Farmwork Part Two
So seeing as my last blog was very negative I am going to try start this one on a more positive note. Just after I published my last blog I got a new job!! Jamie was telling his farmer Terry about all the horrible things Larry my hostel manager was doing to me, so Terry called Larry and requested me to start working for him. This honestly could not have happened at a better time as I was just about to give up on that place. Terry owns his own small farm five minutes away from our hostel and he dehydrates raisins. So basically me and Jamie had to rake raisins into big containers, cover them with big sheets and pin the sheets down with bars and clips. They then dried out the fruit with a big heater for up to 8 hours a day. In the afternoons we pruned his trees to make the extra hours so that each day would count as a full day. Terry didn’t need us to do most of this work but he dragged the work out for as long as possible to help us get our days done. Most importantly we got paid direct from Terry so I did not have to deal with Larry anymore, I still seen him around but it wasn’t that often. I obviously still heard of all the horrible things that he continued to do to my friends and other people in the hostel. He would still be three weeks behind on pay and then still not pay people correctly … there was also a lot of tax issues that came about in my last few weeks so i’m hoping the basterd gets shut down soon. He used to bring his creepy old farmer friends into the hostel on a Saturday night to stand in the corner drinking, they would stand watching all the girls while we partied on the weekends. It was like he was trying to sell us off to them … not that any of the girls would go there in the first place. He was just a disgusting, sleezy waste of space that had no respect for women at all. So to watch him continuing to do such horrible things still made it a horrible place to live. Other than that not having to deal with that creature all the time definitely improved my mood. Me and Jamie got our own couples room so having our own space and a change of scenery made it a lot more bearable. The farm work in general hadn’t been that bad since my last blog … the work was hard but I very much appreciated being paid on time, it being the correct amount and being treated with a bit of respect!! Farmwork had been as hard, if not harder than I expected it to be but it really messed with my head … this part I hadn’t expected!! More than anything what bothered me the most was the state I let myself get into while being there. Im very disappointed in myself for getting down about everything and being so negative all the time … and this whole experience all together!! Everyone always talks about how good farmwork is, how they had the best time of their lives and always say it’s what you make out of the situation. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the best of a bad situation and it brought out the worst side of me. In my own head I had turned into a miserable, unsociable little bitch but i’m promised that I didn’t come across as the monster I thought I had become. Obviously all the shit that happened with Larry, breaking my hand and a few more trips to A&E didn’t help. I was always angry or pissed off over something … and if it wasn't that then I would be annoyed at myself for carrying on like this in the first place so, I couldn’t win!! Don’t get me wrong I did have some pretty great days in farmwork, purely because of the people I surrounded myself with but I found it so hard to be happy, funny self sometimes. The bottom line was Larry single handedly ruined my farmwork experience and that’s what disappoints me the most … that I let him.
Overall my farmwork has been an experience I’ll never ever forget. I have met some pretty amazing people who have made my day on more than one occasion. Of course I have to give the biggest shout out to Jamie, Carla, Hannah and Connor who have put up with me this whole time. If it wasn’t for these four people … and Wullie, Jack and Kyle of course I would have gave up in my first month. I couldn’t thank you guys enough for always being there when I needed you the most!! That place pushed all my buttons and did push me to my limits but there was always someone to help me through it … or someone that you could have a good bitch and moan with that was having a bad day too. In regards to Merbein itself I thought we were going to a hut in the middle of nowhere but it had way more than expected. We could still get the bus into Mildura to Kmart (Australia’s Pennys), the cinema, a creepy little nightclub and a shopping centre with food courts and clothes shops. This was a good escape back to the real world when things got too much, to leave the hostel and not be going to work!! My favourite thing about Merbein and the only thing I liked about getting up at 6AM were the breathtaking sunrise and sunsets … each one more different than the next. The sky would be so clear at night that you could see the milky way and hundreds of stars, seeing this every day never got old and was by far my favourite!! The only other positive I can think of is that I survived being a farmer for three and a half months, working seven days a week and I only sustained two serious injuries. I can honestly say in my heart of hearts that I will NEVER ever be a farmer again!! I genuinely don’t know how people do that their whole lives when i’m a broken human after a season. I have so much respect for farmers now and what they do because of this but it’s definitely not for me … and let’s face it when am I ever going to get the chance to be a farmer again? … I think i’m safe!!
