Born curious we are !! If everyone on the planet asked themselves “why?” about something or other a couple of times a day, which is a reasonable enough supposition, then that’s a total of 14 billion “why’s?” a day or to put it another way, 5110 Billion “why’s” a year !!! The problem is not the questions, the problems arise because of the answers we come up with. If only ten percent of the answers are wrong (and who gets 90% correct in exams?) then that’s 500 billion incorrect answers! No wonder the world’s such a mess, it’s the sheer volume of incorrect answers that are leading us astray! Which leads me to wonder whether I should stop asking questions immediately and form some kind of lobby group to persuade others to do the same. No more questions until we have answered all the ones we’ve already asked, correctly! That should take long enough to see me long gone, safely tucked away and off the planet, and keep everybody productively occupied for decades.
That having been said, there is one question that has always intrigued me, but I’ll call it a ‘conundrum’ rather than a question so that I don’t add to the absurd total that humanity is already laboring to deal with. Why (there’s that bloody word again) do people always want to live in the same place? You know in a house or a flat in some neighborhood, or a place in the country where they settle down, raise kids, tend gardens and all that stuff. It beats me (that conundrum) it really does. With the price of a house the equivalent of a King’s ransom who but a fool would spend their whole life paying for such a place? Why (I cant get away from it!) would you want to spend your life looking at the same scene? Seeing the same neighbors? Living a regular ‘ordered’ existence? I live in a bus and I just don’t understand ‘normal’ life. Why ?
I’ve been a wanderer all my life. Since I was a little boy of six and camping in the woods in post-war Britain (No not the Boer War! World War Two!) I’ve hated being in a house. Perhaps I hate buildings because I saw so many of them bombed flat in the war. Who knows? I don’t sleep well indoors – I sleep better when I know the skies are there for me to open my eyes and see. When I am surrounded by fresh air, fields and open countryside. I’m a natural nomad – I wander following no dictate of the seasons or my fellow human beings, I just go where I wish. This is (as my mother frequently remarked when she was alive) totally irresponsible and childish but I’ve been this way all of my life. A misfit. I’ve never had a ‘proper’ job and managed for years as a rock and roll tour manager, and now I’m a writer. They seem (to me) tasks fit for a peripatetic life-style of little money and plenty of freedom. I’ve never owned a house and never will.
My bus is an alternative ‘land yacht’. I sail down the high-ways and bi-ways with the independence of a solo sailor. I visit friends, park outside, we have a meal or a party and then I walk (or sometimes crawl) to the bus and crash, by which I mean sleep. Seems perfect to me. I want to be in Sydney off I go like a mechanical turtle carrying my house with me. In Melbourne I parked amongst the busses outside the Crown Casino and no-one bothered me or even knew I was there. I was ‘discovered’ by a security guard having a morning cup of tea, offered him a cuppa, and we had a civilized chat and became friends. He told me he was happy for me to stay where I was. The whole of Australia is my playground. I am registered disabled (a broken back from a motor-cycle accident) and live on a small pension. When I get short of money I simply stay where I am.
So here’s my advice to the ‘youth’ of today. Don’t bother with buying a house – it’s a rip-off. Ask yourself “why bother?”. Scrape the funds together and get a small bus. Mine costs $30 a week for registration and comprehensive insurance – that’s my rent (in effect) $30 a week! Find yourself wonderful places to park all over this incredible country. Have a network of friends that stretch from Cairns to Adelaide and beyond. Develop a skill that can travel with you, like being a busker, a circus artist, a pavement artist, a writer a painter a jeweler. Wake up when you will where you will. Be as free as the black fellas that owned this land before it was invaded. Notice how they are constantly pushed to settle down and live in houses ? Keep an eye on the weather and the bush-fires, watch out for the wet season, and all will be well. And every time you pass some poor people who are doing it hard trying to pay the rent or to raise their kids and pay a mortgage, ask yourself the dread question – why ?
© sam cutler 2012