I’ve found myself in a few sticky situations over the years. (See, for example, my ridiculous Tinder date or The Russian Penthouse…) But the Sydney Hilton incident comes near the top of the list. Some people have found this story uncomfortable. I choose to treat it as a funny story, and I promise it’s not because I’m traumatised.
A New Friend
I was nineteen, naïve and spending some time in Sydney on my gap year. A family friend called Tess was hosting me in a studio apartment in Potts Point. This little flat was so well-located that the most convenient free Wi-Fi spot was the waterfront bar beneath the Sydney Opera House.
One Tuesday evening in July, I strolled to the Opera Bar, where I was due to have a Skype call with my girlfriend at 7pm. She was in Italy, so I had to wait for her to wake up before I could call her. I sat on one of the concrete seats overlooking the harbour, catching up on my travel journal. When this was done I still had an hour to kill, so I sat there skimming the internet and waiting for the time to pass.
So I was pleased when a man sitting near me struck up a conversation. “Tell me,” he said in a thick Scottish accent, “what is there for a visitor to do on a Tuesday evening in Sydney?” Continue reading →