An Old Netting Machine

Abandoned Net Pulling MachineI wonder how difficult it was to put the nets on in the vineyards before hydraulics and machinery came along? One thing for sure, even with the introduction of automation, there’s still a lot of manual labour involved as far as pulling the nets are concerned, especially if the nets are tight and the number of rows that need covering is big. My sore fingers and hands are a reflection of how crude this method really is after 2 weeks of the same mind-numbing task. Someone needs to find a better way in addressing those bloody annoying grape-pecking birds sooner rather than later! Did I hear the re-introduction of DDT? LOL!

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A Turning Point

Two years ago, I came out from my performance appraisal feeling disillusioned, crest-fallen and bitter. Little did I expect an offshore assignment to Vietnam thereafter provided me with unspeakable relief and comfort. Honestly, the first impression I had of picturesque Vungtau is still quite vivid in my mind right now. A healing place – that’s what I told suyin and ah tan back then.

The cà phê sữa đá at M&K Cafe is still as delicious as ever; the contrasting flavours of the bánh mì is as good as I remembered it to be. Walking down the streets in Vungtau again, I can’t help but wonder how my life would change by accepting the offer to relocate to this socialist country, where a lot of fond memories (of people I met) took place.

Is this gonna be a turning point in my life? I don’t think I have the answer yet. For now, I need to concentrate on getting the job done and press on for my own goals. I just hope the uncomfortable feeling deep down will continue to serve as a constant reminder of why I said yes to my boss in the first place.

First chopper, checking in at 0600hrs tomorrow. I forgot how much I disliked waking up so early and dragging my big fat arse to the helibase. It’s just all too familiar. But I don’t think I would mind a nice cup of cà phê sữa nóng at the break of dawn.


It was not meant to be

When I looked at the details of the package presented before me, I knew Vietnam would be a distant memory. After more than 4 years of repeated promises, I think there’s little faith left, if any. Of course, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of a counter offer, but the damage has been done, and there’s no healing any mortals could offer.

Looking at the brighter side of things, I guess the laughable meagre compensation took away the disturbing uncertainties, and my heart and mind, at long last, found peace with one another.