Week 28 – New Year, New Adventures ahead?

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Hello 2020.

I don’t know how you will treat me this year but I’ve made many changes to my life in the short span of.. 6 days. It seems not too long ago since I last wrote my entry but I have to continue with this weekly update cause I think there are people reading diligently πŸ˜‰

My life has been nothing but work at the cherry packhouse. We’ve been working non-stop since 2nd Jan (Thursday) and today is the 5th consecutive day of work and it is expected to go on till Saturday, where it will be our 10th consecutive day and according to company’s policy, we should be given a day off the next day.

My life is pretty much the same on every work day. We start work either at 9 or 10am (and tomorrow 9:30am; what a change). Work between 4 to 10 hours, weather dependent. We get lunch or a 10 mins break every 2 to 2.5 hours and apart from that, we will be standing at our belt doing cherry grading and/or packing with frozen fingers and an empty mind. Well, the only change is that we now have a boombox which plays music but we can barely hear the music 90% of the time because the machine is a lot more noisier. Then again, it’s still better than.. going mental.

On a side note, I thought of a random game/challenge that I play with my own thoughts. I basically think of a singer and I try to recall whether he has any songs starting with A, B, C.. Z. Every time when I remember the song title, I will try to hum/think of the melody and lyrics in my head. Such thoughts help me to past time faster. I’ve already ran out of things to thought about. I’ve already thought about the things I’m gonna tell my future employer with regards to my working holiday experience, my future travel plans, my next plans in New Zealand after I leave this job and what are the other jobs I intend to try out before I go home.

I guess I should leave the cherries packhouse experience to my work experience post at the end of my stint rather than boring out my readers; or perhaps everyone is already scrolling past this crap.

The only highlight of the week – I countdown at Queenstown with the company of friends and Fireworks. It was a super impromptu trip which happened because my hostel-mate was willing to do the drive. On the last day of 2019, it was a weirdly hot day (32 degrees) and we were like sweating from the heat but we went ahead with our plans to have hotpot, using the rice cooker. I’m pretty impressed with what amazing things we can do with the rice cooker and I love hotpot. It was nice to end the year eating things I love. Our trip to Queenstown was literally just for the countdown and also to deliver cherries to our friends. We had the joy of packing the highly valued white cherries that morning.

On the 1st of Jan, I barely did anything at all. Well, I slept at 4-5am and only crawled out of bed at 2pm. I was thankful that I didn’t bother waking up for the sunrise that morning as.. there wasn’t any sunrise. The sky had a yellowish tint from the smokes of Australia (how on earth did the wind blew it over) and it was gloomy the entire day. On a side note, my car had a test drive on this day as well and reality started sinking in as to whether I am ready to let go of my car.

We had work on 2nd Jan, a public holiday, which means that we were able to get a day’s salary plus 1.5x our hourly wage. Our hourly wage for that day rose from $17.70 to $26.55/hour and we clocked 6.15 hours in total. It is my highest paying day ever and probably will be for the rest of my stay. At the end of work on 2nd Jan, my car went for a test drive by the real buyer (yesterday one was her brother who told her my car was great) and she decide to put an offer for my car within 10 mins of driving. I listed the price at $4,300 on Facebook and she said she was only willing to put $3,500 which I refused immediately. We had a few back and forth and we eventually agreed on $4,000, which was actually the lowest price I was willing to go. We completed the deal the following morning (before my work start) and it was settled within 5 mins at the post office. It was so hard to say goodbye to my car but.. I think it’s time for me to move on with the next adventure, so that I can have more content to blog about xD I have so much to declutter and I’m not going to have a single off day until the day I leave :/ I’ll probably struggle and I don’t know. I shall figure out when the time comes.. in six days.

 

So, the following day (4th Jan), I decide to resign and gave them a one week notice, though my contract only requires two days notice. It was such a breeze to resign in such seasonal employment. People come and go so often that there are no hard feelings involved. After all, I’m just a headcount or perhaps just one pair of hands moving. We kind of had 3-4 days of long hours, ending after 7pm, making the visit to the grocery store (which closes at 8pm) difficult. And then.. suddenly we had a day where our start time was delayed from 9am till 10:30am and all of us dashed to do so me grocery shopping since we were already awake for work. It was such a necessary late start.

This week, I also clocked my longest working hours per day – 10 hours. As a result, my back/waist is legitly aching and sleeping on soft beds ain’t making it better but.. I shall survive. Now that our start time has kind of shifted to 9am, waking up is getting more and more difficult. My sleep is often disrupted with dreams and.. I no longer look forward to going to work. Then again, my friend say my mood will change when I see my payslip tomorrow which could potentially cross the $1k mark (should I calculations not fail us). I still don’t know how much I love money but I will find out soon.

Future Plans: I’m going back to Christchurch for a while and probably head up to Motueka/Nelson. Hopefully the plans don’t change cause everything seems so alright right now. I wonder if I will feel sad when I have to move. After all, I’ve been in Alexandra/Cylde for more than 2 months and the entire Otago area (including Wanaka) for close to 4 months.

Many things have changed within the span of one week right? Technically it had been a whole new year and I guess I’m up for some random adventures. If I continue writing next week, I’ll be writing from Christchurch, the city where everything started and it probably will feel some sort of homecoming. The only change and difficult part would be.. I no longer have a car πŸ™ but I will survive.. or perhaps just buy another one.

^^

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  • I worked in a cherry packing house once for a few weeks too. It was mostly kids working their first summer job, but there were a few old hands who held down the fort too. Your story brought back memories…… :-)) Good luck on your next journey, and thanks for the “Adventures of Honeystars!”

    • Wow, can’t believe you tried out cherry packhouse work before too! It’s so tough >_< We may have a 12-hour day coming up soon. I'm so tired but it's gonna be all over in a few days time. Haha.