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Monday, August 31, 2009

Living it rough

Arriving in Melbourne, last week Sunday morning, after the longest day of my trip so far. I was exhausted. Hadn't hardly slept in 48 hours, and still had a whole day to fill, as I waited for the train that would take me to Shepparton, in the evening, where Jason was going to be waiting for me.

We flew into the airport at 11.30 in the morning. My train was at 06.00 in the evening. So I had the whole day to fill. What was I going to do..? Walk around the city, like a zombie, waiting for the hours to pass? Yes, that's exactly what I ended up doing. The city wasn't as I remembered it. I always loved it, but now it was dark, gloomy, full of people, sky scrapers and just so much hustle and bustle, even on a Sunday morning. I had gone from a familiar place, which was Cairns, where I was becoming a familiar face, where the atmosphere was friendly, where the climate was warm and that had the feel of being a small town, to this big city, where I was just a soul, wandering around. I felt lost, I felt alone. I was not a happy chappy at all. I sat and had lunch in this small cafe, looking at the world passing me by, and the feeling I had owned for the past 3 months, which was being a free and unique individual, had suddenly gone. I didn't want to be in this city, no matter how cool and trendy Melbourne is supposed to be. I thought back over the month I had spent in Cairns, and it suddenly felt like on a distant memory.

All these feelings were probably made a little bit worse, by my exhaustion, by the weather and by the fact that I had just said goodbye to Janice and Cora. I hung out in the city for rest of the day, and it made me realize so much.. I suddenly knew how country people feel, when they go to cities. A concrete maze. That's all it is. I had never felt like that before, not when it came to being in cities. But suddenly I knew that I'd rather be away from a fast pace of life that the city represents. I knew that I wanted to be seen as a person, and just another soul that's roaming the streets, trying to keep up the pace and trying to fit in to the life that that particular city can offer. What an eyeopener. All this made me so excited to be on the farm again, and I couldn't wait to get on that train..

It left Melbourne at around 06.00pm and 3 hours later I was in Shepparton, where Jason was waiting for me. It was as if I hadn't left at all. There he was, in the carpark, Jason fooling around with the devil sticks.. Myvan was there too.. It was great to be reunited. Back in the van again.. back to basics, away from the tourists, away from the city.. This was what I wanted again..

We started work on Tuesday morning, after having a day of rest, to get over the flight. The farm is around 20 minutes outside of Shepparton, real isolated. But it's great. I was kind of nervous about starting work again. I had some doubts if I would be able to do the job, without running myself down. And also stepping back into the workforce felt so odd. But after the first few days, I realized that this is "too easy" (as the aussies would say). What exactly is it we're doing? Me and Jason are in the field, he grafts wood into an already existing tree, I come along and tie up the graft with some tape, and seal the "wound" with some paint. That's it. It's so much fun, even though it sounds pretty monotonous. It's anything but that.. We try to do around 500trees a day. The first week is just over and done with. It took us a few days to get into the swing of it. But now we're flying.

At the moment, we're living a very rough and primitive lifestyle. Myvan is parked just beside the field where we're working. Finding a shower each day, can be tricky, but we do have some luxury: We're allowed to use the canteen to cook our dinner every night.. Which we're delighted with! (we're both very easily pleased..). We jump out of the van each morning, in the "freezing" cold, hop into the field and away we go.. until around 5. We hang out in the canteen for a few hours (no tv or radio).. and then try to keep warm in the van each night, get some sleep and do it all over again the following day.. What a life! So basic, yet so great.

For now, this is where we'll be working. I'm not too sure how long this job will last. It could be a month, it could be two. It's always hard to know just how reliable these aussies are, when it comes to work. We'll see how it goes. It doesn't really matter. Because I'm enjoying being apart of the workforce, after 14 months, and I'm living for the moment, right now. Each and every tree I tie, I do it with so much pleasure! That's all there is.. the trees and Jason of course...

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