Take a Looke

Trip Start Nov 17, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day four is by far the worst, it feels like christmas and Donovan (that's what Iv started calling him) tells us that we are all pulling today after two days of rolling. But as I pull my first tree, I realise it is going to take alot longer than the last. After the painstaking procedure of rolling the past few days, these vines now need to be unrolled. The vines are aged and brown, but that makes no difference to the tightly rolled thick branches with their overgrown children clinging on to each other. By the third tree down,  Iv hit myself in the left eye three times and the right, two. Water streams from them flushing out all of the bits of bark. Its unbearable I can't see a thing. Its like chopping 500 onions, or rubbing chilly hands in your eyes. It get’s worse, I loose any ability to hold it together, I strop out like a toddler, kicking the tree, throwing my scissors across the ground and sitting down on the floor.
Back onto rolling the next few days, we try our hardest to persevere as in only a few days we will give our notice and a week after that we will be out of this place. We just need to work as hard as we can, get our miniscule earnings and leave with some days off our three months.
That seems easy enough until day seven. We arrive to the same patch of never ending vines that we have been tirelessly working on and finish off the last few days on yesterdays row. As we are getting started on the next row, the Tongans car pulls up and the big fella with the gigantic fluffy leopard print hat ask us where are the others, where are the ones they trained up. We apologise on behalf of  the people who haven’t showed up and follow him as he tells us ‘These not good, take a look, take a look’. We follow him as he unwinds all of the rolling that we spent 8 and a half hours doing yesterday , remarking ‘ no good, no good, I can’t pay this’. He starts re-rolling them, the vines instantly obeying and curling around the wire ‘Take a looke, Take a looke’ he says. I start to unwind the next lot, ‘No good, We not pay this, now too late, where is Tony? (We presume he means Don), He call’s him to come and pick us up. We have been fired and we will not be paid for the last two days work.
The next day we are unsure if we have work, no one gives us the usual 11oclock visit, so we decide to get up at the usual 5.30am so we are ready in the hope of work. The people who are up have all been given that time, So we go back to bed. We get up again at 8am and wait around for any news, heading back to bed as we give up. We get up at 9 one final time, have something to eat and a mesage is passed to us ‘the ones who have given the one week notice’ that we are not working today. We go back to bed. Ten minutes later someone comes banging on the door, ‘He says if you want work today, you must come now’. Again, throw on the clothes and run sleepley into the van, At least this time with something in our stomachs.
The next task we introduced in the grape production line is trimming. It seems an easy task at first and we are all quite relaxed and happy. As they do not trust us to roll, they are asking us to prep the vines by cutting off the growths of each one. I start of content, but soon realise the legnth of time it takes to cut off every single growth of every single branch, my neck is killing from staring up at the sky, my back from taking the brunt of the work, my right hand which I am sure will never break from this scissor grasping position and I the crows feet under my eyes grow as I squint in the morning sun.
Two days and 96 trees later, we approach the subject of getting our visa forms signed. I go back to my caravan a broken, defeated backopacker, I tried to work through it and all for what? We will leave here down money having worked a greusome eight days with no pay, a stinking cold, bed bugs and worst of all these days will count nothing towards our visa. Still 88 days to go.
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