How you going?
Ok, does that sound grammatically incorrect to anyone else? It sounds like you forgot a few words or something. Syntax errors aside, however, this is the Australian version of “How’s it going?” in the good ol’ Red, White and Blue. Australia has offered plenty of things to throw me off, like charging $4 for a 20oz soda, but all things considered, this is one of the most beautiful, remarkable, interesting and well-spirited countries I have ever been to.
I have started work as a press monkey at the mega-winery Casella. The biggest surprise was a completely un-related to wine: I was part of a wave of immigrant labor brought in to work the vintage, traveling great lengths for the sole purpose of earning more money than they receive at home to obtain their goals. Only, these aren’t immigrants from economically distressed nations. This tidal wave of migrant labor is composed of Germans, Brits, Frenchmen, Germans, Koreans, Estonians, Germans, Swedes, Italians and more Germans. They are all back-packers, and they are here to earn money to fund their travels around the world.
This of course, has made for a very interesting work environment. I also live with them in a hostel, which has been exciting because every day is a cultural exchange: I learn about customs and habits of their nations, as well as the foods, beers and politics, while I teach them about mine. (I am the only American in the 150 people at the hostel, the owner said I’m only the third American the hostel has ever seen. Nuts.) It’s all been very cool, but the biggest thing I’ve learned from everyone is just how similar everyone is, both at home and abroad.
The winery itself is probably visible from space. It’s simply goliath. The presses are in full “go” mode and right now we’re bouncing some 1,000 tonnes of grapes through every day, pushing through a lot of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon through presses twice the size of my first apartment. Things have been a lot of fun so far, as we have a lot of work to do to get all that wine done, and I have been promised that I will be kept abreast of the wine-making master plan once things start to calm down for the wine-makers. I’m looking forward to this harvest: it will definitely be a very unique experience in my life.
More updates to follow.