It's not a perfect metaphor.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Farming in flip-flops.

Once again I write from a new farm about the previous one. I know; I suck.

It's funny how your impressions of people change when you live and work with them even for a short period of time. People appear so different when you first appraise them; by the time I left the last farm I had a totally different opinion of everyone from when I met them. Still positive, but more realistic and complete. I had been watching chick flicks with a successful 35-year-old astrophysicist and getting liquored up with my hostess and trailer-mates so whatever respect was had on both sides was totally gone. There are things I never could have thought of before that happened on that farm. Laying fence posts (badly...), whining (as in the dance, not that other thing), being tricked into eating pork (my hostess was mistaken about the nature of the dish, I guess), watching fireworks for Canada day at a small town park, being shocked repeatedly by an electric fence while scrubbing out a pig trough, trying Tim Hortons coffee and donuts etc. We had a laugh, it was crazy how quickly the barriers came down and all of us let go of pretense. Unfortunately we left getting trashed together until my last night so the next morning I hugged my hostess goodbye while she was in a significant amount of pain and I had to attempt, while travelling for a few hours, not to fall asleep or throw up on public transport (mission accomplished, in case you were wondering).

It's strange how your life works when you're WWOOFing; I didn't comprehend before that it's almost like being in the Big Brother house. Your whole world becomes the people you're staying and working with and you quickly forget that there's an outside world. Trips into town or elsewhere feel sort of alien in comparison to the easygoing and simple nature of what you're doing the rest of the time. An entire week goes by and all you've done is chat to people, worked on the farm a little, gone swimming, read a book, walked some and eaten a lot. But in that week you learn so much about people in general, about the intensive way you can get to know someone when you're around them so much after never knowing them before. I never could have imagined half the things I learned and that can only be a good thing, I think. We did some really fun stuff. There was an impromptu falafel night where we stood around and cooked and ate for hours in the kitchen. Mr. Astrophysicist had also WWOOFed in Africa and actually had coffee beans from the region in Ethiopia where coffee originates; we roasted them and tried it and it truly was good. I did more than my fair share of baking; it was just so nice to have a kitchen and there is an inherently satisfying feeling that occurs when you serve dessert and then tell people the delicacy they're eating is called "Chocolate Mug Pudding". We made trips into town and chatted the day away when we should have been weeding or digging or building fences (but talk is just so much more productive). I stopped doing my hardcore farm outfit act and relaxed (as everyone else was) to the point where I would wear leggings and flip-flops to feed the chickens. My hostess was so laidback she'd drive the tractor in Capri pants and flip-flops and go out to run errands and come back with Tim Hortons for us to have when we hadn't even made a dent in our WWOOFer hours yet. I was somewhat over-indulged at that farm, I think, which became evident yesterday morning after our bonfire night antics.

Now I'm somewhere new that was described to me by a few people as heaven, and though it is definitely a beautiful sight to behold I will have to reserve my judgement until I have been here at least 24 hours. It was a rocky start; in addition to being hungover I called the farm from the train station when I arrived and could not get an answer and thus waited an hour and a half and made good friends with a friendly, helpful taxi driver that I must owe a batch of cookies or something for how patient he was with me while I explained my predicament. Eventually though, my ride arrived and brought me here and everyone's been really lovely so far. I feel guilty for not remembering anyone's names but I'll get there, as always, and for now I'm just going to try to continue to recover, I think. I'm toying with the idea of where to go next, I was thinking Quebec somewhere but I dunno. My French is somewhat rusty (can things get rusty when they don't exist?) so that could prove interesting but I'll try. We'll see how I go here for now.

Au revoir (ha!)


  1. You wouldn't believe the smile I get when I see that you've updated your blog. Seeing your words is almost as good as seeing you.

    I miss you lots, but I'm glad you're having a marvelous time.


  2. I think I've become rather jealous of your antics over seas, I wish that I had of... explored my options more when I thought about going overseas. Reading about all the amazing people you've met and how much of a life changing experience this has been for you, has made me envious of your time over there. Of the places you've been and the people you've met.

    Any way, I'm glad you're having a blast, and you've embraced the flip-flops, something that i have yet to embrace myself. (Don't tell!)

    I send love and I'll hopefully talk to you soon!




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