I have a Godson who liked to jump out of planes. Freefalling it is called. He was not a candidate for freefall parachuting when you looked at him. Just an ordinary Aussie bloke who loved horse racing and two up who also liked freefalling from a plane. As his godmother I was not at all impressed with this occupation, but he smiled sweetly, patted me on the head and continued to jump. He was comfortable as he always was. I was not.
He decided to move to Lightning Ridge, where his brother had an opal mine, to try his luck with the opals. His brother was rapt to have an extra pair of hands to dig and to have company in the house. So Tom journeyed to join his brother Simon in the profession of miner.
Whilst delighted, Simon decided to have some fun with Tom and organised to meet him and drive him into the Ridge. On the way he stopped at one of the pubs and said to Tom, “Go and pick up some beer will you?” “Certainly” Tom replied as he climbed from the ute and approached the pub verandah.
Tom entered the pub and stopped dead in his tracks. Not what he expected. He walked to the bar and asked for the beers. Still not easy, he paid and walked out of the pub. At the door he began to shake. We don’t know if it was relief, fear or anger. His sweet brother had set him up to enter an all black pub. Our Tom was the only white man in that pub and every eye turned to watch him walk to the bar and then exit.
Considering his normal past activities it took a pub full of aboriginals to make our Tom be ill at ease. He still talks of being the only one; of his discomfort whilst not backing down. A fish out of water absolutely.
Being comfortable in our own skin is one thing; being comfortable in our own environment is another. But stepping into a new environment and experiencing that feeling of not belonging is not a nice feeling. Uneasy, jumpy, not knowing correct behaviours and hoping people will accept our ignorance of the environment. No need to die like Boggle. Just face it, get through it and then go back to our own safe environment. Just like Tom did and Boggle didn’t.