It's about 11pm, I should have been asleep at least an hour ago as I have to wake up at 4:30am to go "jumping" (I'll explain later). I'm fumbling around trying to organise my bed, my bed being the floor,1 pillow, and a sleeping bag. Yes, I live in a tent.I've got my torch on and I'm trying to re-arrange my pillow and sleeping bag in a way that means I won't wake up the next day paralyzed, but so far I'm failing. It also doesn't help that mosquito's find me so bloody attractive and want to feast on me at every opportunity. Mind you, living in a tent on your own I'm happy for the company sometimes....
To be honest, living in a tent is pretty cool (sometimes). At night when I'm laying back and all that seperates me from the stars above is a thin bit of fabric, you can't help but feel some kind of cosmic togetherness with the universe. In the morning though, I fucking hate it.
I don't want to paint the picture that I'm stuck in the middle of a field somewhere, miles away from civilization and abandoned by society. I'm actually at a pleasant caravan park waiting for a job in a place called Tully.
When you arrive at Tully the first thing that strikes you are the forested mountains which stretch almost 360 degrees around the place. They look intimidating and challenging to climb but it's one of only 3 activities Tully has to offer (the others being; visiting the supermarket and getting your laundry done). When you take your gaze off the surrounding mountains and focus in on Tully, you come to realise how tiny the place is. There's 1 street with a couple of shops on it, a library,a swimming pool and about 7 churches. There's also this boot. A giant boot. I think this is Tully's main tourist attraction, they seem dead proud about this boot. There's an entrance at the bottom and then you climb up some stairs and you can poke your head out at the top.Cheers Tully.
The people here seem very nice, I got chatting to an older woman in the charity shop who was the daughter of Italian immigrants.In post second world war Italy where money and food were few and far between, her father took the chance of a lifetime and made the trip to Australia in the late 50s. I wonder if a lot of people in Tully have similar stories? Maybe Tully is made up of a collection of people who don't fit in anywhere else? Or maybe I'm reading too much into a conversation I had with one person?
I'm a backpacker so I'm just here for da money which has not been forthcoming at the moment. I'm hoping to get a job humping bannans which my 11 years working in a call centre has trained me well for. Trying to get work here is a bizarre experience. Your advised to go jumping every morning. You wake up at 4:30am bleary eyed and foggy brained and stumble to a street corner in the hope a farmer will pull up on the road side in his truck requiring an extra worker for the day. You wait for an hour and a half and when you do actually see a truck pull up you have to waddle over and ask if they have any jobs going. When they say no, you have to shuffle back to your spot and wait for the next farmer to rock up. One of the girls who I'm traveling with called Maura will frequently shout "I have a degree" half way through the jump. I know Maura, we all do. And the farmers don't give a fuck. The feeling of 'what am I doing here' grows every day though. When jumping is over you return to your bed for a couple of hours before waking up again with the prospect of nothing to do for the whole day. We'll normally occupy ourselves with games of ping-pong ( I was unbeaten until our charismatic Swedish friend Jonna had the audacity to beat me), cooking food, and trips to the library.
If this blog sounds like I'm feeling negative about the experience then that's not my intention. I had an amazing 5 months in Melbourne before, but it was time to move on and experience something new. If Tully is anything, it is new. I've traveled here with 4 other people and I think at times we have all felt the strain. When you aren't working and in a place where there isn't much to do, you end up thinking...a lot. I hope in 3 months I can look back on Tully and feel good about the experience, what it taught me etc. Until then I'll be in the tent dreaming about mattresses.