Not Singing In The Rain
Trip Start Jun 05, 2008
99Trip End Jun 14, 2009
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I dragged myself to the bathroom like a female version of the cornflake man, washed my face and brushed my teeth, stuck my eyes in and applied my much needed mascara, in preparation for a days work at the farm
At 6am, the bus driver and owner of the hostel/pub pumped his horn to our fellow fruit picking buddies. The sun was on it's way up as we headed to the farm. It was raining and had been all night. The silence was noticable. On a grubby bus, full of grumpy, grouchy, goonheads not a word was spoken, not even to our Irish friends Rochelle and David. 45 Minutes later we arrived. We drove for 5 minutes down a dusty lane and dropped off a few of the the fruit packers who work in the open sided sheds. For miles around us, thats all we could see was rows and rows of bushes that grew as high as my thigh. We followed the regular gang from the bus and stood around on the edge of the Egg Plant fields. What happens now.....? A few minutes later, a banged out pick-up truck comes hurtling towards us like the crazed Cruella de Ville. A small framed lady in her early Forties approached us. She had long fair hair covered by a white floppy sunhat, weathered skin and was smoking a rolled cigarette. To our surprise, she seemed quite friendly
Jackie gathered us "new ones" together and gave us our training. She chose a row of bushes to demonstrate the talent required to cut her precious egg plant! This is going to be our new highly skilled jobs for the next 3 months. We paid full attention as she droaned on and on! "This is too big, this is too small, this is just right!" (only it's never was just right, just the opposite!) She spread out a bush (one of millions) using her arm and cut an egg plant off at its stem using clippers. Piece of pee! We helped ourselves to gardening gloves and clippers and off we went to our rows. I was chuffed to find myself on the row next to my man and our new Irish friends. This is gonna be fun! We layed out 6 large containers in row about 10ft apart ready to fill. We started. 2 minutes in I shouted to Phill "Whoppie!! This beats the Jobcentre anyday!!" I was elated! After all our hard work saving for our dreams to come true, here we are! I was proud of us!! Check us out!!
· 10 minutes later "Is it time to go home yet?"
· 1 hours later "My back hurts babe!"
· 2 hours later "Whats the time babe?", "9am babe", "Tits!"
· 2.5 hours later "Do we get a break or what?" (soaked through to knickers, shoes full of mud and water!)
· 3 hours later Jackie shouts "Break time!"
· 3 hours, 10 mins later Jackie shouts "Right, you lot, break over, back to it NOW
· 4 hours later, Phills hurt his arm, he doesn't know how or why.
· 5 hours later - Lunchtime! Try sitting down with broken backs, sore hands, wet clothes from head to toe, goose pimples, wet sandwiches and soggy snapped fags and not a toilet in sight! (but this is our dream....right?) Faces like wet slapped bums!
· 5 hours 20 mins later "Right you bunch of useless bastards, back to work NOWW!"
Get the picture? Another 4.5 hours of horrific ball/back breaking work, topped off with a twonk of a Farmer hurling abuse at us, screaming at everyone to speed up, checking our buckets with contridicting rules of what fruit is too small, or too big, thriving off her authority, treating us like we're scumbags, prisoners, bootcamp victims whilst we're soaked through (by tears).
The coach arrived to take 12 cold, miserable, used and abused backpackers home subjected to a day of pure slavery! I'm not joking you, I'm not exaggerating, I'm telling it as it is
Day off tomorrow!! Yippee!! We couldn't go through that again! We came home, showered and got hammered with our similarly pained Irish friends. We weren't drinking to get drunk, it was for medicinal purposes....to ease the pain!!!