This post deviates from the general theme of 3D printing and software curiosities. It is ‘ancient’ history from an old travel blog I was writing while traveling around Australia.

A photo of a Kalgoorlie hotel

One of the more interesting useless facts I have learnt this year is that Aboriginals living on the rangelands here in Western Australia divide the year into six seasons rather than just our typical four. We have been in Meekatharra for only two months, and I think we may have transitioned from one season (flower, most things were in full bloom a few weeks ago) to ‘yanthulanthulpa thungurni mila pira’ or (troublesome little fly month). OK, so with the help of an Aboriginal phrase book, I just invented that season. Don’t get me wrong, I am an Australian who has lived in rural and regional parts of the country; so the concept of annoying flies is not completely foreign to me. But out here, we had a brief shower of rain and the fly population has exploded almost overnight. They don’t seem to be your typical fly either – they are tiny little suckers that home in on your eyes, ears, mouth and nose. They can fly straight up your nose without stopping, or into your eye and won’t budge till you physically swat them with a hand (and they won’t move unless you actually hit the fly – just coming close to the fly doesn’t seem to cut the grade).

The little flies have dulled the fun of exploring the deserts around Meekatharra - after about fifteen minutes outside, we literally have a cloud of flies buzzing around us, while we swat like crazy to keep them off our faces. Although, the flies don’t seem as bad at dusk and so we still try to get out for a walk most afternoons. Last Thursday, while doing a lap of the dry Meekatharra creek bed, a couple of the locals where practicing their golf swings, hitting stones out into the desert. When we approached, they ran inside the shed, turned a radio up and we heard, after much glee; a drunken chorus break out:

I got ma first rual six-string Bawd it at tha five-n-dime Played ‘til ma fingas bled…

It finally made me realise, for all the bad press that Aboriginal substance abuse gets in this country, drunken bogans are drunken bogans. No matter what their colour, a similar scene could have been found anywhere else in the country: A bunch of mates, winding down for an evening, drinking more than they should, laughing, having fun and singing songs that they would be embarrassed to enjoy while sober.


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