Thursday, 3 January 2008


Kywong. Ever heard of it? Neither had I. I can't even find it on the map. I know it exists because this is the Kywong wheat bin (or whatever they call these things in NSW). It's closed now - looks like it shut down years ago. There's no road into the place anymore, and the weighbridge has departed for somewhere else. Further on in this blog, you can see photos of the heavily used rail line that leads to this bin.

I worked at a number of wheat bins back in the latter half of the 1980's. Helped pay my way through Uni. I did a short exam, which showed that I could add up, and started work straight after my last Uni exam. As a casual staffer, I always ended up at least 300km from anywhere. Air conditioning was unknown back then, most of the permanent staff were alcoholics and the accommodation was a demountable with chicken wire frame beds and a microwave. None of them had a TV, as none of them had TV reception. I generally had the place to myself, and chose to sleep in a swag plonked on the bed - I wasn't going anywhere near the mattress if I could help it.

I did manage to blow up a microwave once. I was having a few end of work beers (something to wash the wheat dust out of my mouth) when I got the munchies. Being young and stupid (and drunk), I decided to boil some eggs in the microwave.

30 seconds later, there was an almighty bang and the door flew off the microwave and the interior of the demountable was coated in scrambled egg (including bits of egg shell).

The boss didn't turn up until morning, and by then I had the egg cleaned off the ceiling, the door back on the microwave (but it refused to latch) and the bits of shell un-embedded from the far wall. However, in my month there, the smell of scrambled eggs refused to go away.

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