Friday, October 20, 2006

Luney River, TS, OZ

Wow, It could be worse, at least, that's what Alison says. I think we saw a wombat by our mud hut door tonight, although it could have been a wallaby, or one large carnivorous reptile. The toilet has two and a hale walls, and really is just a hole in the ground, but hey there is toilet paper. Anders said that in the deep south you either want to be here, or everywhere else told you to leave.

We had a long talk with Jane the other night and I hammered out a few tunes on the piano. We talked about ceramics and crafts in general. It was nice to feel more connected to these people. I am beginning to understand why they live like this. The weather for this weekend is going to be crap so Anders said he'd just take Monday off to get in some boating time. It's about really being in control of your time and destiny, no one tells these people what to do.

It was raining pretty hard today so we worked inside most of the time. Jane was going to do some house cleaning so we were instructed to peel some apples for stewing and then move own to cleaning out the kitchen drawers. Now, these people save everything as is evident in the cabinets, but there is no particular organizational scheme to it so things seem to get lost in the fold. The top drawers were filled with and array of silverware, kitchen utensils, plastic bags, gum bands, old receipts, dried up pens, wrapping paper, odd bits of string, and half empty packs of batteries. I was half expecting to find a head or small stash of bones. Stuck to the bottoms of these drawers was all manor of green and brown goo and grime, dust - but not your normal dust, thick, heavy, chunky dust - and the feathery carcasses of dead moths. We wiped these all out, returned their mismatched contents, and slid them back into their docks. The next row of drawers held some canned food goods, spices, bagged grains, more chunky dust, and more dead moths. We began to notice the state of the food. Some still sealed in its original containers, some in old peanut butter jars, some wrapped in bags, and some just half open. Of particular interest was a disc of petrified figs, a box of sushi seaweed turned terrarium, and a nearly empty box of solid pancake mix. As I was scrubbing out the bottom of one drawer I thought I saw something move. Yes, there it is again, it's a, oh, my god, a small maggoty worm. Squish and out it went. The final row had much deeper drawers with tall bottles of soy and chili sauce and large glass jars of grains. In one drawer something bad had happened. With the large items removed it was clear a pack of ramen noodles had at some point busted. The bottom of the drawer was thick with dust and debris, and teaming with maggots. They were everywhere, then we saw them in the bagged grain. Anders was home by now and making tea in the kitchen, too. Poor Alison could only stare at them, then forced herself to dispatch them in plane sight of Anders. He said Nothing...

Later at lunch Jane had over her cleaning friend Lyne and they finally brought it up. "We've just never seen anyone as dark as you, Alison, there's no black people here and all the Aborigines are white." Excuse me? "Well, they don't keep their color, over the years it fades." You mean they breed with Caucasians? "Well yes, but it happens naturally too." Anders thinks this is bullshit. So you mean Aborigines, the second oldest race on earth, just started losing their color coincidently at the same time as the brits started sending convicts here? And didn't the white settlers kill all of the tasmanian Aborigines anyway?


Anonymous said...

Wow, how exciting, maggots and all!! Maybe you two will collaborate on a book after this! Glad to hear that you are connecting more so with the people - sounds like a rather rough life style but, hey, everything has a price tag. I found their comments/thinking on "color" interesting and inexperienced. bonnie