I’m feeling philosophical – I think this state is called two-beer life clarity. I get worse with more beer. I think society is pretty fucked up.
Lets start with food – do you know what kind of junk we shove into our bodies? I don’t know what all the E numbers on my packaging mean, and I shouldn’t have to. I do know that most packaged food contains heaps of sodium and sugar, and that I can buy bread that lasts a week before it dries out. That’s a sure indicator of a lot of preservatives and stuff that I probably shouldn’t be putting into my body.
Back in South Africa, there has been a rumpus for the last few months about the strange meat identified in various meat products. Meat products? Why aren’t we eating real meat, not processed to death “meat products”?
I love asking the Greek butchers for mince, whereupon they point at a chunk of beef, I say “nai” (yes), and then they mince it for me while I watch. No danger of kangaroo or donkey or anything else dodgy going into that mince. And the smaller the villages that we visit, the better the vegetables taste. Potatoes that come direct from Georgio’s brother, or Elena who grows the tomatoes for the village etc. Go back to the larger towns, and the vegetables look better and taste worse.
Home schooling my son has made me think more deeply about school as a system. The material that we have to cover for grade 5 is quite fun. I tend to identify sections for Aidan to work through, and it has been great when he asks if he can do more. I give Aidan quite a bit of independence with his school work, but I worry that the cost of this freedom is that he will hate the confines of the formal classroom when he returns to school next year.
We get through so much school work in just a few hours a week. This is all supplemented by experiencing history through visiting wonderful ruins such as Delphi, and seeing new countries and cultures rather than just having a few pics of traditional dress in “life sciences”. Next year he has to go back to 8 hours of school a day, to do far less than we do in 8 hours a week.
So the life question is – why do we entrust the critical educational needs of our children to such an inefficient and antiquated system? Schools are cattle pens for young minds, and it’s the rare teacher who sparks true interest in a pupil.
It’s all about time, really. Our days are so filled with having to make money that we accept a fairly poor quality of life. Africa more so than Europe. Most of the Mediterranean cultures take a break in the heat of the day, and only resume business late afternoon. It means that families enjoy lunch together, and don’t spend all the great daylight hours locked up in offices and shops etc.
I like almost everything about village life except actually living in a village. I like the more natural food sources, the more relaxed pace of life, the safety for our children, and the way people know everyone and help each other. I’d just go stark raving bonkers from boredom though, so I’ll have to figure out how to get village quality-of-life in a city. Pour me that next beer, please.