What we need to know

I moved to Knysna, a small town in the so-called “Garden Route” of South Africa about 7 years ago. Prior to this, I was born and raised in a big(gish) city, Port Elizabeth (PE), 260km to the East.

We had visited Knysna many times before, but it was only after actually moving here, that certain “local knowledge” came to our attention. Things that were unimportant in the big city, were common knowledge in the small town. I’ll give you an example. Only the most avid fisherman in the city would know the tides, yet in this small town nestled in a valley, with the most beautiful estuary in South Africa, even pre-schoolers could quote the exact time of high tide and low tide. A Tide Table is a “must have”, and is normally stuck on the inside of the back door in most houses.

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In the big city, knowledge like street names, suburbs, dangerous areas, and where one can buy a burger at 3AM in the morning, were more important. The exact time of sunrise and sunset, for example, were irrelevant. In Knysna, we are far more attune to the seasons, as we spend so much more time outdoors. We also know exactly where North, South etc. is and the phases of the moon.

Man adapts to his environment, and I can visualise a stone age wife nagging her husband, as they trekked towards a distant rock on the horizon, because he knows that at that exact place, water and shelter can be found.

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He would probably know the night sky, and the position of the stars like the back of his hand. He would also have intimate knowledge of the seasons, and nature in general.

We all appear to have a “need to know” relationship with our particular environment. This environment, I suppose could even extend to say, the Internet, with “newbies” needing guidance while they adapt to their new environment.

Fascinating stuff, and only really apparent when you step out of your comfort zone.

*** NEWS FLASH ***

For all you Comic fans out there. Kryptonite has been discovered !!! No, really. Check out the story here

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