Back in Melbourne (Again)

Last Wednesday I arrived back in Melbourne. Technically, Thursday as my flight was delayed by three hours – one of the budget airlines that crack the shits when your bag is 150g over the weight limit, but it’s fine for them to be delayed most times I fly with them.

My last day in Perth I didn’t really do a lot – I was going to go to the Pinnacle Desert but they day would’ve cost me around the $300 mark and a five-hour round drive, which I didn’t think it’d be worth it. Instead, I chilled in the Botanical Gardens.

Around five hours after going to bed I had a job interview, and was requested back on the Saturday to do a trial and got the job. I just got in from a shift and it’s nice to finish when it’s light outside, but I think I need to try and find a part time/evening job to get my hours up so I can put off having proper adult responsibilities for that bit longer.

The flat that I’m going to move into isn’t ready as the person who’s moving out has extended their stay, so I’m in a hostel for a week and a half or so. Once I have my shit together I’m going to plan out what I want to get out of living in Victoria before I leave here (including a couple of road trips) and start getting myself ready for the next continent to travel through.



Quitting Work to Travel…. Again

Yesterday I finished my last day of work – it really has been nice today not worrying or getting messages whilst I’m not there. I wasn’t going to go out after work, then I thought sod it and go for a couple. I ended up going to bed at 8am, woke up at a friends house wondering why there was a dog on me, then had the realisation that I had told the property manager of the flat that I live in that I’d show potential roommates around. To be honest, I don’t know what would have given the better impression – giving a tour of the place whilst absolutely trollied or turning up late.

Over the week I moved into a new flat; I’ve had it to myself for now but I will have to share the room. As far as sharehouses go, this one is probably the nicest one in the area as it is brand new so I’ll hopefully be happy here for the next couple of months at least.

Tomorrow I’m travelling to Japan and have very little prepared for it. Normally I leave everything until the last minute, but I’ve been non-stop at work so it’s hard to fit in buying and remembering stuff. I’ll post a couple of updates in Tokyo.

Last Friday I handed in my notice, and was asked if I could possibly work an extra few days. Haha no. Last Saturday was a bit of a drunken mess to celebrate, and Sunday I missed the last tram home from work so I ended up at the pub and Maccas on the way home and in bed an hour and a half before I had to be up for work. Definitely not my finest idea.

My last day is the Wednesday after next, chilling out on Thursday and then I’m at the airport on Friday night to land in Japan on Saturday morning. Can’t bloody wait. There’s also a Nando’s in the international terminal at the airport – it has definitely been too long since my last one

Over the last week or so, I moved out of the house share to a hostel as I was supposed to move in with someone who I did my farm work with. Over the first three days she decided that she hates it here and the weathers shit, despite spending three days in bed and she’s moving to Sydney. It’s pretty easy to guess how less than impressed I am – luckily the property manager of the house share said I can come back, and I’m viewing a flat with my own room tomorrow so I have somewhere to move to.

This coming week I have to work, but it’s going to be nice to count the days down.

It’s been a while…

It’s been almost a month. The finger has healed fine and I don’t really have much to show for it besides a dent in my thumb if you look closely.  Its taking some getting used to as I can feel what is now missing whilst putting pressure on it.

Japan has now been booked up; I’ve said heaps of times that I want to go. Over the last month I’ve been consistently pissed off with my job as it isn’t letting me enjoy Melbourne and my job role is actually something that I hadn’t fully agreed to. It’s not a story to put on the internet as I’m pretty sure that I am no longer in the good books, but it feels really satisfying to have said that I simply cannot be fucked anymore. Tomorrow I’m handing my notice in, my last day is on the 27th, then I have a late flight to Japan that week.

I’m staying in Japan for ten or so days, planning to hit up Tokyo for the best part of a week, then I think I’m going to Fuji early in the morning and leaving the next day to Kyoto, then back up to Tokyo to catch the flight back here.

You Live and You Learn – Or In My Case, You Don’t

Once again, I have sick note for work. And yes, it’s because I cut myself.

I was promoted at work a couple of weeks ago to run the kitchen at work; I kind of see it as the same job I had in London – just on a bigger scale, people to manage, and more shit to deal with. The next couple of weeks are going to be challenging, but if I can get my shit together and turn things around with a team behind me it’ll be great.

