1/2 “I never touched drugs in my life but alcohol was always a big issue in my family. It started with my grandfather who was in the English army. He swapped the bayonet off his rifle for two bottles of wine, then went on the run and never came back.
Anyway, I was travelling for a while and one day in Darwin, Australia I found myself with only $20 left in my account, so I put up a status on my profile asking if anyone could help me out. I explained that I had enough food and my hostel is paid for a week, but if someone knew of a job to please let me know.
So a guy calls me from Dublin and says “I can get you a contact close to Darwin. It’s a construction site; they are building a prison, but he asks, “Can you drive?” And I say no I can’t… He says; “Well, just say you can!”
So the boss calls me and he says “Okay you can start tomorrow – you drive right?” And I says yeah, yeah sure I do. I knew in my head even if I can’t drive but I go there and I get about two weeks work off him, it’d be nearly $3,000, so I could continue travelling.
So I turned up the next morning and he hands me the keys to his van and goes back into his office. I was like oh shit… I got into his van and started the car but it was going nowhere. The guys were coming to help me out, saying my handbrake was on. It didn’t take long for him to find out, but by then I was working so hard that I was drilling more holes in the prison that an average Australian so he said he’d keep me on.
About a week later I went out and got so drunk that I couldn’t wake up the next morning. He called me and I told him the truth. He said ‘You work hard so I’ll give you another chance but don’t fuck it up’. I don’t mean to let people down, but a week later I agreed to go for ‘just one drink’ and the next thing I know it’s 9 in the morning, so didn’t even bother going in. I put another message on my status and a friend I’d met in Australia a few weeks earlier texts me that he knows of a job on a crocodile farm.”
2/2 “So I go to the interview and this girl is asking me so many questions so fast, I couldn’t understand the half of it, but I just agreed with everything and at the end I asked if I have the job? She said “Yes, you start tomorrow morning at 7am.”
So I go back to the hostel and all the guys are celebrating my success, and saying they will take me out tonight and I was like, I can’t I’m working with crocodiles at 7 in the morning! They say ‘Ah, come on man, they’re not going to put a backpacker around crocodiles on the first day!’
The next morning I get up – still a bit drunk – and take the one-hour bus ride to the middle of nowhere and the first thing the guy does is hand me a sweeping brush, a bucket full of chicken heads and wings, and a fish net with a long pole. Then he opens the gate with 500 crocodiles in it. He says ‘You feed them to distract them while I clean up.’ I stayed alive but lasted only two weeks. Travelling is bliss and I’d never change my life! I could tell you millions of more stories, but you’d probably have to listen all night.”