|Bubble Tea with Allen and Viola|
stopped at a restaurant for roast duck, which was so good! Afterwards, we went to have bubble tea for dessert. While we were sitting there, it started POURING rain – even an umbrella wouldn’t help keep us dry! We decided to stay safe in the bubble tea restaurant for an hour or two, while we waited for the car to be ready for pickup. By the time the car was ready to get picked up (around 2:30pm), the rain had stopped so we were able to walk back to the garage and pick up the car. We then went to an outlet mall to check out some of the shops and then we headed to an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant, where we were meeting with some other people from work (there were ten of us in total). We paid 32.80 each (a bit more expensive than Saskatoon) and got to eat as much as we wanted. All-you-can-eat sushi was a bit different as well. Instead of having a menu of different types of sushi to order, the menu just had different types of food, which had a sushi platter included in the menu. However, I ended up getting full SO fast because it was the first time I was putting so much meat, gluten, and dairy in my body at once – I don’t think my body was used to it. It was all really good though, and I ended up trying a lot of foods that I probably wouldn’t have ordered myself. On Sunday, Gabi and I spent the entire day inside because it was pouring rain again. I decided to just have a lazy day since there wasn’t much else that I could do.
back to the landladies on behalf of everyone. Little did they know, this isn’t my first rodeo – I’ve dealt with a few nightmare landlords in the past (for those of you who need a refresher, feel free to go back to the London posts of my blog!). Everyone else was just as shocked as I was about the message, and we all didn’t think it was messy. I rage-wrote a full page of a text message (which is what I do best), and then got the rest of the house to read it before I sent it in the group message. I decided to keep it polite (as I didn’t want to make things hostile and uncomfortable while living here), but I also decided to call a spade a spade when necessary. For those of you who want to read the message, I’ve copied it below. For those of you who don’t want to read it, feel free to scroll past 🙂
|Everyone out for sushi|
|My coworkers, Judy and Akane|
looking for a new place!
|For those of you who are still unsure about what I do|
expect us to go through the entire shed in one week. The second week of us being there, the supervisors hinted that arch support should be working faster during our staff meeting. The third week, the supervisor pulled all of the arch support people aside and told us we should be working faster. The fourth week, the supervisor came up to each of us individually and told us we had to work faster. By that time, my average was about 650 plants per hour (I got my row time down to 45 minutes!) and they expected us to be at 900. The supervisor told me that if I thought I couldn’t get to 900, I needed to tell him and he would move me somewhere else. He also told me to look at the sheet of KPI’s to see how I was doing. I went and looked, and only two of us (out of seven) were actually reaching the 900-plant target – one of whom had already done the job for six months. The other five of us had our names highlighted in bright yellow for everyone else to see. I then understood why students never like having their marks posted on the wall. By that point, I was more angry than anything. I was doing my best, and instead of acknowledging that I sped up my weekly average by five minutes compared to the previous week, they were continuously saying that I needed to be better. I felt like a kid who was constantly trying to please their parents, and feeling like their parents were never proud of them. I honestly didn’t care if they wanted to fire me because I felt like I should find work somewhere else. It wasn’t worth stressing myself over a job that I didn’t necessarily need. I figured that maybe I should just stay in Australia for one year and move on. During the two weeks before that, Sonia had kept going back and forth between wanting to stay only to finish her 88 days, and wanting to stay for the full 6-month contract in order to save money. However, one day out of the blue, she announced that she was going to buy a plane ticket back to Perth and she would be leaving in two weeks. She missed her boyfriend and she didn’t think she wanted to stay in Australia for another year so it wasn’t worth finishing her farmwork. I didn’t know what to think! The person who I’ve been spending 24/7 with for the past two months was leaving! I think that her leaving combined with the stresses of work as well as the stresses of Ali at home was just too much for me. I thought that maybe I should just go to Melbourne and start teaching. I now know that the reason why Paul (our supervisor) had been pushing us to go faster was because Mark (the main supervisor) was going on holiday for the following four weeks, meaning Paul would be taking over. We knew that the big bosses would be coming in to see how things were going, and I think Paul was stressing out that we were going to mess everything up.
