Who Needs Refrigeration, Electricity or Soap Anyways?

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Living the life of a Tasmanian hippie truly is a trip, almost to the point of being indescribable–all in a good way.

Prior to my arrival, I was informed, via telephone, that my time here would be spent primarily taking care of the animals/Avian, eating Lissa’s quirky, organic-gluten-free (Andrew’s allergic) health creations, and some dirty work in the garden. Fair enough. However, my naivety really underestimated the weight of the situation. I totally thought I was prepared; my reasoning being, A.) My aunt has a horse farm in Virginia that I visit yearly and help her care for her 4-6 horses.

After completing the daily tasks required for those ridiculously sensitive animals, any other type of domestic pet care feels like borderline negligence. B.) Nutrition is one of my only hobbies I still actively pursue. A lot of credit probably has to go to my other Berkeley based aunt whose been a vegetarian-lactose intolerant-organic eater long before it was cool (started after her breast cancer diagnosis).

After growing up with holidays meals consisting of sun-dried tomato-goat cheese pizza and asparagus based guacamole, I’ve learn to gracefully adjust and  in time my palate has matured into being pretty daring and   very forgiving (I was vegan for two {terrible} weeks in college after all). Something I’m weirdly proud of, and lastly, C.) How hard can gardening be?

Good thing I enjoy being wrong, sometimes.

I am a solid sucker for puppies, and there are 7 adorable ones here.  10 weeks old, sharp teeth and crazy. The unconditional love is overwhelming, especially since they are all competing against each other for your affection and touch. The hardest thing about it is simply leaving! If they hear you anywhere, they cry. While I know they’re fine, it still tears me apart. God, cute overload.

And also- they aren’t hard to care for. Just feed them, give them water, and watch them to be sure they don’t bite the chooks. And because these are hippies, they really don’t care to clean up after them. They are allowed to shit where ever they please. With 7 of them (8 including Henna), it’s getting to be just everywhere.

There are definitely times that I want to say “Can I please pick this up?! It’s everywhere!!” I’m actually worried about asking about cleaning because I don’t want to offend them. There are many things that I believe should and can easily be cleaned that they just don’t. It is their house after all.

I’ve never been much of a gardener and this experience reminded me why. I feel really ignorant and selfish saying this, especially since its what so many people here do, but I do not in anyway want to grow my own food. Its an extremely large amount of effort for something I have a feeling would just not turn right for me. It’s reminds me of the times my mother would buy things like a bread maker and a juicer, but instead of creating bread and juice, she’d make salty, fluffy, sandwich croutons and sweetened, cloudy water with pulpy sediment.

I appreciate our farmers and can only imagine the headache this organic trend has brought upon them. Organic food is more expensive but really, not by much, especially when you think about how much more work it is for them to keep such a large amount of crops healthy, while pesticide free.  It’s hard,  always extremely hot or cold, and pay is not good. So I’m going be quiet and to try to just support local, organic produce, instead of force my offensive looking produce onto the homes of my future neighbors.

I’m ecstatic to be living without a solid internet connection, television,  reliable cell phone reception, or even a car; things that I’ve severely taken for granted  or have become embarassingly reliant upon. It kills me to know that the pieces of modern society are just going to become more excessive and powerful if anything, at quite a remarkable speed — remember, we grew up without the internet and cell phones???  Now our cell phones have Internet access!!!

While technology does bring lots of exciting things to the table, it all comes at a cost in terms of tradition and culture, which in my opinion is huge. Taking these things out of my life has really taught me how to readjust, make new discoveries, and pave new paths for myself –make use of imagination again. I feel a bit perverted for almost liking that squirmy, uncomfortable feeling of being pushed on the edge, but that feeling of accomplishment high afterwards is like no other.

Australia still has many places without cell phone bars –and I like that. The US is so industrialized that its smothering. I’ve learn to really value solitude, especially after living with my own inner- OMGwhatamigoingtodowithmylife struggles- alongside 6 girls in SLO, and 5 boys in Sydney. Learning to be by yourself contently is such an important skill that I think I’m getting closer to mastering, although in the beginning, I will admit I was a little spooked when I first really heard myself think. I’ve truly never been this alone before.

I think the assumed ‘I’ve seen in all attitude comes from American culture. It’s one of the main complaints I’ve heard about my country, mainly assuming us all to be ignorant and that America is the center of the universe (even though we all know California actually is. duh). In defense, simply being an American and loving where you come from should hardly be a crime, which it is what it sometimes feels like.

I can only imagine what things would be like for me if I came from, I don’t know, TEXAS. Lisa, being from Detroit, seems to know where I’m coming from. She did choose a drastically different life but its not like she has hard feelings for the states. When people move to a foreign place, they assume its because they hated where they came from, when I think more often than not, that’s hardly the reason at all. 

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