McDonalds Hotel

Self-inflicted rough nights aren't something I seek on a regular basis, but when I decide on them in advance they are easier to handle, I think. Tonight's discomfort was decided upon when I booked my flight to Brisbane to leave at 6:40am from Sydney's domestic terminal. 

Even before clicking to confirm this booking, my mind was already preparing for a night without accommodations.  

"No worries," I thought to myself, "I'll just sleep in the airport, and be there in plenty of time to check in for the flight, and even save myself from paying for a hostel for the night!" 

The plan was hatched and ready for action. Unfortunately, I arrived at the airport and found it to be closed for the evening. I hadn't foreseen this obstacle. 

I grabbed a stray trundler (bag pusher thingy), loaded my stuff onto it and then pushed it into a neglected corner of the floor between the train station and the airport's terminal. There was some nice warmth coming out of the wall housing the inner-workings of the escalator, so I cozied up to it and got ready for some shut-eye. I threw back a couple of Tim Tams (chocolate biscuit cookies) and watched mice scurrying along the outer edge of the tile floors. With my face at ground level I observed these timid little creatures with an entirely new perspective. They were being quiet and sneaky, like me. They just wanted to have a place to be, like me.

So, naturally, I adopted the spirit of the mouse and withdrew ever further into my corner.

With my cap pulled down over my eyes I quickly drifted into a much-needed sleep for a whomping twenty seconds until a Middle Eastern man with an Australian accent and a generic speech impediment yelled into my corner.

Like the mouse, I perked up and then froze. My safe corner had now become a prison; a trap of my own making. 

He was wearing a bright orange vest and a blue uniform so I knew him to be some kind of airport security. I felt better about this, but also feared the consequence of my loitering/trespassing/mousing. 

"What are you doing?" 
"Um, just looking for my terminal." 
"When is your flight?"
"Tomorrow morning."
"OK, you can't sleep here."

He looked over my pathetic little nest and pitied me. I tried to act like I had just set some stuff down to organize before moving on to much more important things worth doing with luggage in the middle of the night. 

"Yeah, can't stay here." I confirmed his rule as if I'd made it myself.
"McDonalds is a four minute walk from here and they're open 24 hours." He suggested.

With unnecessary exuberance--probably stemming from the embarrassment of having failed to sleep unnoticed--I expressed gratitude and appreciation not only for his suggestion, but also for the very existence of McDonalds' worldwide presence. Tonight I was going to have it my way and I was lovin' it. 

After walking the entire length of the airport with my bags just for fun haha, NO, not for fun, for stupidity, I turned and retraced my steps and actually exited this time. Sure enough, McDonalds' golden arches were poised high and proud, like an unfading beacon of hope for weary travelers, right around the corner.

It's three in the morning, I've been sitting here at this McDonalds for more than four hours and have resisted purchasing anything at all. There are about ten other travelers here in the exact same boat as I am. We're huddled over our laptops and smart phones in the children's play area with all of our luggage piled around us. One more hour and we can move this party back to the airport. 

At least in this misery I do have company. And they are human. 

...ramble on...

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