A new year.
Where will my bike bring me in 2010…It’s not as uncertain as before.
For the first time (ever) I’m fairly convinced I will stay in one country for a whole year!
My application for a 2nd visa has been granted so there we go,
Australia is not going to get rid of me any time soon.
Just when I was about to have a nice quiet x-mass in Geraldton I got a phone call,
Andrew (Byro station) invited me to come down to Dongara to celebrate with his fiancé Lynne’s family.
A few days of drinking beer and eating seafood combined with going to the beach for a bit of spear-fishing and snorkelling.
Gary (Lynne’s dad) even let me have a go at scuba-diving, something I’ve never done before. Completely un-natural to be under water AND breath at the same time! I must say I think I rather be 5000m above then 3m below sea level… (funny coming from a Dutch person huh)
A lovely lunch and even a present made it a special day. But the most wonderful thing was, after 4 months with a sore thumb, Gary managed to get a splinter out that has been bugging me ever since I stayed at Yarrie-station! His trick was to cover my thumb in soaked bread for 24 hours. In case you ever have a splinter that just won’t come out, this is the trick.
For the excitement of the day we found a red-back spider, this lovely little creature that doesn’t look very scary is Australia’s most dangerous spider. A bite will hurt. A lot. This is a female; the males are only a few mm big and are known to be eaten by their partner during mating… Ouch.
I spent New Year’s in Dongara as well, this time with two work-colleagues…. They reckoned they’d show me ‘the Australian way’…. It involved drinking beer. And drinking some more beer. And then drinking even more beer… The weirdest thing happened though. I got ill. And I haven’t been able to touch any alcohol ever since. That’s abnormal, anyone who knows me knows I really enjoy a beer… Ah well, no need to make any new year’s resolutions. This one just happened all by itself
After I finished driving the tractor at harvest I had enough cash to go cycling for a good amount of time, but remember Michael? The guy who first plucked me off the road in Mullewa…
He needed an extra hand on his team.
Since I didn’t need money that urgent I told him I work in exchange for a new camera, my old one has been broken for a long time. He agreed and I’m now the proud owner of a Canon EOS 500D
My time with Michael’s Tarping-Team proved interesting and rather entertaining. Some of those blokes I’m working with are ridiculous, one of them was absolutely horrified when I ‘let one fly’…
They joke and do all sorts of stupid stuff with each other, but he reckoned he had NEVER heard a girl fart…. Shock horror.
The work is not particularly hard, it’s just very hot and dirty. The flies drive you crazy and with temperatures reaching into the high 40 it was sometimes impossible to work during the day.
Another factor you have to take into account is the wind. You can’t ‘tarp’ when it’s windy.
So instead you go to the pub. Logic.
On one of those evenings I was very surprised to find the barmaid completely naked apart from her (very VERY) short skirt.
An Australian phenomenon called the ‘skimpy’. For reasons unclear to me on random days (a Wednesday in this case) in random places (the Mullewa pub) a girl serves drinks undressed. No surprise that I was the only other girl in there. A mineworker’s x-mass party was having the best of times…
When there’s no ‘skimpies’ the guys entertain themselves with games of pool and sleeping.
But as soon as it cools down and work conditions are good we drive to one of the sites. The different CBH grain-collection points that we cover lay in a 250km radius, so a lot of driving is involved. That’s where my newly acquired drivers licence comes in handy. Michael even figured I’d be fine to drive the truck…
So my designated job became driving the truck and handling the Hiab.
Next year I might even get my truck-licence
While being on the road we often call into pubs for a meal. You find mainly people working in the mines, on the roads or (like us) for CBH in the small country pubs this time of year. So you can understand my surprise when I sat down for a bite in ‘Watheroo-pub’ and the lady walks in saying; ‘You can’t sit here in your work-clothes…’ She couldn’t come up with an answer when I asked her why.
The other people in there were a couple of truckies in singlets and thongs… So it wasn’t that there’s a strict dress-code. For a moment I contemplated just taking my work clothes off and eat naked. But I decided against that and walked out instead.
I still can’t understand the problem. If I would’ve been a lawyer, or a truck driver, or a teacher… would I still not be allowed in work clothes…? Obviously I didn’t tip her. Actually I didn’t pay at all. Silly Lady.
I’m starting to get used to the distances here. In the last few weeks I’ve gone to Perth 3 times, a distance that’s the same as driving to Paris from my hometown. And I’ve never been to Paris…
Last time I actually drove the land cruiser back, all by myself. This made me particularly proud because the biggest town I’ve driven a car in so far was Morawa (population 1200)
I was a bit nervous, turned out I didn’t need to be since I was the biggest car around most of the time, so everybody would get out of my way… HA
The idea was to help Michael out ‘till the end of tarping and then jump on my bike. I got her all clean, oiled and ready to go. Then I started falling apart.
First I hurt my back. So I couldn’t move, couldn’t work and couldn’t cycle. Then I hurt my tooth so I had to go see a dentist who abused me for a bit but reckons it is fixed. It still hurts though.
Sitting still with nothing to do I figured I might as well build myself a brand new website…
And TADAAAA!!! This is it
I’m not completely finished yet. But I’m working on it.
And as soon as my back stops hurting I’ll be back on the road. Because, I’m sure, there is a whole lot of exciting stuff just waiting to happen out there this year. Not least of them becoming an aunty… again
happy new year.