PART381


Saturday, 28th, May, 2011.
Waking up in a new place. I woke up in the hostel room, After a long ponderous shower which was so long I am surprised I didn’t entierly disolve I began ringing all the accommodation adverts I had pilfered from the supermarket notice board.

”ringringring” I was calling the first advert, written in blue ink, soft bubbly hand writing, possibly female, requiring 150 dollars a week with internet, wood burner and in town. The name was Sara. ”Hello this is Sara speaking..WAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” Sara was cut off as a toddlers wale assaulted my ear hole causing me to shudder in my weak morning state. ”as you can hear I have a baby” Sara said apologetically ”oh that’s alright” I replied, instantly saying the polar opposite of what I was thinking. We had a brief chat serenaded by the cries of her  whelp but I told her frankly that I would be needing to sleep during the day so it may not work with her little darling being so vocal. A wise choise to have cut off communication at that point I thought.

”ring ring ring” the second number, advert written in black brio, forward leaning tall letters, done hastily I would deduce. Karen was the name. Ski TV, internet, 100 dollars a week. The phone was picked up and on the other end a hysterical laugh filled the airways. ”Hello” I said ”hel..hahaaahaawhaaa!” was the reply. Someone else was laughing in the background, another woman. I began to get infected by the madness of it all and began a furtive titter which soon evolved into fully joining in with the women on the other line. eventually Karen settled down enough for us to talk.  ”yeah bro, I am not hear today, you can come tomorrow to check it out if you want…no wait I am going to a kid’s birthday party tomorrow, so maybe…maybe in the afternoon, can I call you back?” she said. I didn’t get a good vibe from our conversation but I said she could call me back later.

”rrrrrrring rrrrrring” , the next advert. Black biro again, but this time small well-formed letters, written in a neat straight line. Cottage, sleeps 3 or four people, 300 dollars a week, call Alison. ”Hello, Alison speaking” was the well spoken reply. A very standard conversation ensued and it was settled that I would see the cottage the next day during the morning time. I had a good feeling about this one.

I had breakfast and decided to take a walk to the Powderkeg hotel. It was raining as I walked alone the small road and I was  glad when I arrived and took a seat by the fire-place in the hotel. I ordered the halumi on cebatta and savoured the flavour. I remembered the wise words of my Aunty who said ”when ever you’re in a new place you should always have a good meal, if you are ever unsettled just take a moment and eat some good food” wise words I think and although I am not unsettled I am in a new place so I indulged.

I pottered around all day, going to the information centre and getting a map, finding out were the library was and finding out about transport. I bought a can of red bull (I don’t know what possessed me to buy it) from a small dingy shop run by a very sour Chinese woman ”how much to rent the DVDs” I asked her pointing at the wall lined with grubby old looking DVDs ”8 dollars one night” she said pointing her finger in the air with an aggressive authoritative air. ”oh?” I said and then left.

Earlier in the day I had met one of the people who would be working in the RAL team, RAL is the ski lift company I will be working for. She invited me to the bar tonight, it was someones birthday party. I was contemplating going along but the idea of sitting in a bar while others drunk and I didn’t, just didn’t appeal to me much. Not that I wanted to drink but I just believe that in a bar I would find it hard to have fun without drinking. Dont think I am saying I need beer to have fun, just that in a bar situation. Or maybe I am just scared that I will give in to temptation.

I was preparing supper and was thinking about staying in and watching Avatar and the hot tub time machine on ski movies in the hostel lounge or to go out and be social. I opted to watch the films and in fact an English girl was staying in and watching the films as well. It turned out she had been to university to study creative writing and English, she was interested in comics and films and loved traveling. We chatted late into the night while watching the films. She is basically a female version of me. It almost got boring because we were not really having a conversation we were just saying things and agreeing with oneanother. Very strange indeed, to find someone so very similar and to grow tired of their company in the space of a few hours. Like having a conversation with your own reflexion, there is no new material.

PART380 Arriving in Ohakune


Friday, 27th, May, 2011.

