Mostly European Cowgirls

Melbourne, VIC, AU

Unbeknownst to us, this job put us smack into the middle of the backpacker working trail and as a result, our workmates were not who we expected.  In what we anticipated to be a primarily Australian work group we found ourselves surrounded by 2 Kiwis, 3 Germans, a Sweede, 2 French, a Scott, 2 Americans (us) and a paltry 5 Australians.  The foreigners outnumbered the locals by more than 2:1.  Also the overwhelming majority of employees were female or as Greg put it to his unmarried brother Chris,

“Dude, wanna meet a bunch of young European Cowgirls?”

the horse hands

Exactly one person in this picture is actually Australian.


“Then come to Australia.”

We did make the best of the situation though and one of our Aussie workmates was kind enough to show us what the Australian answer to the New Zealand Flat White coffee is…

Working with some Kiwis did give us an opportunity to answer two lingering questions about New Zealand:

First, why do so many Kiwis work in Australia?

Well, most would rather not it’s just that a) there are more jobs here b) the minimum wage is higher and c) Australian currency is about 20% more valuable which makes a significant difference when you think about a year’s wage at any economic level.  So Kiwis will often come over to Australia for at least a few years to earn more money with easier jobs before returning home where they actually want to live.

Second, what’s the deal with everyone from New Zealand thinking we’re Canadian?

It’s something that we have found odd since first coming to New Zealand.  We mean, really, there are a lot more Americans by raw numbers and how many people from Vancouver have the word “dude” in their normal vernacular?  Greg finally pinned down one of our coworkers and got the truth:

So yeah, if you guessed the readhead in the picture above was the Australian?  Don’t say anything.

Despite the daily brutal 10 hour split shifts, starting at 3:45am and 6 day work weeks, we refused to work for the racing industry and not attend a single actual event before leaving.  Which also gave us a wonderful opportunity to go finally hang out socially with these people we spend most of our day alongside and covered in horse poop.

We also got to see Black Caviar race which, in case you’re not in the know (we weren’t) is kind of a big deal.

Thanks to wikipedia

Oh and what happened with Tiffany’s bet?  Well the race was “under protest” and we left before the protest was resolved in order to get to bed because we had to work in about 6 hours.  So we had to wait a few days before we got to drop by a betting place and collect our “winnings”

We do have the habit of meeting the most interesting of people.

About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures.  If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at!


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