The slave labour has begun.
$180 per bin of lemons (which is actually more a skip than a bin), split between 2 people. That roughly equates to about £45 per person for an 11 hour day, IF you fill the bin (which is unlikely).
The work itself isn’t too bad actually, it’s quite therapeutic. It’s more the sheer volume of it all and the heat that makes it difficult. Unfortunately as it’s the end of the lemon season, we not only have to find lemons the right size and quality for the bins, but we also have to strip the trees of all fruit as well. Naturally, we are not getting paid for the extra labour, because that would be fair.
You also have to cease all picking if it starts to rain and wait under the trees (sometimes for up to two hours for the rain to stop and the trees to dry) before you can start again.
On our first day it started hammering it down half way through with no sign of stopping, so we had to go home. I wouldn’t mind but I really just want to get the ball rolling now and I am in desperate need for cash money quick time.
Here she is
Each pair has their own row to work down, which is nice as you don’t feel pressured. I kid you not though, this row is never ending.
Also me picking lemons next to bugs while they hiss at me 😦
Remaining hopeful that soon we will have hourly paid packaging jobs at the Sweet Potato farm, instead of piece rate work.
Currently exploring all avenues to obtain the 2nd year visa3 months is a long time x
Me after taking extras home to deal with the snorers in my room
Fully aware it’s a lime not a lemon, don’t start. If anyone knows their Citrus fruits, it’s me
Went up in the world briefly to the big leagues- cleaning dragonfruit. How do you clean a dragonfruit, you ask? With a toothbrush in a vat of chlorine (safe to eat idk??).
Was actually quite a nice job and the farmers were cute, plus it was paid hourly which was a refreshing change. However, I see why as we worked out we’d cleaned over 3000 dragonfruit(s?) that day. Always a catch, isn’t there.
Only downside was that it reminded me a bit of doing the washing up. You know when you’re buzzin that you’re finally nearly finished and then some sly bastard brings down about 63 plates and cups that they’ve had in their room for the last few months? That’s what it was like- as soon as we thought we were on the home stretch, another truck load would come and we’d be straight back in to the chlorine.
That, and the fact that my arms are now severely lacking in hair from the elbows down and I have definitely eroded about 7 layers of fingerprints. But on the plus side, it’s less likely I’ll leave traceable DNA evidence when I inevitably snap and murder the snorer in my room. Every cloud.
£45 for all of these 🙂 nah
Update on lemons: I take back everything I said initially about it being “not too bad”- it is horrible.
Impossible to get over a bin/7 tonnes per day and majority of the lemons are too small to count, so you’re actually earning about £25 a day. It was 36 degrees today and the farmers are now very aggy and check your tree every five minutes to point out all the INVISIBLE TO THE NAKED HUMAN EYE lemons you’ve missed.
Been pretty hard to stay positive this week but, you know what, it’s a valuable life lesson.
In the incredibly wise and adorable words of Alfred,Can’t argue with that, can you
All the work is not worth the money and I am currently at a loss thus far. The hostel staff are also really snakey and tell you you’ll only be on lemons as a stop gap until they find you an hourly rate job, which has actually turned out to be a lie. You have to quit lemons and be jobless again in order to be put on the waiting list for hourly jobs (goes without saying that you aren’t told about this change in process because, again, that would be fair).
After much consideration, I have decided that if I do not get an hourly job by the end of the week, I will return to Sydney and get a bar job there. I have another 10 months to complete my farming if I want the 2nd year visa, and earning money is the priority for me at the moment.
Will probably end up going back to Sydney in any case, but we shall see what (if anything) is offered to me. More piece rate? It’s a no from me x
In other news, there is a karaoke bar down the road. We opted for High School Musical’s Breaking Free, crowd pleaser. Gets the people goin’
Would just like to take the opportunity to confirm that I was definitely reaching for that star in heaven and not hailing hitler. Couldn’t have picked a worse time to take the shot 😂
Thunder and Lightning the night I give my notice in to the hostel… pathetic fallacy? Sat in the rain watching the sky for half an hour and managed to get this shot. Don’t even come at me with I didn’t take that because I did OKAY
She’s left the farm. With a heavy heart, I hung up my shoes and said my goodbyes. Strictly speaking, you’re only meant to put your shoes up there after you’ve completed your 88 days, but I think I earned it after ticking off a strong 4.
Spent my last day at the Botanical Gardens, which were surprisingly nice considering we were in Bundaberg (don’t have an internet café but they have Botanical Gardens…ok).
Made the cutest little friends My man soaking up the rays with his little arms tucked in