Sarah woke my up with a kiss on the forehead before she left, I will not see her again for another month. I fell back asleep instantly and woke up again when my alarm went off. I finished off my packing and when it was time I lugged my luggage out to the drive way and waited for Maggie to pick me up. She arrived a few minutes later in her friend’s car and we drove to the bus stop. Maggie is getting the same bus as me today as she is making her way back to Auckland, then from their back to mainland China.

Maggie and I got on the bus and sat behind a tall girl with short brown hair.We quickly left Te Puke behind, rushing along the roads. Hills and fields on either side, evergreen trees causing the whole view to be saturated in deep green. The woman in front turned around and started a conversation. She sounded like a kiwi but said she was from Holland. I was very impressed, she had only been here for 3 years studying graphic design and she already had a real kiwi accent.

As we approached Rotorua the instantly identifiably smell of sulfur entered our nostrils ” I am afraid it’s not the sulfur you can smell, I had some eggs for lunch” the big bus driver said loudly to the passengers. Rotorua is a volcano area and has thermal springs, the whole place has the unfortunate smell of rotten eggs forever lingering.

The Rotorua bus stop was a tall wooden building and Maggie myself and Anny the dutch girl dropped our luggage off in the lockers and went for a walk to the sulfur springs. We had 3 hours to wait for our next bus and we walked around the muddy winding paths next to a large lake. The water was a murky white and concentrated gusts of sulphur wafted around. A large line of trees caught our attention, amidst the ever green trees their fiery red leafs were the only real indication of the season change. We came to an area with a low wooden fence sectioning off a gray muddy area, the sound of boiling liquid plopped and bubbled, steam hissed out of the ground, small pools of water boiled lazily in the prehistoric landscape.
Anny spoke of her frustration about New Zealand ”you know dutch people are very logical and I find so much of the structure of New Zealand to be unorganised, it makes me so angry and I cannot do anything about it as it’s not my country” she said as she noticeably worked herself up. I asked her exactly what it was about NZ that was disorganised and she just said ”all of it”

Anny went off to check about her bus and I bought Maggie and I some small pies from a shop which boasted the 1st place winner prize from this years pie making competition. Maggie and I sat outside the bus stop soaking our feet in the shallow pool of thermal water. It was a little paddling pool with benches all around. Sitting eating our pies warming our feet I thought what a wonderful way this was to travel. Maggie and I parted ways as she got on her bus to Auckland and I got on mine to Ohakune. Anny was going to Wellington to a party and was on the same bus as me.

I slumped, chatted with Anny and watched the world go by. Mountains, winding roads, an abundance of deep green, dense forests with a hint of menace lined much of the road. The tightly packed dark forest looked like they might have held some shady secrets, or that they were the sort of place to hide your own.

I didn’t pay attention to the stops we made and I missed my connection. ” when are we arriving at Ohakune?” I asked the bus driver when we stopped at a small road side restaurant ” you missed your connection bro, it was back there, didn’t you know?” the bus driver sneered at me like I was an idiot. ”listen here you fat ugly fuck, I didn’t ask for your attitude, I just want to know where we are” I said to him in my head as I smiled and got off the bus. I stood by the side of the road trying to hitch hike back in the right direction. One of the passengers a large gruff man sidled up to me by the road ” you have to look them straight in the eye and smile, don’t break their gaze, its only as they pass you that they decide to pick you up” he said

I tried this out and even though it didn’t work instantly I could see people held in my gaze become uncomfortable and they tried to look away. It was getting dark, the bus had left and according to the owner of the road side resturant there were not any taxis at all. So I intensified my hitch hiking, thrusting my thumb out beautifully, gave my most winning smile, eyes searching for the face in the next car coming round the bend. ”it worked, the blue car stopped!” I ran over and saw a pretty blond girl driving the old car, a mattress and a whole pile of bags and shopping packed in the back.

