sobota, 11. junij 2011


And my true hobo experience started. If everything will turn out like now is beng told it could possibly be the best job ever. A hard one, but well worth the effort you put in. In theory we get paid 50K won (each) for a loaded five-ton truck in a crew of four; if the crew is of five, we get 40K won. Simple mathematics. And two trucks daily is a required minimum and the average. Here and there you're required to do the third truck or the trucks are seven to tentoners and the mathematics is quite different then.
We're talking cabbages here. Picking them, stuffing them in nets and loading. First all the cutters attack the cabbage field with sharp knives and when half of the field is done, usually one cutter remains to finish it and all the others start stuffing the cabbages in the nets, three in each, so even loading isn't a heavy work. And there's the fun part, too. We have almost all the day free to do whatever we want. Because we start working at 5 AM, have breakfast at 7 and with two trucks to do we're over just before the real heat starts, we're back at the base for lunch. Yesterday we were back at 1.30 PM but it was a really slow day because it was raining. And when it wasn't raining it was pouring. But the market doesn't stop because of rain so neither we can.
Another good thing in this work is that you can work all year round. It's a moving job, we're supposed to finish in Jindo in a month, then we move to Gangwon-do and later to Jeju island and in winter we do polytunnels. I say "we" in the hope that everything will go smoothly (talking about money) and that I'll be good enough for the boss to keep me. It should be no problem if I disappear for a week or two to Japan or any other country and upon return I can continue the work.
As I said, that's the theory. For now I did just the training, the second day I'm here we're already off. So in the afternoon we're going to meet in Jindo with folks from other crews to have some beers and I'll grab the chance for free wifi, I found some spots the moment I arrived in Jindo. Crew members are mostly Chinese and the boss is Korean. In every crew there is a nuna that does the cooking, but with my luck I ended possibly in the only crew without a woman so the food is plain boring. I got spoiled in one day, the first day I was with another crew with a nuna that was a great cook and she mainly uses stuff she picks near the working fields. Yep, vegetarian diet. And it's hard to imagine in how many different (delicious!) ways you can cook cabbage!
The accomodation is more than spartan. It's crappy. But I don't mind and I don't complain. As Felipe, a Chilean coworker pointed out, now we're street dogs and our only goal is to survive. But even street dogs can bite. Luckily we're supposed to be paid every two weeks so this is the time to wait and find out how do they run this business. Eventually I can crash some heads with absolutely no remorse. I will pretend that I'm a reincarnation of some ancient Korean buddhist warrior monk (which is an oximoron in itself) that proudly slaughtered Japanese invaders in the name of the loving Lord Buddha. Or the reincarnation of Admiral Yi (which I already mentioned in a previous entry), that is watching the straight between the mainland and the Jindo island.

In this straight he defeated the vast Japanese fleet with just a few vessels in a masterpiece of strategy. My strategy will be to wait patiently for two weeks to see the outcome and then continue working or kick some ass and walk away. Maybe not only kick, they trained me to use a large sharp knife... Hope for the first option, sounds much better.

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