My guest post on Solo Traveler Blog.

About a month ago, the owner/founder of Solo Traveler blog, Janice Waugh, asked a question on a Facebook group that we’re both part of.  She asked if people would volunteer for her May theme, Iconic Cities, due to popular demand by her readers.  One of the cities was Sydney and I’ve been there.  While I hate putting myself out there for reasons I’ve mentioned on here many times, I figured it’d be nice to give ideas to those who’d be interested in traveling solo to Sydney one day.  (It’s also a nice way to advertise this blog; however, that’s the least important reason to do it.)

Well, to my surprise, Janice sent me a private message asking if I’d write something.  I obliged.  I was late handing it in because I had to head home to handle some business/tie up some loose ends, but I finished it as soon as I got back.  And while Janice was away traveling solo in Jordan, the associate editor of Solo Traveler, Tracey Nesbitt, made contact with me and helped me with my write-up.

My post is now live as of 05.21.2011.  Check it out, leave honest feedback here and/or on the post itself, and hopefully you’ll enjoy it.  The post includes information about accommodation, solo travel, and my pictures of things to do & see.  My humble thanks goes to Janice & Tracey for giving me this opportunity, as well as thinking that my writing is decent enough to post on their blog (which is my favorite travel-related blog, by the way).

Here it is:  Solo Travel In Sydney

Weekly Photo Challenge: Red.

For more about how the Weekly Photo Challenge started, take a look at this link. For more about this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, click here. (I won’t do this every week, but will do it from time to time.)

Kiss from a rose.
Kiss from a rose.
Glasses & polish.
Glasses & polish.
Raspberries.
Raspberries.
Automobile.
Automobile.
Catcher (in the rye).
Catcher (in the rye).
Shapes & sizes.
Shapes & sizes.
Salute the flag.
Salute the flag.

Crack & Fairy.

“I’m the one you’re looking for because I’m the one that called”, I said, walking behind the police officer when he walked past me.

Police officer, you ask? Why are the police involved in this story? Because despite living a pretty uneventful life, something pops up every once in a while that changes it for a moment.

It was Friday, about 2 weeks ago. I’d been too lazy to make lunch for work, so my co-worker/team member, whom I’ll refer to as D from now on, asked if I wanted anything from outside. I said “You know what? I need to take a walk. I’ve sat in this office all day and I need some fresh air, so lemme walk with you.” She didn’t know what she wanted either and had to buy something in a particular store, so that gave me an excuse to spend more time outside. As I didn’t have to see any kids that day, I spent most of the day doing paperwork, sucking in the stagnant & boring air in the office. Don’t get me wrong, my team members are quite entertaining and we get along pretty well. But it was time for a break.

D and I left the office, walking & talking – I about my quick trip home to tie up some loose ends and take a quick mental break, and she about her weekend plans. We wound up getting something to eat at Subway, which is likely the healthiest choice available (outside of bringing lunch from home and going to the local supermarket) among all the chicken & chips shops, McDonald’s, Burger King & KFC franchises in the ‘hood. D had a craving for something sweet to snack on, so we walked a few doors down to what I call a corner store/bodega in my hometown. She got me a bag of Doritos and was deciding what candy bar to get for herself when the foolishness began.

As we stood at the counter whilst D looked at the candy bars, the store owner’s voice quickly rose as he said “Oi! Put that down!” D is very good at being aware of surroundings because she said “(Spinster), look.” She motioned for me to turn around.

Well what do we have here. A man and a woman came into the store trying to steal. One of the items being stolen was….. wait for it…..

A bottle of fabric softener. Fairy.

Here the hell we go. :-|

He and the woman got caught. I’m not sure what she tried to steal, but whatever it was, she likely dropped it and quickly disappeared out of the store. The store owner repeated the command to return Fairy & what was a Brillo pad (I can’t make this stuff up) and after a few repeats, the man, who we found out was a crackhead (I’ll refer to him as Crack), angrily walked up to the counter and tried being defiant by not giving the stuff back right away. Instead, Crack cursed the owner in Jamaican patois, as if the store owner was stealing from him.

Bumbaclaat blah blah….. Rassclaat blah blah…..

D is watching all of this while I mumbled under my breath: “Sigh. Here we f—ing go. Is all of this really necessary? Does (Crack) really have to be so loud? He needs to give the shit back.” D, ever the quiet observer, was listening to & laughing at what I was saying while keeping an eye on Crack. Then suddenly as I kept mumbling I hear

(Spinster)!!! Move! Watch out!

I turned around and wouldn’t you know it, Crack had grabbed a bottle of wine a few feet away from us, went toward the store counter, and menaced the store owner, going as far as to try to get over the counter to smash him over the head.

She didn’t have to tell me twice. I quickly made my way to the back of the store right along with the other store customers. :-|

I can’t remember much else in the following few seconds because I was dialing 999, but I think a couple of workers in the store attempted to stop the man from going over the counter (they succeeded) and I said “I’m calling the police.” D said “Good idea” while I dialed. I described everything we saw, including Crack’s appearance. The operator gave me a reference code and said “The police will be there in 12 minutes.” 12 minutes seemed quite long, but I said okay. It actually didn’t take that long; a police car arrived less than 5 minutes later.

We didn’t want to wait 12 minutes; however, before we left, D made sure that the store owner was alright. We came to find out that Crack has stolen/attempted stealing from the store many times before and “We’ve beat him many times but he still comes back!”. Yes….. Crack is so wack that he’s had his ass beat in that store before, yet still comes back for more.

What a shame.
"Crack is wack." (What a shame.)

(picture from http://shavarross.com)

When the police car came, we were leaving the store since we thought it’d take 12 minutes. A police officer got out of the car. “I’m the one you’re looking for because I’m the one that called”, I said, walking behind the officer when he walked past me. I briefly ran down what happened, he thanked me, and we walked back to our office.

When we got back I said to my other co-workers “You won’t believe what just happened with us.” We told the story and one of my cheeky co-workers said

Maybe he needed Fairy to cut the crack.

Stick a fork in us because we were done.

Moral of the story: Life happens when you least expect it. Oh, and in the wise words of my aunt J:

Don’t commit any crime in front of me because I’m telling. (That’s right, I “snitch”. I’m not going to jail or prison for anyone.)