She was going through Ohakune so I fetched my bags and squeezed into the front seat. I cannot remember her name but I remember she was from Switzerland, I remember because she is the first Swiss person I have met in NZ. She has been traveling around NZ for 4 months and was visiting a friend in the national park just past Ohakune. She was a ski and snow boarding instructor in Switzerland and she spoke about the mountains in NZ with more than a hint of disdain. ”for me its a little bit boring, I like good powder”.

I asked if Switzerland was the country were everyone has a military rifle in each house hold. She nodded and voiced her disapprovment (disapprovment isnt actualy a word)”it doesnt make sence anymore, this was old Switzerland, people want to be independent and have the right to defend themselfs” Iasked if Switzerland had much gun crime, she shook her head. Later I checked up and according to a BBC article the Swiss have such a low gun crime rate they don’t even keep the statistics. Which for an ultra organised country such a Switzerland I am very surprised.

The woman was a typical looking traveler, short shaggy blond hair. Loose organic looking cloths, bangles and bracelets and jewelry and a pierced nose.  It was just such a contrast to see this stereotypical looking hippy traveler and then hear this straight logical woman speaking in the almost bored thick swiss accent. Like opening a fashion magazine and finding that the inside contained the assembly instructions to a clock.

She dropped me off in Ohakune just outside the BBH hostel I was going to stay in. As I was taking my bags out of the boot of the car I noticed in one of the open shopping bags a pack of condoms. I gave a little titter for some reason. ”how embarressing” I thought to myself, then I thought ”what an English thing to think”. I shut the boot thanked the girl and went to check in.

The BBH was a small clean block of buildings, the nice man at the front desk gave me a single room for the price of a shared room which I was very pleased about. After setting my bags down and exploring my room for a moment I went out to town to establish my dominion over it. I went to the New World supermarket and looked at the notice board, I took down all the adverts for accommodation and a few adverts for jobs which I could send my friends back in Te puke.

I saw a notice put up by Sebastian the Argentinian man, he had come back down to Ohakune a few weeks ago to apply for another job. His notice was advertising his services as a bar staff. I looked at it for a moment, musing about the way peoples paths cross, I found it fascinating that in the same place but in another time Sebastian had been where I was standing now. How I would have been back in Te puke at that time but now our positions were reversed. How a Dinosauria had possible walked over the very spot I was standing millions of years ago and how in the distant future when our planet has been drawn into the embrace of the sun this very space will return to being a vacuum in the great vast emptiness of the universe.

I set about buying food for dinner tonight. I was acutely aware that Sarah wasnt here at this time. I wondered what I should cook. The voices and questions of all my friends from Te puke echoed in my ears. ”so when you are alone in your new job without Sarah what will you eat?” I have been asked this question more times than I can remember by my work mates in Trevelyan pack house. I am worried, why do people think I cannot cook?, I can cook, maybe not as good as Sarah but I can still make a healthy vaguely tasty dish.

I have a powerful ability to make people worry about me.

I walked around Ohakune, not so much a sleepy village as more of a completely comatose village. so dead, just waiting for the ski season to give it the kiss of life, to wake it up, to breathe money and people into its veins.

I walked back to the hostel after shopping and after cooking a bowl of tinned mushroom soup with toast and a salad I wolfed it all down and watched TV. The day was drawing to a close. I felt alone, I was in a new place. A lot was unknown and needed to be sorted out. A mixture of dreadful anticipation and unbridled excitement surged and churned inside my heart at the prospect of laying the foundations for this next new life on my own.

PART379 my last day of work at Travelyans


Thursday, 26th, May, 2011. My last day before I leave. That strange unique atmosphere which occurs near to departure hung in the air. I spoke to Eva today about family, friends and all the positive and negative aspects of leading the traveling life. Eva is taking a much more spontaneous approach to traveling than either Sarah or myself. She is just planning to go and see what happens after the kiwi season ends. personally I am very glad that I have planned out this next part of our trip, foresight and planning helped us land these jobs in the ski field while a large amount of people now working at the kiwi pack house are now scratching their heads wondering where or what to do. Finding a balance between stifling detail planning and compleat unbridled freedom seems to be the placer for me.

