Mine Camp Diaries: Dingoes Are Buggers And Old Mate Is Bored

Like I already mentioned, I’m very confused as to how these people get paid so much to do what appears to be nothing. It’s kind of like how the dental hygienist does all the work and then the dentist who never knows your name comes in all high and mighty, pokes the inside of  your cheek, says “great job” and walks away with his $150,000 salary. Even so, this means that as I’m discreetly mopping their mud-stained floors I get to overhear some of their conversations. *Sinister smile*

In one of the control rooms last night I got to be a third party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter (Name that movie! You win a virtual high-five if you guess correctly!) and overheard one guy discussing his upcoming trip to Melbourne. He can’t wait to go party at the Crown Casino and on Kings Street, the footy is waiting for him and mate, you wouldn’t believe the great deal he got on an Airbnb in the city.

When people keep to themselves and I overhear it, it’s cool. But when they interact with you and tell you all gossip, it’s even cooler. When boredom sets in I’ve noticed people love to chat. During one of my trainings at the water treatment plant, the guys told me stories of how sometimes people accidentally sit on their radios, allowing the entire mine to overhear. On one such occasion, a maintenance guy with a long mullet told his entire workplace about something he and his wife recently did that involves sticking things up his bumhole.

Now let me vent to you here

Distraction takes over. Sometimes when I get tired I get a bit loopy. It’s kind of like being hungover or intoxicated where the concept of time is completely off your register. Sometimes when I go to the bathroom, which is always, I realize I do everything twice as long as it takes. I fumble and I stare at the piles of fast-moving ants carrying dead beetles up the wall. More than a few times a night I suddenly “wake up” and am staring at myself in the mirror intensely analyzing one aspect of my facial structure. It could be three seconds or it could be five minutes. And each time I stare at myself, I don’t look any different. I’m still the sweaty, hat headed mess that I was the last time I checked. Shocking.

What’s the color of your urine? And newest obsession takes up a lot more time than necessary. I end up catching myself staring at the color wondering if I’m hydrated enough. I stand up and button my pants at sloth-speed, my head moving back and forth from the toilet bowl to the laminated dehydration chart on the back of the stall door.  Is that a beige yellow or a clear with hints of lime juice? Is that a white cotton shirt that got stuck in the wash with a yellow scarf? And the biggest question of them all is, is it still possible for me to be dehydrated when I drink minimum one liter of water an hour? 

Why didn’t you turn in your homework? A DINGO ATE IT! I’m so good at jokes. If you leave a bag of trash in the laundry room, dingoes will still walk in and rip it apart and throw it all around the floor until they find the leftover food they’ve been smelling. We left our trash there for a quick “morning tea” break and by the time we got back one of my workmates was cursing those “bloody turds!”

English language segment: bugger
If it has buggered up its broken. If you tell someone Oh, bugger you!” it’s a nice way of saying f*ck off. When my workmates are buggered they’re tired and if someone shouts oh, bugger! they mean “shoot!” If something is a bugger it’s annoying you.
“This vacuum buggered up, we can’t use it”
“Yeah, bugger that, we’re not going!”
“Ah, yes, Dalia* was so buggered last night after housekeeping she barely stayed awake at dinner.”

Weather considerations. Here in the Territory it’s still technically the “dry,” but based on the frequent torrential rainstorms and sauna-like humid clouds floating around me I’d say the “wet” has already arrived. Yet, when I say things like that out loud, people still are all “smh” about it and just tell me to wait up, mate, and stop your whinging because it’s “nuthin’ yet.” I keep waking up to the pounding rain and soon as I think maybe there’s a hurricane I just remember its the wet coming to pay us a visit.

Mayhem. Like I’ve already mentioned, night shift is twisting my insides all up and around and out. Yesterday it was 3:55, just a mere twenty minutes before I needed to sprint down to the mess to eat dinner before night shift starts and I still don’t have a uniform to wear. I had just recently realized, in a frantic lapse of memory and suggestion that maybe someone broke in and stole my uniform, that I forgot to put my clothes in the dryer. So I had two options in case they didn’t get done on time: go naked or wear wet clothes. Which do you think was going to help me keep my job? Better question: Which did I choose? ANSWER AT BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

*Again, not their real names. For fear that one day they’ll realize I’ve been talking about them on my blog for all this time.

Featured photo: No relation to this post. Barbies just wanna have fun. 

Answer to uniform question:









Read other updates from life on the Mine Camp here.


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