A privileged first-worlder is living the high life on the other side of the planet after having scored an elite fruit-picking job in the global cultural hotspot of Bundaberg, Queensland.
The lucky Brit has scored a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live on the outskirts of the vibrant Australian town, all for the low price of extreme physical discomfort and tragically inadequate pay.
“Yeah, I’m getting paid probably a quarter of the minimum wage thanks to piece rates,” said Dean from Yorkshire, the lucky bastard. “That’s despite doing a job that requires about double the physical fitness of your standard labouring work.”
“I wake up in agony in every morning at a hostel which was last refurbished in 1989,” he added.
Dean works at an avocado farm where he regularly labours in the blazing sun for up to 12 hours a day. His ultimate goal is to save up for a week-long trip to Bali and qualify for a second year in Australia, the spoiled brat.
Picking has a reputation for being such shit work that even Australians – a nation of people who drink beers out of their own shoes – don’t want to do it. Despite this, the majority of backpackers who work in fruit-picking jobs are privileged socialites who have flown over from Europe for the honour of taking part in this hallowed tradition.
“I saved up for four years to fly to Australia,” said Dean, whose high-rolling parents will own their Bradford apartment outright 22 years from now, if they manage to pay off their mortgage.
All I’m going to get from this fucking country is a herniated disc and skin cancer.
Australian laws require backpackers to work 88 days on a farm to earn their second-year visa. The industry is so hilariously unregulated that many backpackers are lured by dodgy contractors into towns like Bundaberg, where they earn as little as AU$35 for a day’s work. Despite this, the fact that most of them are from nice countries with running water and stuff means they’re not being exploited, but are just gap-year kids running riot with their parents’ money.
The Tragic Traveller asked Dean what it was like to be part of 1% lucky enough to travel the world without ever doing a hard day’s work (apart from the three months of horrible back-breaking labour at Bundy Orchard).
“I was an apprentice carpenter back home,” he answered. “What the fuck are you talking about?”