I had my last Karate fight with Aiano today. The Japanese girl who I oftain practise my Japanese vocabulary with. My Japanese is limited to counting up to ten and also some words I remember from doing Karate when I was younger. I will walk up to where she is making boxes and launch a war cry( or as the japanese call it a Kei) and a punch at her, she will respond with equal mock seriousness and block my attack and counter it.

Today for the first time we had an egg and bacon pie for lunch, Eva very kindly gave hers to me and Alex the Chilean man bought me a big bar of chocolate which Robbie had asked him to get me as Robbie wasnt here today. I was in that blissful position of having more food than I could  eat and I was happy to share the chocolate around.

An interesting crisis reared its head again today. The forklift driver wasnt keeping up with our box demands and we actually completely ran out of boxes to make. I watched with a pounding heart as myself and the rest of our team fed the last few available boxes into the shoot and we watched as they quickly ran down to be used. I was expecting that when the merciless machine began to push the fruit into the end and when they over flow into the unboxed area that a compleat melt down would occur, I expected fires to occur, frantic arm waving and people running around like headless chickens. Maybe even the pack house floor to be split open and satan himself to come surfing up on the crest of a wave of magma to signal the end of the world. None of this happened, I was very disappointed, the machine was turned off and the fruit stopped, Muki the boss went and talked the fork lift driver and in a minute we had boxes again. It was all dealt with in a depressingly professional manner and my blood lust was left wanting.

At the end of the day Eva watched me as I carefully and lovingly made my last box. It was an IT box, the long single layered box, not my favourite the marge MB boxes are my favourite, Becasue all you need to do it open them and slip a bag into them, its so easy.

I ironed the thin plastic sheet and laid it neatly onto the box before softly pushing it down into the box and then taking the plastic tray next I used my fingers to smooth out any of the indentations and then with great ceremony I laid it in the box and then with a flourish I took the box up in my hands and shepherded it over to the now unmoving shoot and laid it down, my final box.

Saying goodbye to people at the end of the day was the rushed awkward affair I had invisaged.With only 5 minuets to clock out and get our bags and get to the bus I shook many hands, bade many farewells and rushed to the bus, so many people I didn’t managed to say good-bye to but it didn’t really matter. My heart wasnt really in it. I had spent the last day or so saying my actually good byes, talking to people whose company I enjoy and having a final talk. Today was just the outward appearance of saying goodbye.

I handed in my green apron to Jody and thanked her for the work I was given. Even with the greatest of hast I still managed to miss the bus, Thankfully Easter, Qing and Elise were driving down to Te puke, I got a lift with them and said good-bye to them as well. I went to the pub were most of the tray liners had congregated for a short time. We sat with Sebastian, Kala, Sarah, Eva, Maria, her boy friend, Kiego and her friend Masami and the new girl from Argentina whose name I cannot remember, the one who I mistook for Maria once and tied a string around her ankle as a prank.

Sebastian and Kala ordered a large plate of potatoes wedges topped with sour cream and sweet chilly sauce. We where all sitting inside the Irish pub at a long wooden table. ”have some wedges” Sebastian offered ”no thank you” I replied. I knee jerk reaction I had learnt from being in China. Sebastian’s face contorted ever so slightly as something welled up inside of him. A look of irked injustice spread over his face ” you will eat these chips, all of them, when I come to your house for 5 minuets you make me stay or 20 minutes and force me to eat fruit and nuts and food, you are such good hosts now eat these wedges” he said passionately, he rose from his seat and bound round the long table to where Sarah and I were sitting, he took the plate in hand and set it down in front of me, pointing at it forcefully ”eat these wedges now”

Well I couldn’t refuse such a convincing offer like this so I set about swallowing the lot, with the exception of the last long golden wedge ” now run it round the edge of the bowl to get all the sauce” Sebastian advised to Sarah with an instructional motion of his hand.

Sarah and I had to leave early to get home and cook and for me to pack. I said good-bye to my friends and left. I find I cut off emotionally at the actual time of saying goodbye, it’s always before or after I feel sad or that I will miss people.