The Beckie Moment
Speaking of injuries we are now moving onto our Beckie moment and of course I have a short tale to tell. As I mentioned earlier Jamie and I moved into our own room. A few days after moving in I had a strange bruise/bite on the back of my left arm and another big bite on my right wrist. I assumed they were bed bugs as the hostel is covered in them and thought nothing of it. I got up for work that Sunday morning with severe pains in my lower abdomen and my right leg kept locking and seizing up. I had no clue what was going on but I went to work anyway. I must have been in work fiftheen minutes when I had to call Pops the driver to bring me to A&E as I thought it could be my appendix. Thankfully it was early Sunday morning and I was seen to after about four hours. The doctor checked me over and I showed him my bed bug bites. The doctor told me straight away that it was a spider bite on my wrist and an ant bite on my arm. He asked if I had seen any spider’s … I work on a farm all day I explained, I see them every few minutes but haven’t seen any on me. As you might remember I got Cellulitis which is a very bad skin infection from my last spider bite and it can be very dangerous if not treated and can infect your blood. To be honest the doctor didn’t give a shit about the spider bite but when I mentioned I had Cellulitis he ran some tests and gave me antibiotics to keep it under control. I must admit this bite was not nearly as dramatic and painful as the first one, it did mess up my stomach for a few day’s but after that I was back to myself. Everyone was so shocked that I had been bitten by a spider again especially the Aussie’s. Nearly every Australian person I have met has never met anyone that had been bitten by a spider before and here I am eleven months in and i’m on my second spider bite!! I have to say i’m not really phased by the spiders anymore, they are creepy but I tried to ignore them as much as possible when I was working. It’s more the Cellulitis that’s a pain in the hole as it doesn’t go away unless treated by antibiotics … and is something I now have to watch for the rest of my life. I secretly just hope my spidey senses kick in soon, after all this hassle I feel I deserve to be at least able to scale a wall!!
The Unexpected News
When I finished farmwork my plan was to go on a well needed holiday to Bali for a few weeks, then back to Sydney to save money until I went home to Dublin for Christmas. I planned to finish my first year in November, go home for Christmas then apply for my second year visa and come back to Australia in February … unfortunately like most plans life got in the way!! I have to say I am definitely more of a home bird than I thought when I first came out here. I have an incredibly close bond with my family and listening to how much they missed and needed me there when they were going through bad times truly broke my heart. In the space of two weeks I got three lots of bad news from home and it was really the final straw for me. I had been having such a tough and emotional time with farmwork, I had been more home sick than ever so when I got this news I knew there was no way I was going to last until November!! After a couple days of tormenting myself I finally decided to change the date’s of my flight’s and go straight home after farmwork. It cost way more than I expected but the relief I felt when I booked it made it worth every penny. All I ever wanted to do with my life is travel, now that I have started my journey it has opened my eyes in so many ways but especially appreciating what I have in life. My family and friend’s mean the absolute world to me, they have always been my main priority and when things like this happen it’s such a slap in the face. Your gut instinct is to fly, run, swim or crawl to be by their side and help in any way you can. I knew as soon as this happened that I wouldn’t be happy staying in Australia for the extra month when my head was at home. None of my family or friends knew I was coming home early so the excitement of surprising them all really got me through them last few weeks!!
So there we have it, I have successfully managed to complete my farmwork in order to have another twelve months of madness. I have made some of the most amazing friend’s from all over the world and have some of the most unbelievable memories from my time here. In a way i’m really glad i’m going home for a while now, it will give me more time to plan my second year rather than starting it with no money to really do anything. Looking back on the last eleven months I spent nearly seven of them months in Sydney … way longer than I had ever expected. In January I planned to go do my farmwork but had decided to stay and enjoy the rest of the Summer as I was earning great money. Then when I had planned to go again in March there had been a huge Cyclone which made us put it off for a further two months. Looking back on it now I wouldn’t change a thing because after each of them times I decided to stay … something amazing happened and they will be some of my most cherished memories from this whole trip. If I hadn’t of waited until I did to go do my farmwork I wouldn’t have done it with four of my best friend’s. I don’t even want to imagine what type of blog this would have been if I hadn’t got them there to help me through it. So see your always going to have a plan, with me I normally have plan a,b,c and d. I never end up doing any of them and always end up going with my gut and choosing the last minute crazy adventures. This thought me to never give up when your plans don’t work out because there is normally always an even bigger and better opportunity staring you in the face. Yes I would have liked to see a lot more places in my first year but I knew early last year that I was going to have a second year so I went with the flow and do not regret a second of it!! I have met some of the most beautiful, talented people with the biggest heart’s that I know will be my life long friend’s. I had a great job in Sydney that paid me a ridiculous amount of money to do a minimal amount of work. I had an amazing lifestyle and the best family in Sydney that honestly were not worth leaving. I feel like i’m now a different person from this experience, my heart feels full and my eyes are wide open. But of course all that good came with a lot of bad which i’m glad I talked about because it’s not all fun and games travelling. You really do struggle a lot of the time, you have no guarantee that any of your plans will go right and thing’s normally do go sideways and leave you in a sometimes worse situation … and then other times it will be the best decision you ever made!! Now that I have experienced this all first hand it will always stay with me and help me at all stages of my life. To be able to fully trust your own judgement and having the courage to jump head first into the unknown, having to rely on a stranger that can suddenly overnight end up your closest companion. I have found so many friend’s on my travels and I know they will all wander the world with me so going home to me now is feeling like more of an adventure. I’m so happy to be able to say that this is the path that I am meant to be on. Travelling is always going to be apart of my life, I used to think that I only had so many year’s to get this out of my system. Then I would need to grow up and get a stable job and a mortgage blah blah blah. I have learnt that this is not the case at all, I have met so many people and families that live to travel and can do it so much easier than people think. It’s now inspired me to stop treating my life and my travelling experience’s as if they have an expiry date. Once your alive and well you can go anywhere and do anything you want … and when your travelling you find exactly the type of people you’ll want to experience all this with!!
