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The Best Memory In My Life

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1052
  • Category: Memory

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I was in Sydney, Australia on July of the year 2002 with my best girlfriends for a 3-week vacation.  My last visit to Australia was from May to July of 2001 in New Castle, Australia, which is very small town.  We decided that it would be best to visit other cities in Australia for our college graduation celebration.  The only difference was that this time around we were not getting any financial support from our parents.  We wanted to experience surviving without our parents’ money.  Each person had 1,000 dollars for pocket money.

When we got on the plane and finally arrived in Sydney International Airport, everything seemed so surreal.  We then took a taxi at the airport and arrived at YMCA which was the cheapest place we could find for our budget.  We headed up to our rooms after getting the keys from the front desk.  As I opened the door, I was shocked to see that the room was so tiny with no space for our 3 huge bags.  There were three almost broken beds and the carpet was especially dirty.  It was as if the room had never been cleaned since the time that it was built.  Despite the horrid accommodations, the idea of having free breakfast made it easier to bear since it would allow us to save money.

When we opened our bags, however, Jin, my friend, said, “I can’t find my money”

Agnes and I replied, “You’re kidding me, we saw you put the money there in your pocket… oh, my god!”

Jin was terrified and opened her every bag and tried to remember when she last used her wallet. We thought that she had left her wallet in the taxi so we called the taxi company to find out if the driver left a message for us.  Unfortunately, there was nobody answering any of the calls at the taxi company at that time of the evening.  We then decided to call our Jin’s mom to ask her to send us some money.

Our mission for the trip failed after 24 hours.  We then went downstairs to use the payphone. While Jin dialed up to her mom, I saw a yellow paper on the wall just next to the phone booth.

I said, “Hang up the phone and Look at this!!”

Jin hung up the phone and she and Agnes came up to me and said, “Working at the Banana firm a week? Are you crazy?”

I said, “It would be so much better than asking Jin’s mom to send us money”.

We phoned the Banana firm and to ask them about the pay and the hours.  A skittishly voiced lady was answered and said, “twenty dollar per hour and 10 hours a day. We only need for 3 people for a week. We will offer you three meals a day and staying”.

It was a tough decision to make but since we were in that predicament we decided to go and work there for a week.  They picked us up at 6:00 am the day after we called them. They came to YMCA and we took their car which was painted green with yellow banana stickers.  Two hours later, we arrived at the biggest firm we had ever seen in our lives.  We were met by very young woman and she showed us to the girl’s room and the dining room.  After that she explained everything and gave us plastic gowns and masks.  She said, “Please wear this gown and mask before you start work.  Tom will be here in 20 minutes and he will let you know where you guys need to work, ok?”  We looked at the gowns and then at each other a few times.  But, we didn’t have any choice, so we prepared ourselves to start to work.

Tom soon arrived.  He was about our age and good looking, which made us feel better about having to work there.  He handed us a bottle and a big sprayer.  He said, “This is very important thing for the export quality bananas, so you need to pour liquid from the bottle to the sprayer and apply them to bananas here.  Also, you have to wear the gown and mask whenever you are in this area, ok?  I will meet you guys later”.  We could not believe that we came here from Korea to do this.  We just looked at each other and started to work.

We finished work at 6:00pm and then went to eat dinner.  The place we went to was fun and there were almost 20 other young people from different countries.  We each had steak and beer and we had so much fun talking about their countries and cultures.  We finally went back to our room and we agreed that we could get some money here and at the same time enjoy ourselves.  We worked hard for 10 hours every day and had so much fun with others every night. A week later, Tom called us and sent us to the main office.  There was very big guy and he gave us a 1,400 dollar check.  We couldn’t believe that we earned this huge amount of money ourselves.

We went back to Sydney and stayed at that dirt and tiny YMCA place again.  We just didn’t want to spend any more money for a luxurious vacation.  We decided that it was to be spent on the valuable experiences on our college graduation trip. Thereafter, we bought a bus ticket to Cairns, which is famous for sky-diving, bungee-jumping and scuba-diving.  We did those three activities and then we headed back to New Castle to visit our home-stay family.  We brought them presents because they had treated us well a year ago.

We had lovely time despite the challenges that we had encountered.  We came back to Sydney and took a photo of all three of us together at the back of the Harbor Bridge.  We promised ourselves that we were going to visit here again when we get to the age of 30.  The most incredible thing, however, was that we found Jin’s wallet in her bag at the customs house at Sydney international airport.

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