first day

by john

sometimes i think a factual recount of all the things i do in a day is not worth the time it takes to write up. but! i will write it up anyway, to see what happens.

i woke up to the sound of birds. again. they seem to be a noisy bunch. however, the sound of birds chirping is infinitely preferable to the whine of a double decker bus, which i used to wake up to. you would know that “business is open” back in the city, but here it’s more like “hey! we have woken up and we are going to talk as loudly as possible to wake up, it is likely that you may want to wake up now!”

i did not feel particularly great. sleeping on a new bed is always a challenge, and this time it seemed that certain muscles were strained during my sleep. during my sleep! sleep costs energy. it’s why we feel hungry in the morning, which brings us to breakfast. the breakfast was one guava and two bananas. i think it was enough.

the night before i met a fellow called “subeer” or something like that. he informed me i would be working with a person called “phil” in the morning, although i have heard him referred to as “fiero” and “pharoah” amongst other pronunciations. i walked around at 730am in the morning, seeing whether this mythical person would show up.

i was asked destroy some weeds. he is a middle aged man, i would guess around thirty. he wears glasses and has no fat on his body at all. his getup was suited to his job. long sleeved undershirt, big straw hat, rain boots. ah yes, the weed destroying is called ‘weeding’. i get to use a weeding tool, which is a curved serrated blade. you stick it in the soil and pull it towards you and all the plants you don’t like suffer a painful death, if they could feel pain. i felt like a person who could judge whether a living being was fit for survival or not. i had the power to decide whether a plant was destroyed or kept.

judging plants are difficult, especially if they look the same. some plants have hairs on them, some plants have heart shaped leaves with points, some plants have heart shaped leaves with no points. under an unrelenting, nuclear powered ball of gas (the sun) it is not an easy task to separate weed from desired foodcrop, especially if you are wearing a no sleeved vest (my fault) and you are not used to crouching.

if you like bugs and insects you should probably go weeding. i saw many, many different types of insects just on my short weeding trip alone. i saw insect eggs on the bottom of leaves. i saw ladybugs. i saw dragonflies like floating matchsticks. i saw a bumblebee glaring at me from his burrow in the ground. i tried to avoid him/her.

subeer took me on a trip around tainan. he missed many turns and got the date of a music concert completely wrong. we did however get to eat excellent economical taiwanese food, which is something i wanted.

stay tuned for the next installment of “John Works on an Organic Farm”…