My last days at work...
Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
123Trip End Feb 27, 2006
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By the time I'd finished at the shellfish factory, I was something of a dab hand at packing the mussels...and I quite enjoyed doing it too. My job was to pile all the mussels into boxes, and when I thought that a box weighed 10kg, then I had to place it onto the scales. I usually had a contest with the lady working next to me to see who was the best guesser...you had to make your own entertainment!
My penultimate day was certainly an experience. Tasha, our supervisor, asked me to go to Factory 2 as they were short staffed. I welcomed a change of scenery, but I soon changed my tune when I saw all the gear that I needed to wear! Woolly hat, neck warmer, arm length gloves, fleece...I was in the freezer, and unsurprisingly, it was quite chilly! My new task was to grade the mussels, i.e. discard any black ones that passed by on the conveyor belt. Easy enough, but my feet were numb by the time first smoko arrived! Therefore, I spent the remaining 5 hours of the shift dancing around like an idiot in the hope of keeping warm...and thankfully it worked.
Tasha made amends on my final day by allowing me to help with the barbecue, which turned out to be a 2 hour skive to be honest! All I did was put serviettes between slices of bread, ask the workers if they wanted any ketchup on their sausage sarnies, and talk cricket with Baz. Easy, and it made the time go quick too which is always a bonus.
So just after midnight, I was a free man, and everyone in my department wished me well (one lady who I'd got on particularly well with, Patricia, gave me a big hug!). They were a really friendly bunch, and for that reason alone there is a small possibility that I'll return for a week prior to Christmas. We'll see...
Saturday was a quiet day, but I did spend some time organising my 15 day jaunt around the South Island with Mum and Stu. I called a few car rental companies to get quotes, booked accommodation for the first few nights, and pencilled in a dolphin watching trip in Kaikoura. If all goes according to plan, and the weather holds, we should be able to fit a lot into a short space of time...
I met Stuart at night and played pool for a few hours, although he seems to be a glutten for punishment as I dished out a 16-3 mauling! I enjoyed what will probably be my last 'backpacker special' at The Shark Club...with a shot of peach schnapps thrown in for good measure!
Rie, Cobain and myself had arranged to go for a meal at our favourite Italian restaurant on Sunday lunchtime, as a 'goodbye' meal (although I'll be back in Nelson in a matter of days!). That said, I might not see them as I'll no doubt be busy doing trips and the like. I had my usual ham and pineapple pizza, and there was the same old banter about Rie having lots of money, Cobain enjoying studying English, and me being lazy (obviously not true considering I walked 6km to work every day...and back as well!). I had a nice time though as they are both amusing to be around.
I bought a few beers and lots of chocolate in preparation for a relaxing evening in front of the TV watching lots of American crime shows (not my choice, but they were pretty good). Rie came round for a few hours (she moved into a flat last week), and I lost at Jenga yet again...I should stick to pool!
After walking Rie home at midnight (before she turned into a pumpkin!), I proceeded to get some sleep ahead of a long bus journey to Christchurch the following day...