Maria and her boyfriend gave us a lift back to our house which was greatly appreciated as it was raining hard outside.
When home I packed and Sarah cooked, Jorine and Candy also preparing their dishes. The small kitchen a hive of activity, almost having to clamber over each other. We all sat down together and ate. The 3 girls drinking a small bottle of beer each. Halfway through the bottle I noticed Candy and Jorine were very drunk. Raising their voices and blubbering emotionally about this and that. Jorine spoke about a young kiwi man at work who she liked, his blue eyes shone in the sun light during the lunch breaks outside. ” dont you have a boy friend in Malaysia?” I asked her ” yes I do but it doesn’t matter, this is New Zealand, it’s a different country” she laughed.

I have heard a lot of people taking this view to their long distance relationships and people who are talking or listening to these conversations laugh and say its all right to cheat on you partner if they are in another country ” it doesn’t matter if she has a boy friend, he is in another country, you should go for it” I have heard many a time while I have been here.

Personally I cannot think of anything worse, you completely disenpower your partner, they are so far away and cannot even satisfy their anger by beating up the person who they cheated on with. They will just know that there is some person on the other side of the world who has committed the ultimate insult and there is little or nothing you can do about it. Like being slapped in the face my an invisible man. Jorine has been with her Malaysian boy friend for 7 years, even though she havent cheated on him(as far as I know) I find it hard not to pass judgement on her.

But as they say, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Sarah was stressed tonight, it has been building up over these last few days. Although it is me who is leaving and I am the one who will have to sort out accommodation and everything else while I am down in Mt Ruapehu she is still unable to leave me be. ”have you got tooth past?, have you printed out the bus ticket?” and many other worry which I have already taken care of. Sarah is a master planner, I am a master let things happen as they occure. Our life is the constant changes from these two extremes.

PART378 thinking about mountains


Wednesday, 25th, May, 2011.
We were stationed back in shed 1 today. Only half aware of my body’s work I thought about our new adventure to come, down in the ski field at Mt Ruapehu. I imagined myself armoured in thick coat and boots, gauntlet gloves and goggles. The mountain peak looming over me in the darkness, a stark beam of artificial light from a snowmobile cutting a path into the darkness. Shovel in hand I sculpt the powder, commanding it to do my bidding, with a zen like understanding of my work and the universe.

In the evening Maggie and Kiego came round for a meal. Maggie is a chinese friend whom Sarah and I met in Yang shuo when I first visited China. She has been in New Zealand for a year now, mainly in Te puke but recently she has traveled around the south island. Tonight isn’t just a meal for me leaving as Maggie is also going back to China on the day I leave.

Kiego is the Japanese woman who we met at the camp site when we lived in the caravan for the beginning of the kiwi packing season. She is always seen with her large grin chatting with strangers in Trevelyan during lunch. She has an inexhaustible interest in life.

We all walked back to our place after work laden with supermarket food to be cooked. Kiego had already baked a Pavlova cake which I was really looking forward to, when we had left the camp site a few months ago Keigo had baked a Pavlova cake and I remember it was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten. When we got back home Sarah cooked spicy chicken drum sticks, lamb, bean curd tofu with tomato, peppers with broccoli and the Vietnamese wraps which one has to soak in warm water so they become soft and edible.

We sat down when all the dishes were ready and began the feast. Kiego exclaiming regularly how good the food was while Sarah radiated with pride over her food. ”we eat like this everyday” Sarah said proudly. Kiego spoke about how she had been told to leave from her last house because she had become too drunk and raucous ” I had so much whiskey and beer and wine and I was very loud, there was also an Indian guy who was told to leave as well but then I heard a few days later he went to live back in the same house again” Kiego laughed but I could tell the whole experience had affected her negatively.

