Monday 21 March 2011

Days 38 and 39: Hard work and Learning Mandarin

Location: Caboolture area
Country: Australia
Day number: 40
Mood: Sore

So we had our first day of work yesterday. Lord above I am sore today. I was paired with a Japanese girl named Aya and a South Korean girl named Soonim (I hope I've spelt that right...). Aya and I did the planting while Soonim put the plants down for us to plant. After a slow start, the two of us were planting so fast Soonim was having trouble keeping ahead of us! The other people we talked to had done 1800-2000 plants. We did 2200. It was quite a team building exercise, felt amazing after we were done, but my oh my did our backs hurt. And this morning, ouch ouch ouch! I managed to keep going by muttering the Outward Bound motto under my breath, which kept my determination up.

So, results came through and I still just have three C's. Ah well, perhaps I was deluding myself that I could do better. At this point though, I have no desire at all to return to England and deal with the stress of uni. Depending on how convincing my parents are, I might have a go at clearing, but if I don't go to Uni I'm just going to stay travelling. I'm loving living this way so much... living from paycheck to paycheck now! Hopefully I can earn some extra money making websites, at least one of the strawberry farms wants one, so that's good... I've also been told that teaching English in Taiwan is a good money earner and very easy to get into (Pola and Jason have told me if I visit I can stay with them!). The strawberry season lasts 5 months though, so I could get work here well into the winter (Summer for you guys back up in the northern hemisphere!)

Pola and Jason have been teaching me Mandarin. It's a really sensible language! If you want to make a statement a question you just add 'ma?' to the end of the sentence. And they have the same word for all tenses, so if you were to say 'I will cook for you', if you wanted to say in the future, you would just say 'I will cook for you tonight'. No tenses. So 'I will go' and 'I went' are the same words!

The other awesome thing is that for positive and negative are the same words, you just add another word to make it negative. So 'can' is the same word as 'can't', you just add 'boo' to the front of it. Yeah, sensible language. I'm hoping to learn as much as I can!

Today we were in Caboolture, and had two chavvy women sat behind us. Their kids were screaming about something and I rolled my eyes. The women saw, and started swearing at the four of us. Told us all to go back to our effing countries, and were stupidly rude. I was the tiniest bit away from angry, and when I stood up and asked them what the problem was, they started to walk away, throwing more swear words at us as they went. Crazy. They must have some really bad lives to be so bitter... They seemed to hate all foreigners. First time we've met anyone in Australia that hasn't been incredibly nice, or at least civil. Ah well, every country has the crazies eh?

Hope everyone is well.



  1. Andy! I think I can comment now? what is a cahvvy? not an american term haha

  2. To quote Wikipedia:

    A chav (pronounced /ˈtʃæv/ (CHAV)) is a stereotype of certain people in the United Kingdom. Also known as a charver in Yorkshire and North East England[1] "chavs" are said to be aggressive teenagers, of working class background, who repeatedly engage in anti-social behaviour such as street drinking, drug abuse and rowdiness, or other forms of juvenile delinquency.[2]

    Also, you can leave your name ya know :P