I have a confession to make. You may or may not have noticed but I’ve been extremely lax on the whole blogging front over the last few months. This is because I have been doing my regional farm work! For those of you who don’t know, Australian working holiday visa’s require you to do 88 days (minimum 3 months) of regional agricultural work, within your first year to secure your second year visa. A massive blog is pending on this subject, the ins and outs, how to secure work, working hostels, counting days, myths and rumours and so much more, so stay tuned.
However, my life for the last 3 months has been capsicums (peppers for you UK lot) & melons. Sorting capsicums, packing capsicums, differentiating between Woolworths vs market, 2nds and odd bunch, all on spinning rotating tables of vertigo inducing sickness, in silence and with no concept of time. Capsicums was the upgrade job, previously I was on melons. Melons in all their round glory have to be packed in square boxes in formations of 6,7,8,9 & 12 (they go up to 15,18,21 but I draw the line and refuse to tackle that mind bogglingness). I have been in the shed of dreams for minimum 12 hour days 6 days a week, so apologies for not blogging all your travel destination needs, but the spare hours I have, have been used for showering, eating and sleeping. It is safe to say I am currently on day 73/88 and I will happily never consume, see or cook with either, capsicums or melons ever again.
Well, our pre farming hopes and dreams of getting our 88 days done in 88 days (yeah right, try 128 days), coming away from the farm with $10k each and roadtripping down the east coast back to Sydney has been modified slightly. Reality kicked in and plans have changed, East Coast is still a go, but only now in February and our bank accounts have taken a significant reality check too. So with that, my days completed a while before my girls, I leave to go back to Sydney in October after a big festival send off with my Homehill Hostel Hunnies, minus my girls.
So if anyone has a spare bed, top and tail option, sofa or bath tub for the first week I return, whilst I start the job and flat search all over again, that would make my life the tiniest bit less stressful!
Quarter Life +1 Crisis Impending
I turned 26! So far, no immediate breakdowns or mass life panics have occurred, but I’m sure its on its way. The farm family threw me a surprise birthday party at the local pub. Considering our hostel is small-ish and we all live in each others pockets, if there is an event on for the weekend I would immediately know. I was clueless to the party, despite many fuck ups and giveaways, that looking back on it was obvious clues something was going on but either I’m not as observant as I thought or the 55hour weeks are getting to me!
For my birthday I had a beautiful weekend getaway to Magnetic Island. It was just what I needed to remind me why I was in Australia and travelling in the first place! I have detailed it all out for you in my most recent blog Here!
When I first left the beautiful, bustling cosmopolitan city of Sydney, I had the image of sweet home Alabama countryside but only the Australia Queensland version. Or maybe even Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie The Simple Life vibes. I knew it would be hard and shit and dirty and was kind of excited for something new. So I traded my daily happy hour espresso Martinis for 5L water bottles and straw farm hats. Cue the greyhound dropping us off in the arse end of a small town, with all the main road shops boarded up, not a car in sight and with no phone signal whatsoever. I definitely knew we were not in Kansas anymore. Heaving our 22kG rucksacks, which were significantly heavier than when I left for Asia and with Teresa lugging and struggling with her bright pink suitcase ( gel nail lamp and a giant stuffed bunny named Mariah included), we walked to our home for the next four months: Home Hill Backpacker Hostel AKA The Pink Prison.
You may or may not also know about Homehill Backpackers. Around two years ago, there was a mentally ill french backpacker who murdered two other backpackers, in this very hostel. Its all the locals ever talk about and will continue to for the rest of their lives I imagine. Mother was not best pleased (Sorry Deb, would you expect anything less?) with my choice in accommodation, but with friends here already and work available, beggars can’t be choosers. Now onto the main event, our number one girl Shelley. Our notorious hostel owner, a mixture of Jennifer Coolidge and Britains very own Eastenders Pat Butcher. Shelley has a voice that will haunt me for the rest of my life, send shivers down my spine like a naughty school kid and yet still allow us to cheek her and sass her, whilst basically, being all 80 of us hotel residents reluctant mother. Weekly shouting matches, threats of being thrown out, two ovens for 80 people and daily leaf blowing outside our door at 6 am, has without me realising, become some of the things I love about this place. Although I am beyond happy to hang up my horrendous high vis yellow and orange tops, straw hat and capsicum smelling aroma, I will without a doubt miss my little home in Homehill.