After the meal I walked Maggie and Kiego home, Maggie lived near by but Kiego lived in town and on the opposite side of the railway tracks. The opposite side of the tracks, the place people in Te puke talk about as if it is a ghetto area full of criminals ”dont live on the other side of the tracks, its dangerous there, I wouldn’t walk alone there at night” I have heard on many occasions. I was curious to see what it was actually like. I walked Kiego over the tracks and into the residential area. I was expecting dilapidated houses with the decomposing corpses of crack addicts littering the streets but apart from one burnt down house with a metal fence around it the nabourhood looked clean and was quiet. After dropping Kiego back to her house I walked back home searching for the rough part of Te puke. I didnt find it.

PART377 Not going to Hobbiton


Tuesday, 24th, May.
We had arranged with Robbie to go to the Hobbit village which was used as the set for the lord of the rings film. It was only an hour away from Te puke and time was running out for us to go and see it. When I woke up in the morning I picked up my phone and read the text from Robbie saying he felt dizzy and sick so we wouldn’t be going today. The words he had spoken yesterday now echoed in my ears ” If I have something fun to do I will not be tired, even if I am working double shifts like now I will still go and do other things as well I don’t feel tired”

Ah famous words, not unlike the sort of famous thoughts I am imparted with in the dead of night, thoughts about achievements, boundless inspiration and my future rise to enlightened success.

So we didnt go to Hobbiton, instead I sat infront of my new lap top trying tpo down load computer games, while Sarah sat infront of her lap top watching her Korea tv searies. So close but so disconnected.

PART376 getting a new lap top


Monday, 23rd, May, 2011.
It was a day off again. Sarah was so tired and she had decided to just relax all day ” I will watch my Korean programs all day!” she had stated many times with a solid resolution. This ment Sarah would be sitting on the sofa all day glued to the computer watching some awful Korean soap opera where the beautiful charictures ride the ever peaking wave of high drama, crying, loving, looking longingly into each others eyes, sweeping camera angles with dramatic sound tracks.

I decided to escape the house for the day, I walked down to Te puke in the sun shine, The end of autumn, was definitely here, the sun was hot on the face but as soon as I went into the shade there was a noticeable drop in temperature. I sat outside the bank on a bench and slowly ate my way through a whole bag of oranges. A troop of young Maori girls sat on the bench on the opposite side of the road, cackling and shouting at each other wildly. They were dressed in shiny silver tops and short shorts with high heels, when they got up to leave they moved ungracefully along the pavement as if on stilts.

I was in the process of swallowing my last mandarin and wonder if the name was from the ancient Chinese government officials of the same name ( I found out and they are!) when Sophie walked around the corner of the bank in a cute pair of dungarees. I hailed her over and she told me she was trying to find a knitting shop. Seeing as I had nothing else to do for the day and I knew where the knitting shop was I took her along. The shop was full of wool yarn, unattractive weaved tapestries and little old lady’s. Sophie bought two balls of deep red wool to make a scarf with.

We walked and chatted through Te puke. Sophie told me the same story many Chinese people have told me ” My time at University was so useless, I didn’t learn anything, the only good thing was the friends I made, we are so close” she told me as we passed a shop window with china figurines and those disgusting plates with creepy prints on. I bade her fair well at the supermarket as she was going to meet a friend else were.

Now I had arranged to meet with Robbie today to go to Tauranga to buy myself a new laptop. Seeing as I am leaving 3 week before Sarah to go to Ohakune I feel I should squander some of my hard-earned tray lining cash on a new computer. It was fast approaching 3:30 and Robbie had said he would pick me up at 2:00. I assumed that his current working life style of doing double shifts was taking its toll. Alex the man from Chillie oftain works 3 or 4 shifts in a row and still manages to come to work chipper and awake but Robbie after a double shift looks worryingly disheveled. Some people just cannot hack this kind of work. I have little or no desire to find out if I can, unless I am being paid a goodly amount, which I really am not.

I bought a budget bottle of ginger beer and a large bar of dark forest chocolate, with nuts, gooey jelly and milk chocolate. I sat outside waiting for Robbie to turn up while I devoured the whole bar and bottle in a short space of time. I felt a little sick after and told myself I would never eat chocolate ever again.

