Social Experiment 1 – Homeless in Sydney for a week

First night arrive in Sydney, I sleep in the airport. I am not very satisfied, even the international terminal closes at around 2am, and everyone was kicked out until 5-6am when the airport reopens again. Hey, even Perth International Airport opens 24 hours! How come the Sydney one could be that LAZY?

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I have a whole week in Sydney, but ending up having no luck of finding any Couchsurfers because of the Mardi Gras weekend, everyone are so busy hanging out with friends and getting drunk. As the crazy weekend approaches, bars and clubs are looking for extra casual staffs as waiters and promoters. I randomly look up on gumtree.com.au and find a promoter job. They contact me the other day and ask if I can work both Friday and Saturday. Sure! I don’t mind earning more extra bucks. At the end, I get around 200 AUD for working just 3-4 hours at night, giving out flyers and attracting people to enter the club.

Free lodging

Although I have enough money to stay in backpacker hostel, I just don’t wanna do it. I haven’t spent any dollars on accommodation for more than 2 years and I am still living very well….Honestly I am not really worried, now I carry all the camping materials so I just need to find some secret place to stretch my tent. Really appreciate the government of New South Wales, that they don’t put “no camping” sign on the parks. Therefore, literally you can camp there if you dare to.

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Eventually I spend 6 nights living on the street in Sydney, camping most of the time in different parks overlooking some spectacular views of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as Bondi beach! What I do is to wait until it is dark and everyone go home, they wouldn’t notice if there is a tent in the corner of the park. Be a good camper, don’t leave any rubbish or pee anywhere! Wake up early and start packing before 7am, but actually those people who go to work don’t care about you as well. Be aware of security guard and police who come and check in the morning.

Free lunch and dinner

I can prove the saying “There is no FREE LUNCH in this world” WRONG!! In a suburb of Sydney called Newtown, there are several places give out free lunch and dinner during the week and everyone are welcome to grab a plate! Here are the information I gather:

Newtown Mission: 280A, Kings Street, Newtown

Free lunch: Tue, Wed, Fri @1-3pm

Chapel service and Free Dinner: Thur @ 6pm

Newtown Neighbourhood Center: 1 Bedford Street, Newtown

Free Dinner: Mon-Fri @6-7pm (look for a van)

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Greek Orthodox Church: 376-378 Kings Street, Newtown

Free lunch: Mon-Fri @12-1pm

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Whenever I have a couple of days to spend in a city, I google “Church Free meals/lunch xxx” (xxx = name of the city), and I am surprised to find out almost every city you can find churches or Hindu temple offering food to people for free. And those foods are GOOD! At least for 3 days, I have rice, spaghetti, lentil soup and bread! In Bible, Matthew 6:25-26 strike my mind, “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. ”

Also I am very impressed by the churches who provide us, FEED the HUNGER, and they will know it is by the grace of Jesus Christ, not by themselves! I hope more church will follow this act, in order to fulfill God’s mission in our lives.

Oh but one thing I disagree, is that they allow people to pack the food and bring it home. It generates GREED….people always want to take more than they need!! I see some people take 10 cookies and put it in his bag, I eat 3 after the meal and it makes me really full, I don’t think take away is a good idea. Eat whatever you can in the hall, that’s it!

Free Music

If the weather is fine, go to the harbor front near Opera House, it is packed with restaurants and bars. Every night there is Live Music that you can enjoy without paying anything. Good way to spend a night out, of course the night view of Opera House and skyscrapers are magnificent!

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If you follow my guide, basically you don’t need to spend anything except the transportation (if you don’t have huge backpack, you can walk!) and museum. I only go to the Art Gallery which is FREE entry and they have a cloak room which can keep my backpack for 7 hours!

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Sydney is a mixed city, both vibrant and quiet. I am sure you can find something interesting!

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My social experiment proves that traveling doesn’t need huge amount of money, you get free camping, free food, free music here! Isn’t life beautiful?

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