Planting Watermelons Like There’s No Tomorrow

Work this week started off with chilli picking; the first job that I’ve had so far that isn’t on a watermelon field. It’s work that no one really wants to do as it pays $2.50 per kilo and most people pick 25-30kg which means that I’ll get paid around $100 for 16 hours work. I got paid a bit less than four and a half times this for the same amount of work in Melbourne.

Our first day on the farm, the farmer met us at a petrol station to take us to his farm and the next day we got pretty lost on the way there. It took 45 minutes, half hour on the phone to the farmer and two phonecalls to the hostel to get there, almost running over a dog in the process. One of the things that no one really warns you about for farm work is that there aren’t really any toilets on the farms – this time a year ago I was tasting port in Portugal, and at the start of the week I’m advising a friend on where the best place to pee on a field is. Still living the dream.

After two days of having my head in chilli plants and my hayfever going wild, I was so, so happy to be back planting watermelons. The happiness did not last long, though. As there have been a lot of people leaving over the past couple of weeks, a small group of us are working double as we are having to do our work, then helping the fifteen  or so new people. Thursday, I would say was either the joint worst or second worst shift of my life (going out on the piss three nights in a row and the fourth day was a menu change at work and I am never ever doing that again). It got to the point where I had been working for nine hours and had done so much work that I could have cried if I had to plant another watermelon for someone else. Luckily, someone else was on hand to help me help someone and to listen to me chat shit about watermelons. It turned out that I planted somewhere around 6km of watermelons all day Thursday. On Friday morning someone forgot to wear their shoes to work. When I had a day as shit as it was on Thursday, having something like that to laugh about was well needed.

During the week it was one of my roomates’ birthday so I cooked seven of us a lasagne, not going to lie it was pretty bloody good. It was also pancake day so three of us had pancakes for dinner – first course chorizo and cheese, followed by chocolate and salted caramel.

I found a mascot for our work van; an air freshener probably wouldn’t help whatsoever when you consider how bad we smell by 8am most days. In the supermarket, I saw a sponge in the shape of the watermelon emoji for $2 with a string around it. We’re going to hang it from the rear-view mirror in the car as though it is an air freshener and see if the farmers humour us.

Today I am definitely feeling as though I went out last night. As per usual, most people staying at this hostel went out and got absolutely twatted.

After almost three years, my tablet has finally broken. I decided to opt for a small laptop instead of a tablet as I find that it’s just easier to use a laptop. For a while I have wanted to change the layout of the blog to something a bit more professional looking which is pretty hard to do on a touchscreen, so over the next coming weeks I’ll be giving onewomanonebackpack a makeover.

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