicked and tried to explain that we had to wait for Kirsten to return. He couldn’t do a U-turn, and we couldn’t call Kirsten because we had her phone. I called up The Grounds to warn Kirsten not to panic when she saw we had left. Once we returned, she got in the car and asked, “where did you find it?”. The woman I had spoken too at The Grounds thought I’d said we found the notebook.

5:30: Waiting for our flight at the airport, Kirsten somehow held it together. I kept her camera equipment underneath my chair.


6:30 pm: During the flight back to Geelong, despite the exhaustion and devastating end to the day, we delved into topics like religion, third dimensions and reincarnation. Although we had different beliefs, there was no judgement, just a mutual appreciation for the wonderful complexities of life.


8:00 pm: When everyone exited the plane, I realized that Kirsten’s camera equipment that I’d been carrying throughout the day was gone. Kirsten assured me it was ok, but it wasn’t. I called up the Sydney Airport lost property and was asked: “is your name, Kirsten?”. Nearly crying from relief, we staggered out of the airport.

We flew to Sydney to uncover its secrets. Along the road to finding these secrets, we were bored, disappointed, and lost things, but ultimately gained a bond more precious. A beautiful friendship was forged between a wordsmith, an actress and a journalist. I learnt that the best part of a trip isn’t the destination, but the relationships you form while you’re there, especially when shit happens, which it always does.

Perhaps the most important lesson was that you should never get too excited about scones. Missing out on those guys is a kind of disappointment no one deserves to experience.

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