Old folk at lunch

Monday, January 30, 2006

An aboriginal Sunday



This post will encourage Leftists to shriek "racist" and "Nazi" at me but they regularly shriek that at GWB and heaps of other conservatives so I am going to disregard such shrieks as devalued currency.

I grew up with Aborigines (Australian native blacks) in my class at school and I have seen plenty of them since -- particularly as a landlord (Yes. I HAVE let rooms and houses to them. Racists do that, you know) -- so I think I know a bit about them. And if you are looking for "cultural" differences, Aborigines must be as different from people of Northern European ancestry as you can get. And the reason why is that they were isolated in Australia from other populations for up to 60,000 years (on some estimates). So they evolved separately. And they evolved to suit Australia as it originally was. And the abilities they evolved -- particularly a remarkable capacity for observing and remembering minute details of the landscape -- do in some ways leave the rest of us for dead. In other ways, however, they are badly lacking in what is needed to fit into modern Western society -- a strikingly poor ability to plan ahead being their most obvious handicap. They very much "live for the day".

One thing I have always envied them is their ability to relax. They can sit around under a tree all day happily doing exactly nothing. I, however, am one of those instinctively hard-driving people who is genetically from the far North of the world. And the fact that, in my retirement, I post daily to seven blogs of my own and contribute frequently to four group blogs is, I think, some testimony to that. It is as hard for me to sit back and do nothing as it is easy for Aborigines. But yesterday I managed it. Just as Aborigines often do, I spent the whole day sitting around and doing practically nothing other than some intermittent chatting. Anne accompanied me in this experience, of course. She is probably more full of beans than I am these days, however, so she caved in first and shot off to do something at about 7pm. She spent many years as a remote-area nurse working with (and getting on with) Aborigines so knows them even better than I do. So she knew all about the model I had in mind when I said we were having an Aborigine day. She enjoyed it but she couldn't keep it up! Genetics will out.

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