And finally the romance that continues …
So I was lucky enough to find a very special person on my travels. I wasn’t going to discuss my private life in my blog but at the end of the day he played a major role in this whole experience so he definitely deserves a shout out. Jamie was one of my best friend’s since I got to Sydney last November. We were instantly friend’s and were always together, after six months it so naturally just grew into something much more!! We already knew everything about each other at that stage and he was one of the reasons I stayed longer in Sydney after the cyclone. It’s funny saying that now as we weren’t even seeing each other at that stage, it all only kicked off after I decided to stay so in a way it was like it was meant to be. Then we ended up doing farmwork together and god love him when I met him first he said he had never been truly angry in his life … I bet you a tenner if you ask him now he has been!! Anybody who knows me knows I don’t really do relationships, I have been single a very long time and I am nearly too independent for my own good. So to go from that to living with someone, being with them everyday, sharing everything and all of this with the stress of farmwork … it was a big change for both of us and it was really tough. After about a month and a half of farmwork I started to work with Jamie on his farm which meant we were literally together twenty-four seven. Farmwork was not the most ideal place to start up a new relationship and try get used to someone and all their habits. Obviously as you can see I had a rough time there and poor Jamie really did get the brunt of it. I’m laughing thinking back on it now because it was always the silly, petty little things that would set me off like him eating a full loaf of bread a day or turning the light on five minutes before my alarm would go off!! Yet still we have never had an actual argument, he is always so happy and positive that it just makes it impossible. He always wanted to help but at the same time he knew when to just leave me the fuck alone … which I think is most important. All of my anger and frustration just didn’t phase him, in his eyes I had good reason to be angry and upset so he just left me to it. We absolutely smashed that farmwork and left together on a totally different level than we arrived on. We got two long ass buses back to Sydney for five amazing days. We got to see all our friends that are still there, Cheryl and Debs picked me up from the train station when I got back. They let me crash on their couch in the city while Jamie stayed in our friend Pete’s house in Newtown. The girls as always could not have done enough for me while I was there, I genuinely don’t know how I will ever repay them but I will be forever grateful!! Then we went to Newtown to meet up with all the old crew … even ones we thought had gone. We found a bush rave in Sydney Park and had our reunion in style!! It was great to have them few days back where it all started before flying straight home to reality. After all the horrible, heartbreaking goodbyes me and Jamie set off on our long travel home. We got a 14 and a half hour flight from Sydney to Doha, stopped there for two hours and then had an 8 hour flight to Amsterdam … as we weren’t quite ready to face reality yet!! It was Jamie’s first time in Amsterdam and well, it wasn’t mine so it was great to show him around one of my favourite cities!! I have to say I had the most memorable two days in Amsterdam with that boy, which made it really hit home that we would not be in the same country as each other for the next year. We left one another in Amsterdam airport, he went to Gatwick and I went to Dublin. Luckily our gates were two gates away from each other so it made it a lot easier. It wasn’t as sad as I expected it to be, don’t get me wrong it broke my heart to leave him but over the last two days we had made so many plans to see each other, so many plans for our second year that I couldn’t be sad thinking of all the happy times ahead. He has to go back to Oxford to finish his last term for his degree in music and I have decided to stay at home until my cousin’s wedding which is in October 2018. I have luckily managed to get my old job back in Dublin and start back next week. My plan is to stay at home to help out and be with my family, while saving to be able to go back and travel a lot more in my second year. Jamie wont be returning to Australia until around July 2018 so it gets me through knowing we’ll have so many great adventures together once we get through this. Who knows how this will all turn out but to be honest, I have never thought too much into what we’re doing because it’s always just been so comfortable and we’re so happy being with each other so … why question it?? Never in a million years would I have ever considered a long distance relationship, so the fact I didn’t even consider another option says it all for me. Sure if we got through farmwork together without killing one another and if we survive a long distance relationship … I can’t see much else standing in our way!!
That was probably my longest blog to date so you have been absolute troopers to make it until the end!! I’m home now so i’m hoping I’ll have a lot less Beckie moments but come on … it’s me!! I’m sure I’ll have some ridiculously retarded event’s happen to me between then and now so stay tuned!! Until then I am loving being back in Dublin and the videos of me frightening the life out of all my friends and family are to follow!!
Until next time,