Hostel life; Nightmare on eleventh street.
Okay so i know i said in my previous post that nothing could be worse than our prison hostel....yeah i spoke too soon. Things got much worse, which is also why i have been unable to post in a couple of weeks.
It all started as Joe and I decided to respond to an add we saw on gumtree for regional work in Mildura, the advert said "calling all backpackers! we have lots of picking packing rolling etc work available...all we ask in $150 for transport, free meat" and all this other stuff which turned out to be only the surface. We left straight away even though i told Joe i didnt think that we should go as we didnt know much about where we were going, we didnt even know where we were staying as every time i asked the girl on the other side of the phone kept saying its a private business and it has no name...bit strange, as soon as we arrived we realised why they would not give out the name of the 'private business'.
When we landed we were greeted by a girl in a white van with a big Turkish man named Don, he we were soon to find out was infamous in Mildura for scamming backpackers and being a loud mouth arse hole. Sorry but thats the most polite expression i can think of to describe this man. As soon as we were sat in the van they all started smoking in our faces, he was swearing being loud and racist and i was thinking 'oh my god i want to go back home!' On top of all of this we had to pay 2 weeks advance, which we knew but once we arrived we had to pay another $150 for a deposit, now we werent told this on the phone which meant we didnt have enough and had to transfer more over. We should have left when we realised they had lied about how much the hostel would cost.
Now i didnt take any photos whilst we were staying there but these are stills from the current affair investigation in to this place.
When we arrived we were greeted with the above, (after being told that we would be staying in the house in the town, another lie) This was to be our home for 2 weeks, the lovely caravan park. I wouldnt mind staying in a caravan park...if the caravans were alright and the doors actually shut. However we were staying in what i can only describe as illegal immigrant conditions. That is how i felt for 2 weeks.
The caravan that we were put in was quite small, had one double bed and a bunk bed with a sofa in the middle, needless to say that it stank and was freezing cold. The door didnt shut, there was no lock, the windows didnt close, the bedding was dirty and from where it had been raining our bed was soaked as the window was literally hanging off...i cried right then and wished i was back at home.
All i wanted to do was leave but we had given this horrible human our money and needed to stay for 2 weeks before we would be allowed our deposits back. Many people didnt stick it out as long as that and just left forgetting about their money. It rained for 3 days so we didnt have any work....however when the rain stopped we were actually given some work; rolling on the vines in the vineyard to grow new grapes. A hideously tedious job that we will probably have to do again but for better money.
Now to do this job we were only paid $0.30 a tree so Joe and I worked in a pair one either side of the vine rows rolling for hours on end only making $45 on our first day. Every day we were dropped off at a farm at 6.30am and worked until about 4-5. At this time it was okay as we all thought we would continue to get paid and also get our days signed off so we would be able to apply for our second year.
This wasnt true, we were only paid 1 day out of 10, we are owed over $200 working all day everyday for 2 weeks. Our visas also were not signed off as apparently we didnt work for the farmers we worked for contractors who cannot sign your days off....also most importantly if you are being paid cash the days that you work or are signed off do not count as if you are investigated or when your visa is checked there is no record of you ever having worked on that certain farm. All records exist through your tax file number and your bank account, without these nothing is legitimate. The visa also has to be signed off by a farmer, not a contractor or a business owner.
I dont even need to go on things got worse and we were completely mugged off, along with so many others, the girls working for him bring more people in constantly telling them everything they want to hear which is in fact not true! I hope that this place gets shut down, it is not right to screw people over like this and its happening everyday...all over Australia to people who just want to work hard and earn a little money and want their visas signed off.
Despite all of this Joe and I met some of the loveliest people here and had an amazing time with them, they were the only things that made the time here bearable, and for that i probably wouldnt change anything, If Joe and I hadnt have stuck out 2 weeks there we wouldnt have met the friends that helped us to find the place that we are in now (100x better).
Here is the link to the youtube video of the current affair investigation;