A GROUP OF Asian sailors reached Australia 4,000 years before Captain Cook, scientists recently learned. And all Australian dogs, known as dingoes, are probably descended from the dogs on that ship, the same DNA studies revealed.
Wow, just imagine that first historic encounter.
INDIAN SAILOR: Namaste, esteemed indigenous persons! How would you like us to address you? Aboriginals, Maoris?
ABORIGINAL: G’day, mate. The Maoris are next door. We use clan names, so I’m a Koori.
SAILOR: Really? That is similar to our word “curry”, which we use for food. This, for example, is a delicious curry called fish tikka masala.
ABORIGINAL: Strewth! Smells ripper. But tell me: Why do some of you have four legs and go round sniffing people’s bottoms?
SAILOR: We are calling those members of our team “dogs”. They eat the rodents on our ship. We note you have many giant rodents hopping around.
ABORIGINAL: No worries, they can eat as many kangas as they like, we’re over-run with the buggers.
INDIAN DOG: Woohoo! Food City!
And so, with a meeting something like the above, the dingo was born, and Asian and Australian gene pools were joined forever.
I LOVE READING the “world news” pages of the paper. The Japanese government last week said it may re-introduce a six-day working week. The same day, the President of Gambia said his civil servants will work only four days a week “because of public demand”. Is this a clue as to why Asia is developing faster than Africa?
The leader of Gambia really seems to think we’ll believe that the government is giving itself a three-day weekend every week only because taxpayers are standing outside chanting: “Work less! Work less!”
(If it was China, where government employees spend so much time mistreating the general population, I could believe that.)
THE CHINESE government just passed a new law forcing children to visit their parents or face jail time. I see two problems here. First, some young people who will say: “A week in jail or a week at mom’s? SAME THING.” Second, some parents hate their children and would be anxious to claim the week in jail for themselves.
Luckily for all concerned, the law-drafters forgot to say how often visits should take place, providing a loophole: “Your honor, I fully intended to visit my parents once every 150 years: sadly they died before my first visit.”
AN AIR India pilot let her snack addiction over-ride orders from bosses, the media reported last week. Passengers were stuck after Captain Smriti Trehan ignored orders to fly them from Mumbai to Delhi, opting instead to fly a different plane to Jodhpur to buy kachoris (onion pastries, see pic above).
I would love to have heard her cabin announcement: “This is your captain speaking. Don’t eat the inflight muck, follow me after landing for a SERIOUSLY yummy snack.”
PETE SPURRIER told me this morning that there was a nice review of my book in the Asia Times. Had a look. (Click the image below to go there.) Don’t think I’ve met Kent Ewing, the reviewer, but clearly he is a man of taste!