My husband has brought me a foam mattress, a sleeping bag and a pillow so I can sleep comfortably on the uneven footpath next to a major Sydney road. Trucks are roaring past. About two in the morning, some hoons decide the best use of their time is to toot and honk.
At this point, my ever-patient husband thinks I am barking mad, but supports me anyway.
I am first in line to buy tickets for a series of events at the Sydney 2000 Olympics (I have already spent a small fortune on the ballot and have also bought from scalpers). A couple of hours after the tooting and honking, reporters arrive to wake up those in the queue.
"How important is getting these tickets to you?"
I restrain myself from replying: "WTF do you think that a woman who likes her creature comforts is doing sleeping [note: not sleeping] next to traffic?" But I don't do that. I'm too polite. Well, it was 22 years ago.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been roundly criticised for planning to attend the Tokyo Olympic Games. She's been flogged for getting the Pfizer vaccine instead of AstraZeneca. She's been attacked for limiting access to Queensland even though the compassionate grounds on which people apply are compelling.
On the first two grounds, Palaszczuk is completely right. She's not going to party and eat omakase. Her city of Brisbane will be transformed by the Games, and the way she is going, she will still be premier then. And there is no way she could have been fully vaccinated in time to be in Tokyo for the Games without the shorter timing of Pfizer (plus, no one under 60 wants AZ any more).
Geoff Dickson, professor and director of La Trobe University's Centre for Sport and Social Impact, says there are so many positive dimensions to bringing the Olympics to a city. As for Palaszczuk's trip? Props for bravery.
"Who would want to go to Japan in the middle of a pandemic? To be honest, I'd be very surprised if the Prime Minister and the Premier were not both there," Dickson says.
Yes, the decision to award Brisbane the 2032 Olympics is essentially done and dusted, but that's not really the point.
"Yes, it's taking time out for a one-horse race, but you want to be there to show respect," he says.
So what good do the Olympics do? It's hard to know whether there are real financial benefits (that's contested). But Dickson says the event itself, as well as building the necessary world-class stadiums and other infrastructure, promotes the city in the eyes of the world.
World-class facilities bring conferences and conventions. They bring glorious sporting events (look, I was just sitting on the grass outside the stadium where Cathy Freeman won gold, but it was goosebumpy - shared tears and shrieking and so, so, so good).
When the tourists arrive, they bring money and they bring goodwill. The Olympics promotes lucky cities as destinations (OK, there are no destinations right now, but there will be. One day. One day).
In 2000, I accrued a debt of $20,000 to buy tickets to Olympic events for the five people in our family. I also bought tickets for others, on the understanding that those others would buy tickets for me. In other words, it was the world's first one-for-two deal. It took me years to pay off the debt. And I would do it all again.
People kept telling me I was insane. That I could spend the money on an overseas holiday (it is clear that those people do not understand what a waste of money it is to take small children overseas. No, Mum. I hate museums).
There is also a lot wrong with the Olympics. Ringwashing countries with appalling human rights records, terrifying treatment of athletes (what a hero is Simone Biles, both on the gymnastics floor and for testifying against horrific abuse), drug use, spending vast amounts on funding world-class stadiums when there are record levels of homelessness and governments with no clue how to fix that. Underfunded hospitals and schools. Lots wrong.
But, as Dickson points out, there is also a boost to the psychological wellbeing of the people in the cities in which they're held. I'll be honest - the whole time the Olympics were on in Sydney, there was barely a honking horn to be heard. And that's unheard of.
As the Olympics descend on your city, there are usually three streams of people. Those like me prepared to take out small mortgages and see everything they can, those who will always be opposed, and those who are bemused and unsure.
In 2000, a couple of days after the Games started, a few of my previously refusenik friends rang to ask if I could find tickets for them. I obliged as far as I could, by befriending scalpers and begging them to give me discounts for buying in bulk.
But Dickson says there is another solution: run a referendum before the decision to nominate your city comes up. If the majority of the population wants the Games, then so be it.
"Most Olympic campaigns have either been supported or scuttled by the locals. Ask the local people what they think," he says.
I would have campaigned madly for the Olympics. And if I'd had any sense, I would have bought tickets closer to the time, because by then tickets were much cheaper. Like me, Dickson took his family.
"We remember it with fondness. It was an adventure," he says.
As opposed to my kids, who loved the Games but have spent 20 years teasing me about my thing for the rings.
- Jenna Price is a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and a regular columnist.