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The 38 moments that give every Sydneysider anxiety

Written by
Emily Lloyd-Tait

It’s not that we’re uptight, but us Sydneysiders can get a little flustered when we feel the pressure to get to our seat on time, buy a bottle of wine before its illegal, or find somewhere to eat after midnight. There are heaps of anxiety-inducing moments that are part of living in Sydney. Here are just a few of them.

  1. “Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong” – the sound of the bell at the Opera House as you’re legging it up the steps and not even close to the security bag check.
  2. Hearing “last drinks” with no kick-on plans in place.
  3. The angry bong of ‘insufficient funds’ on your Opal card… and you can hear the screech of the Light Rail coming down the tracks.
  4. Spotting the Light Rail ticket inspectors…
  5. Being hailed by lifesavers over a megaphone to move back between the flags.
  6. Catching the 333 to Bondi in 35-degree heat.
  7. Catching any train in 35-degree heat.
  8. Rocking up to Iggy’s Bread at 7.10am and hoping there’s anything left in the bakery.
  9. Joining the queue for Cow and the Moon ten minutes before closing time.
  10. Seeing the black clouds roll in over Bondi Beach and realising you won’t make it to the bus stop in time.
  11. Vivid crowds.
  12. Realising another summer has passed and you barely made it to the beach.
  13. Waiting to hear the first question in yet another Q&A session at yet another writers’ festival: “Hi, big fan. Mine is a question in three parts….!”
  14. Attempting to score a bargain at the Boxing Day sales at Myer.
  15. Reading “Trackwork: buses replace trains...”
  16. Visiting the Fish Markets during the 36-hour seafood marathon for a kilo of Christmas Day prawns.
  17. Trying to find somewhere to pee on New Year’s Eve.
  18. Spotting the sniffer dogs as you approach the entrance to Laneway Festival.
  19. Resisting the urge to pat said sniffer dogs.
  20. Realising you're seated in the front row of an intimate theatre performance.
  21. Trying to find a park in Potts Point.
  22. Trying to park in Bondi.
  23. Trying to park in Coogee.
  24. Trying to park in the CBD.
  25. Seeing the “cash only” sign after you’ve ordered.
  26. Being stuck behind slow walkers on George Street.
  27. Sprinting to the gates to catch the last ferry back from Manly.
  28. Hailing a regular taxi.
  29. Watching as an Uber driver accidentally joins the slip road for the Harbour Bridge.
  30. Watching as the same Uber driver accidentally joins the slip road for the ANZAC Bridge.
  31. Trying to find dinner after 10pm.
  32. Trying to find a table for two at 7pm.
  33. Remembering you’re out of wine at 10.25pm and you’re seven minutes’ from the nearest bottle shop. Run!
  34. Thinking of somewhere to go after midnight that won’t have a cover charge, a queue, an overzealous bouncer, or one of those ID checkers.
  35. Mapping out a public transport route from the Inner West to Bondi.
  36. Mentally adding up unexpected road tolls.
  37. “Would you like still or sparkling?”
  38. Bill splitting time at a group dinner. 

Of course there is lots to love about our city, too. Like every single thing on this list of 50 things to do in Sydney at least once in your life.

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