an Italian restaurant in Warragul and I was finally able to have my first pizza in Australia! It was so nice to have an evening out with everyone, and I was truly sad to be leaving them, as they are all such genuine people. Luckily, I’d still be able to see them at work! After dinner, we all went back to the house, took pictures, and visited before bed. The next day was extremely busy! Lucky for me, Allen and Viola (two of my housemates) offered to drive me to the car rental in Warragul at 8am, which saved me an hour and a half walk (and having to get up at 5:30 in the morning!). I picked up the car and then I had to learn how to DRIVE the car. Not only was the steering wheel on the right side of the car, but the gear shift was on the opposite side, as well as the signals. I kept hitting my hand on the door because I’d reach for the handle to change from Reverse to Drive, and then remember that it was on the opposite side. And I must have turned on the windshield wipers at least twenty times instead of turning the signal light on. I was SO nervous when I drove for the first time because it’s hard to get your bearings! For someone who’s used to driving on the left side of the car, it’s hard to drive on the right side of the car and not feel like you’re going to hit something on your left side, or go out of the lines. I was too scared to make my first left turn, as well as my second left turn, so I ended up driving out of Warragul about five kilometres until I could finally make another turn. I drove to the new house to pick up the keys at 9am, and went back to the farm to finish packing up my stuff. Gabi was arriving at 11 so I had about two hours to get everything organized. As soon as I finished packing my stuff, I noticed that Ali had come home from Melbourne so I quickly packed up the car. As I was about to leave, Chloe saw me and showed me her brand new iPhone (she lost her previous one the week before) and shoes. She asked
what I was doing that day and I said that I would be moving houses, so she gave me a hug goodbye. I then put everything in the car and went to pick up Gabi. We had just enough time to drop off all of our stuff at the new house, and then we had to go to the park because some of my coworkers were having a barbecue. They had stoves in the park and the girls had bought a bunch of meat to grill; it was so nice! Unfortunately, we had to leave at 1:30pm because we had to pick up Sonia from the farm and then we all drove to Ikea (and arrived at 3:30). I told the girls that we HAD to leave by 5pm so that we could make it back to Warragul, fill the car with gas and drop it off, and then catch the last bus back to Melbourne. We actually DID finish Ikea at 5pm but then we couldn’t find the car anywhere! Once we realized we were actually on the wrong parking level, we were able to finally find the car. We told Gabi that she could just stay in Melbourne since we were coming back anyway, and then Sonia and I drove back to
Warragul. By the time we got back to my house, it was 6:45 so we quickly put all of the Ikea stuff in the house and then I took Sonia back to the farm. By the time I got to the train station, it was 7:15 and the last train left at 7:30! Needless to say, it was a VERY stressful evening. I parked the car at the station parking lot since there was no way I’d have time to fill it up with gas and bring it back to the dealership in time. I then took the bus to Melbourne and took the tram up to Thornbury,
|Off to Ikea!|
where Robyn was staying. For those of you who don’t know, Robyn is the longest friend that I have had – we knew each other before we were even born, when our moms would put their stomachs together so we could kick each other. We hardly see each other anymore because she lives in Calgary (and I live in different countries), but it was so nice to catch up since it’s nearly been two years since we last saw each other! I finally arrived at the bar ‘Welcome to Thornbury’ at 10pm and was able to have a well-deserved drink with Robyn and her friends. We left just after midnight and walked back to where Robyn was staying, and then Robyn and I ended up talking until 3 in the morning (just like old times)!
|Our amazing brunch!|
|High in the sky!|
home. However, I had to figure out where to leave the key or I wouldn’t get my $400 bond back. The guy had said there would be a box across the street at the Holden dealership, so Allen and I walked around, searching. Finally, Allen found a box but above the box, there was a sign saying that they no longer take returns for AVIS customers, so we didn’t know what to do. After minutes of trying to decide, I wanted to just go to bed so we took a video of me dropping the key into the box and then we finally went back home at about 10pm. I don’t think I ended up going to bed until after 11:30pm and I had to wake up at 4:45 the next morning so that I could walk to work.
games so we never saw him, but the girl had stuck to Sonia like glue, and unfortunately the last thing we wanted to do after a 9-hour workday was keep a 7-year-old entertained while the mom sat on her phone all evening. I often saw Chloe trying to get her mom’s attention, while Ali ignored her because she was sitting on her phone. While Chloe can be a good kid, she never gets disciplined and she knows that she’ll always get what she wants so we’ve found ourselves hiding out in our rooms more and more as our time here has passed. Chloe often missed at least 2 or 3 days of school each week because she was “sick,” but we later found out it was because she’d get in trouble at school and then she wouldn’t want to go back. She’d always be eating huge chocolate bars right before bed and was constantly jumping and flipping around, doing handstands in front of the tv while Sonia and I were trying to relax (keep in mind we were told that this was OUR living area, along with Yeh and Karina’s, because the family’s living area was downstairs). The last long weekend we had (Labour Day weekend), Sonia and I came home early on Labour Day, only to find our living area a complete mess (and the worst part about it is we had done the chores the day before). There were flower petals all over the floor and throughout the bathroom, and toys all over the couches and floor. We decided not to use our living area until it was cleaned up and ended up having to spend the next week in our rooms because it never got cleaned. Ali asked if I had cleaned the bathroom that week, and I did but her daughter had completely messed it up right after. I think she may have been expecting us to clean up after her, but that wasn’t going to happen. The next weekend (when Sonia and I finally had separate bedrooms), Ali came home on Friday at 8pm and asked if Sonia could go back in my room for the night because Chloe (the 7-year-old) was having a sleepover that night and she didn’t want the girls sleeping in her bed because she had had a long week. Sonia moved into my room (and was not impressed about it) and we ended up having to listen to the girls talk, giggle, and jump off the beds until 2am. I luckily passed out at about 9:30 (my normal bedtime) but was jolted awake at 1am because they were making so much noise. The au pair came and told them to be quiet twice, and the 15-year-old brother came once and took Chloe’s phone. Never once did the mom come, as she was fast asleep (must have been nice…). We FINALLY fell back asleep only to be woken up again at 6:30 because the girls got up and started singing and dancing right outside our room. Needless to say, we were completely exhausted the next morning and when we told the mom what happened, she only got mad at the friend because Chloe “would never do anything like that.” No more sleepovers and it was all Savannah’s fault.
|My support group|
mornings and then we’d have to go to a workshop in the afternoons. Often, we’d walk to the cafe for lunch and multiple times, we wouldn’t end up going back to class in the afternoons. It was our only free time and our only time to spend with each other since everyone’s schedules were so different. I quickly learned that no one was truly happy with their situation and I truly think that those cafe visits were the closest thing that we had to therapy.