Last Thursday I managed to sprain some of the joints in my neck (I don’t know how) which I worked with for five days (again, I don’t know how). On Tuesday morning I was tired to the point of not being able to hold a conversation for more than two minutes and was pumped for a day off, which I was told I looked like I needed one – there hasn’t been a day where I’ve not been at work for three weeks. I was at work, cutting a block of palm sugar which is pretty tough and cut the sugar as well as part of my thumb off. To be honest, it didn’t look or hurt that bad so I just had it bandaged up pretty well and worked on it for five hours before getting sent to the doctor. I even managed to make a plate of gnocchi which ended up on the instagram page during the time I was bandaged up. The thumb was pretty well bandaged up to stop the bleeding which took around a day, but have a sick note to reduce the amount of work I do which hasn’t exactly been abided to.

The next few weeks are going to be work heavy – it’s a good career opportunity that is in front of me, and in a while I’m going to see if I can get sponsorship. I’m working upwards of 50-hour weeks at the moment; it’s tough but if I work towards the goals that I’ve been set then I’m pretty sure that I can do a good job of it.

Not Missing the Days of Melon Farming

I’m pretty much going back to working a lot. I’m now on my third week, love the job but I seriously struggle to get out of bed before midday now. As I have been working since February with no holiday, I feel as though I need to go to Bali or somewhere, lounge around and get sunburnt.

Other than work, on Wednesday I went shopping – I got paid so it’s nice to be able to buy some winter clothes. I’m definitely missing the weather, the people and just the shit that we got up to in Ayr but a lot better off down here, even if it feels like the joints in my knees are going to freeze over. Thursday, there were a couple of friends from Ayr who were visiting Melbourne, so it was nice to catch up with them over a $5 pizza, just like the Sundays up north.

Over my days off this coming week I’d quite like to do something productive, although it’s a bit hard to get up in the morning after five days straight of 7 to 12+ hours on my feet. I’m going to try and get into the habit of sleeping in when I start work late – midday/3pm and doing something on the days off, rather than having a repeat of this weeks. I’ll make it to the Aardmans/Wallace and Gromit expo over the next week, the Queen Vic Night Market and one or two other things. In a week or two I may go to Wilsons Prom – the most southern point in mainland Australia (I think) with the tour operators who I did the Great Ocean Road and Grampians with last year, just hoping the weather is good for it. I also want to make it to the Mornington Peninsular, meant to be one of the best hot springs in the world.

Work Work Work Work Work Work

Since last Sunday I have worked every day besides Wednesday and it seems like the perfect career opportunity. It seems as though things have figured themselves out to get me into Melbourne at the time of this job opening – I could afford neither Bali or Japan after my farm work that took way too long and on the street that I’m living on one of the chefs in a restaurant directed me to the Facebook page of where I found my job. Hopefully this is a sign that I’m in the right place and things will work themselves out for the best here.

The new workplace I’m optimistic that I’ll enjoy my time and make some career progress – my trial shift involved me cooking steaks and I didn’t know I could cook them so bloody well. There’s a lot more responsibility for me as the job came with a promotion from my previous position in England; tomorrow I’m running dinner service.

Today was my “day off,” meaning that I covered a shift for someone that I know, then went back to the St Kilda area and went straight to work. I should have two days off in a row coming up so one day I’ll go to the market, see what ingredients I can get and see if I can get a dish on the specials at work. The other day off I should be meeting up with some friends who I haven’t seen in a while.


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.

88 Days a Slave: 78 Left

The past week has had its ups and downs in this hostel. For me, it’s been good as I’m now only in constant minor pain and have had a pretty fun night out.

We had a day off work because it was more ‘too hot’ than it usually is to work and that night was so hot that I’d been sweating as though I had done a workout in my sleep. The was also a day where we had to farm barefoot (and hopefully not come across any brown snakes) as it had pissed it down and the field was a state.

Towards the end of the week I confessed to someone whilst bent down and covered head to toe in sweat, suncream, mud and mosquito spray that I’d rather be good at something like languages and not bending down to shove a couple of thousand plants in holes. Just with a couple more choice words thrown in.

A lot of people here are leaving, thinking about leaving or have left, which is a bit bittersweet. On one hand, I’m used to seeing the same faces every day but it’s moving me up the priority list for work.

Queensland – Farm Work

After a 43 hour journey, mostly by bus (never again), I arrived in Queensland on Friday to start my farm work to extend my visa. Tomorrow I start work, no idea what I’m doing yet, but am quite excited to stop slacking off and to top my Australian bank account back up.

There’s Internet in this hostel that I don’t think is meant to be free (sorrynotsorry), but it seems like I can connect for a couple of hours or so until I get kicked off. This means I’ll be updating this blog a lot less over the next four months, at least. With all the shit that is gong on in the world, and the media’s constant reporting of politics, I’ll be glad to not be using the Internet much.