Robbie turned up haggard and looking like an old man. We drove to Tauranga and after a brief look in a few shops I settled on a compac 15 inch lap top for 600 dollars. I had my eye on a very small note-book for 399 and I had that impulsive rush of decision ”I am going to buy it, yes I am, I want it I want it!!” I told myself excitedly. Imagining myself sitting like a real professional writer feverishly stamping down a master piece on the computer ( because not having the right computer is what is really holding me back from realising my true literary potential) I watched as I traveled the world to its remotest corners note-book always near, a true traveler, connected, alive observant with always the means to transmute my experiences into the written word. The thick mists of phantasy were surprisingly parted by my own logic speaking on this rare occasion. Robbie who was a sales person in a Mac shop in Hong kong had recommended me to buy the bigger one ” the small one only has one GB and its so small it will be uncomfortable to write on it” he had said, in mental argument to these facts I just strained the old bean extra hard and imagined myself again with my small note-book computer in a dark secluded room writing prolificaly.

I thought that Robbie probebly knew better and that in fact the image in my head of this wee computer would serve only to disappoint. I chose the bigger and in fact better computer and we drove back to Te puke.

That evening Esther, Qing and Elise came over for a farewell dinner. A feast of chicken curry, vegetable soup and wine was served up. We mainly chatted about how Esther had become so angry with one of the workers at Trevelyan she had thrown a kiwi fruit at him. As we chatted and laughed I thought about the sort fo things I will miss when I leave in a few days and they are a few of the people on the list.

PART374


sunday, 22nd, May, 2011
Another attack of sleep walking gripped me last night. I remember taking the duvet and sheets and rolling them up and placing them on the shelf near our bed. Then I went back to bed and lay confused, wondering why I was cold. I was in a dark world of box making, thinking about lining boxes while periodically telling myself that it was my day off so I could relax. eventually Sarah also felt the cold and she turned the light on and without questioning told me to bring the duvet back on to the bed.
James Trevelyan was inspecting his pack house and workers today, whenever he is around, this tall long man bends over while talking to a supervisor and even from a distance you can tell he is in the process of changing something. Lips moving, eyes searching, fingers pointing. Then he leaves the area and within ten minutes his orders filter down to us via the chain of command. ” the IT boxes need to be put on the belt side ways not long ways from now on” was todays change. The IT boxes, a shallow long box with only one layer of fruit used to be placed long ways down the belt, this was easier for us tray liners because the plastic sheet we put into it stays tucked away nicely at this angle but now we have to put them side ways and with the motion of turning the box the feather light plastic flaps about from under the box and you have a messy box. Soon after this order was given another one was instated ”now you have to press the sides of the box down so the flaps down come up and the sheets stay under nieth” Muki the shed manager told us as she came around to demonstrate. We kept up this box pressing and side ways placing for about ten minuets and then people reverted back to doing what we did before, which is easier and quicker. Now that Muki and James had gone away we just gave up the show and did what we wanted.
I was ordered to do tray stacking in the afternoon, Jason the packing supervisor had to go to the doctors because a full box of kiwis had fallen on him from a loaded palate. He is quiet short and I can imagen it made the boxes fall longer with more velocity. This put everything out of kilter and Raywen our supervisor was asked to become Jason’s replacement and many packers were asked to become tray liners and I was asked or rather told to help the stackers.

The stackers job is to take the already full boxes of fruit from the end line and stack them on an empty palate. It’s the simplest job but the hardest physically. All of the stackers are tall young men. The first box I stacked I took over to a half filled palate, the boxes came just up to groin level and leaning against the boxes I dropped the box down rather slap dash like onto the edge of the pallet. I also dropped it down onto my protruding organ which was overflowing onto the top box. basically I managed to trap the tip of my junk between two boxes. It was painful shocking and scary.

The stackers stunk, sweaty teen boys with vests on loafing around in their new big body’s which they havent quiet mastered the use of yet. Shouting and grunting at each other.