December 28, 2010

Letters from Australia . . .

Hey guys!

Sorry it's been a while. Busy here. Am in a small town named St George in Queensland, working on a vineyard. A not organic vineyard mind you. As the owner says, "not even close". Some people seem to have gotten a rash from the chemicals. nasty stuff. But grape vines have this certain beauty to them. Living at a backpackers camp, with several trailers split into a a few rooms with bunkbeds. Finding the charm in bunkbeds again. That's what you sleep on when you're a backpacker. That or the ground.

First week I got here it rained every day after a ten year drought. Fit in several partial days of work that week. Last two weeks hvae been great, probably 80 - 90+, but it's raining today and cool. Fit most of a day in before it got too bad. I start work at five like most of the backpackers here do, working on various farms picking or packing onions, grapes, canteloupe (known here as rock melons). The kangaroos are in their hopping glory around here. Saw about twenty this morning in a troop, just grazing. Pretty neato. Huge spider in the kitchen right now. Like you hear about in Australia. Bought some vegemite to try later today. People say it's not very tasty, but I will give you the authoritative opinion on my impression after I know for sure.

Had a good time in Sydney, but the city part of Sydney is like any city, really. You have to get out of the city to see it's personality. The many beaches are nice. Met a good group of friends in Sydney. Drinking age is 18, so there are plenty of young folks taking advantage of the new found freedom of the pub.

It's nice to get out and talk with the natives! In Sydney it's all backpackers. Lots of Brits, Europeans, Canadians. But almost now Americans, which I find strange. I guess we go to Europe to travel. Shame. I'm wishing I spoke another language, being around so many different ones. Lots of Koreans at the camp I'm getting to know. I feel lame around all these people that speak multiple languages when I only speak one. Typical American. But I can't decide which I should learn. Not many Spanish speakers here. German? French? I dunno. Korean seems daunting. But I've learned hello and goodnight, maybe that's a start.
Anyways, I hope you all are doing well and bundling up for the cold air!

~ Jake the Elder

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