I am sure that everyone has their own unique experiences of farm work, and there is no doubt you make friends for life. However, I think we can all agree that it is bloody horrific. Like absolutely awful, makes you question your existence every day sort of horrific. Maybe I’m exaggerating. I’m definitely exaggerating. But right now, struggling to see beyond this, and forgetting that there is life outside of Bundaberg, that’s what farm work is to me.
88 days my arse. (Excuse my language.) I have been here for 70 days, which makes me just a couple of weeks away from finishing! Right? No. Make that a couple of months, as I have only just reached the well anticipated halfway mark. With heaps random days off, not to mention the all too frequent firing, you never really know if you’re coming or going. Or how long you’re staying.
It can’t be all bad though can it? I’m afraid to say that apart from the internal connections and experiences that I have had, the external is all pretty shocking. We are nothing more than replaceable names on a list that have no real choice. Even people who have finished their 88 days are stuck here, with no money to leave. Or maybe they have just become attached to their bed bugs? Almost all of the money you do manage to earn goes back on your sky high rent, with just enough left over for cereal and alcohol. (In order of priority!) Whoever told me that I would end my farm work with enough money in my pockets to travel the whole of Australia, definitely never set foot in Dingo Blues.
In two months I have had four different jobs, my current, packing tomatoes, zucchinis and capsicums. (That’s courgettes and peppers to us pommy’s.) As far as farm work goes it’s alright. Mind dullingly boring, but alright. It’s not back breaking; like digging sweet potatoes, and it’s hourly pay; unlike weeding capsicums, when I earnt a grand total of $80 for 8 hours work. And it’s definitely nowhere near as bad as working on ‘Touchy Tony’s’ farm, but I’ll leave that for another blog post…
Buttttttt I guess it isn’t all bad. Throw a completely random group of people from all over the world into a pretty grim hostel in the middle of nowhere and watch what happens. Sometimes it feels like we are in some sort of social experiment. Like the Big Brother house. We’ve had some good times though. Like really fun, sometimes verging on crazy good times.
We’ve had ‘hat night’ (sounds thrilling I know…) we’ve had our own Dingo Blue’s Woodstock. We’ve even gone so wild as to have a pyjama party! In all seriousness though we’ve had some really great times and I will definitely be leaving here with friends for life. We have one inportant thing in common; we are in this together. We all help each other when times get tough and there is always someone with a glass of goon in hand and a shoulder to cry on.
As always, the thought of Melbourne is getting me through, and one day soon I will look back on all of this and smile… From the comfort of a nice thick mattress, with a warm and cosy duvet, in a lovely air conditioned room. When the thought of ‘bed bugs’ is nothing more than a joke you say before you fall asleep… ‘Night night, don’t let the bed bugs bite!’
But really, please don’t let them bite, because they really really hurt.