Counting down starts at day 1

A new month, a new start for me. I’m in Adelaide and have to make my way to the farm in Gumeracha to start my 88 days of rural work. All of this has to be done to obtain my 2nd year working holiday visa for Australia. From Tea Tree Plaza I take a minibus into the Adelaide Hills. Besides the driver there is one other guy on the bus. We drive into the pretty hills and I see farmland and nature. It’s spring and everything is pretty and colorful.

hammering awayThe driver is very interested in what brings me to this area. He used to be a tour guide and talking to him makes me feel better about the farm work. After an hour of bonding with the bus driver he decides to make a detour and drop me off at the farm. I’m not sure where to go, but then I see a very farmer-looking person. This turns out to be my boss. My boss, who didn’t expect me today despite the clear communication per email.

I am at the farm to replace a French girl, who is going to leave in a few days. The farmer finds it necessary to ask me all sorts of questions and I feel like I am in a job interview. It is obvious he isn’t going to make it easy and I have to prove myself. After dropping my things in the backpackers shed, he takes me to the fields straight away. I have to start working. The French girl is working in a big field. With a hammer we have to move wires that are stuck to posts. It is very repetitive and after an hour I already feel the start of some blisters.

Later I take a good look at my new living situation. It is a shed that has been transformed to house workers. There are two big bedrooms with lots of beds. In the main area stand some old, dusty sofas andfields a small TV that cannot receive any signal. There is a kitchen area with two big fridges. When I open a door I find out I’d better keep them closed. It’s disgusting! The shower is in a big room that also has the washing machine and some random crap. There are two separate toilets. Everything looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in a while. The farmer says backpackers are pigs. They steal and break everything, so he gave up trying to make something decent of the backpacker house. I take a deep breath. I can get used to anything.

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