It has been a very long time since I wrote in this thing. At least two weeks. A lot has changed and yet a lot is still the same. I’m still out in the middle of nowhere working in the Northern Territory. My company is still disorganised and ill effective and yet it still a nice place to work. Recently we’ve driven home at 8pm at night after a long shift at work (supposed to be our days off) and had the lights going out on the land rover every 45 seconds until we arrived at home. That was also the night of my migraine and that was not fun, to say the least. I just took my first sick day yesterday with a migraine and sat the day out. I feel a lot better today which is why we’re currently off on our way to work.
What has changed since my last entry…..We finished the maintenance grading we were assigned and should be about to start our next section tomorrow or wednesday if things go to plan (they never seem to).
I have now seen some of the most remote and beautiful parts of Australia that most men and women never get to see. Everywhere is green and beautiful and sprinkled with a hint of danger. The waterholes, billabongs and rivers all entice you with their beauty before reminding you sharply that you will die as the crocodiles slide into the water and prepare their ambush. We saw abandoned communities and airports. Some of the places we had to fix up have an incredibly eerie feel to them. We drove down one road that gave me the creeps. I’ve never felt like that before, everything indicated to me that we were in danger, all of my senses were going crazy and I knew that we should turn around and get out of there. It was hard to explain but not at all hard to follow through with (I would later find out many people have died in the area in suspicious/gruesome ways… ).
We met up with the bosses today and we were run through the next immediate week of work ahead of us and it turns out they didn’t have a plan for me. This was later confirmed when I asked the boss tonight (Via text) what the plans were for me in the future and she had no idea. I will find out tomorrow I assume when she confers with Paul, but it kind of sucks knowing that A) I am totally useless out here and B) that I’m never accounted for.
My biggest fear is being stuck in the middle of nowhere with people who don’t like me doing things that I am not experienced in and ending up hurt. It is scary. I had another anxiety attack today. I was able to talk my way out of it (mentally) but i am getting sick of living every day in fear of having an attack over something that I can’t control. It really is terrible. This place can be relaxing, but the nature of the work and danger therein doesn’t help me stay relaxed for too long.
So a fair bit has passed since I last wrote here. I am now stuck out in a camp in the middle of nowhere in Arnhem land. I am the new camp co-ordinator after Bob the original who taught me everything leaves tomorrow morning. I’m extremely terrified, the whole operation rests on me being able to keep the camp up and running in everyones absence. They might sound like menial house keeping tasks but really one mistake out here and lives could be in danger. Not to mention if I don’t keep the generator going the whole supply of food (thousands and thousands of dollars worth) goes to waste. Yikes…
There is also a guy out here I don’t like and don’t trust, he is known to go apeshit and bash people out at camps and I’m just the kind of guy who will cop it…young, inexperienced and most likely to make a mistake. Dad is leaving for a new area for a few days, but those few days out here always turn into weeks and sometimes months. I hate the idea of having him missing for a huge amount of time since I didn’t sign up to be this person and I did not sign up to do it alone. Especially now I’m out here and in charge of everything.
Tonight we had the first real thunderstorm of the wet season. I took videos of the aftermath which don’t look like much when I brag about it but you have to consider the storm only went for 25 minutes. The whole place flooded to our ankles in this time and for some stupid reason the camp was placed and built in the drainage area. So not much good from anyone in that regard. I showered without a light tonight, not as difficult as you might think. The shower is outside on the side of the caravan. It was truly beautiful. I had my first hot shower in a very long time so that was the first of the lovely elements. Then there were the stars directly overhead shining brightly in the deep blue and black sky. Then there were the lightning crashes all over the horizon in a near perfect circle over my head. It was as if I was looking through a hole in the sky above to see the heavens. Truly magnificent to behold. I even got to see a shooting star.
The humidity the day after our storm is unbelievable. The stench from the mud drying in the sun mixed with what smells like urine is just truly horrible. I hope it continues to rain so everything comes to a stop and my job becomes easier. I worked on digging trenches all week, moving all the tables and switching them around, cleaning the entire place, moving the fridges, learnt to fuel up everything properly, and by the end of it all i was actually COLD from having the wind hit my totally saturated shirt and pants. Truly disgusting. You sweat constantly. You no longer pay attention to it out here. In Brisbane I used to worry about sweat patches and how hot it was but out here where it is beyond ridiculous I find myself forgetting about the heat and concentrating on other things of more importance like not fucking up the camp so we don’t all starve to death.
The isolation is pretty terrible out here though, it’s fine while Bob is here to help and talk to, but soon (tomorrow probably) he is finally heading off for doctors appointments (he’s been delayed for about a week) and that means it’ll just be myself, Jason(Who I really like) and Chris (Who I really hate). Both of those guys will be out at their machines all day working so that means I sit around the camp and enjoy my own company. Could be good, could be bad, I guess we’ll see how I fare after it’s all said and done.
Dad left today as well. It was sudden and unplanned and it made me want to quit on the spot. I was nervous enough knowing that i’d have to mind the camp for 3 days while he was off doing work elsewhere…but now he’s gone for the rest of my time here and when I fly out to return home he’ll be on his way back here. I won’t be returning, I’ve already decided that. It’s too hard on me out here. It’s decent money but money isn’t everything and I will get a job elsewhere in Brisbane that allows me to have the best of everything (which i really have come to appreciate more).
It really sucks that he has gone. It was all planned out beautifully and of course they have come along and fucked it all up on us. As he delivered the news I wanted to scream out and tell everyone that I was leaving with him. But I realised that i’m getting around 6 grand to mind this camp until I fly home (where upon I shall quit and never return) and while I was near to tears cursing their name and cursing them for ever lying to me about what my job actually would be out here. I forced myself to work and hide the pain. He left and I just wanted to break down on the spot, I’ve never wanted to end something so abruptly. I nearly had several panic attacks thinking about my hopeless case and where I was stuck. I could tell he didn’t want to leave me here either but he didn’t have much of a choice. It really sucks out here that they have a lot of power over what you can choose to do. For example I no longer have the option of just getting into our landy, telling them to stick it, and driving home or to an airport. I now only have their vehicles and that’d constitute stealing. Now I don’t know what to do…