He had a very heavy accent that was at times difficult to understand. He had very little by way of formal education. He was what many would term a "bum" or "homeless". He didn't use big words, and when I used such words, like "internet", he didn't understand what I meant. When I tried to tell him about what I am studying, he didn't understand all of it. He flat out admitted when he didn't know what I was talking about, instead of just trying to pretend that he knew. I found him one of the most intelligent people that I have ever had a conversation with in Australia.
Topics were ranged. We discussed his "mobile home" which was just a tent, and the area where he lived along a river. He would be told every thirty days that he has to move, legally this means that he has to move two feet, and so that is what he does. Then they come back in thirty days to tell him the same, and he moves back. He does all his own fishing in the river, he catches shrimp, crabs, mussels, any kind of seafood. He says that the people that are always going to stores to buy this are wasteful, they have to have a certain fish, prepared in a certain way. They don't realize how easy it is to catch your own food, and how cheap it is. He told me that he went to a store that was selling mussels, and found that they were going for $6 a kilo, then he handed me a bag of the same that he had captured earlier that day, and I guarantee you he had more than a kilo there, a whole plastic shopping bag full, and it was heavy.
He talked about how wasteful people are today, and it is true. I have known so many people that use something for a short period of time and then throw it away when it is still good. He would talk about how people are lazy; cars are the popular way to get around, no matter how close you are going. I will admit to being lazy, I know I am. So I know what he is saying is true. He takes things that other people throw away because it is "no longer any good" and he puts it to good use. He also told me how to fix a bike in the case that you get a flat, and there is no pump to fill the tire. Just pack sand or grass or whatever you can find tightly into it, and it will get you to the next place to fix it.
Just before our conversation ended, he told me about an aboriginal circle that was drawn out in a demonstration yesterday (I missed it because I didn't know it was going on, which makes me very sad, I would have liked to see it), and told me it. It was some kind of a spiritual tool of the aboriginals (I forget what it is called), and they walk around the outer circle (of three) to gain peace, and as they achieve more peace they move into the next circle, then into the next, and lastly they stand in meditation in the center of the circles. I know that there is more to it than that, but I can't remember all of it, and he didn't get too detailed about it either. But it is a meditation thing and a spiritual thing. Just before he left, he asked me if I was spiritual, and I answered him "I'm trying", to which he responded "you don't try, you just are, everyone is spiritual". Then he showed me how to walk around the circles (and explained what I just did), and left me walking around the circles, to go off to find the grill that he was looking for.
We must have talked for over an hour. He was a hippie, he was a wanderer, he certainly gets stoned (he flat out told me so). He has more admirable values than most college students that I go to school with. He doesn't care about money. It is good to have, but it is not his priority. He never implied that he wanted anything from me, he didn't. All he wanted was conversation. He wasn't a panhandler, he wasn't a pauper. He just didn't want to conform to the rest of society in their values and their lifestyles. I find him quite admirable. You can meet the most intelligent people in the most bizarre situations. Just goes to prove my theory that not all people who can flaunt a degree are the most intelligent, and not all people that don't have a white collar job aren't smart. I'm very glad that I didn't act on the defensive when he asked me if he can sit and talk awhile.