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A Medieval Man's View of Today

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Our ship has finally landed. Where we are, I know not. My companions and I dispersed as we searched the surrounding area, independent of each other. The island is inhabited by natives, who are astonishingly different and sometimes uncouth. Their skin is dark, and the women wear their hair uncovered. They don’t seem to be concerned about protecting their face and extremities with wide brimmed hats and protective clothing. They spend their days lying in the sand on blankets, clad in what they call “bathing suits,” which consist of brightly decorated breeches for men, and women are half clad with corsets and God forbid- scarcely any bloomers. None seem to carry a sword upon them, much less a weapon of any type, (though it would be hard, considering their lack of proper clothing). As they lay in the sand, they have small brightly colored and intricately decorated slim boxes next to them. Attached to this box is a strand of sturdy cord, and they put the ends of the cord in their ears. They claim there is music in the box, and with one touch, they can command what music the musicians play. (I wonder how so many musicians can fit in one small box that I can hold in the palm of my hand.) Some people run by with shoes on their feet tied with strange coarse ribbons. They are being pulled by various shaped and sized domesticated animals. These people too, have boxes with cord, but they stick the box to one arm. The sluggards in the sand told me those people are running because they like to. I asked them why in heaven’s name would they run for leisure, and they said because it makes them thinner. (I daresay, these people are quite a bit heavier than people in my country!) I sat in the sand a while, and just observed the people. I received many strange looks, and many brazen natives were bold enough to ask me why I was dressed the way I was. I replied graciously that this style of dress is perfectly modest and acceptable in my country. One native asked me if I was a worker at the Renaissance Fair. Of course I had no idea what she meant, so I said no. I bowed when I greeted someone, as is customary at home, but I obtained many an odd countenance. No one bows or curtsies back. How bad mannered! After a time, I became tired of talking to the natives. I sat in the sand, as was their fashion. Several people swam in the water and threw around an odd shaped ball. It looked like a pointy oval, with two white stripes, one on either end. Everyone in a group who had this ball tried to run after it when it was thrown. When they caught it, they would celebrate by jumping up and down and yelling. They looked like oafs, fighting over the last scrap of bread. I awaited a lord to touch him with the odd shaped brown ball and pronounce him champion of the game, but they began to bash each other with their chests. I lost interest in this activity. There was one more game that caught my attention. The natives took painted, polished, elaborately designed planks of wood (it must have been wood, for it floated easily) and swam out into the middle of the ocean. Once a fairly large wave began to approach them, they would stand up on the board, and wait for the wave to lift them up. It was fascinating, and I wondered how they stayed on the wooden board without falling off. Some natives were very good at this, and moved their bodies so the board turned as well. It was such an intriguing sight. Apparently, the better a person is at standing on a board in the water, the more respect they have among the sluggards. I could not imagine any men folk in my country standing upon their horse as it galloped around the arena with such poise and grace. Perhaps chain mail inhibits one’s ability and athleticism. The sluggards and wenches have invited me to dine with them at a neighboring tavern. I will have to detail my experiences at another date.



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readaholicThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm
This is a really good description, making the things we see as normal feel very foreign in this man's eyes.  This is weirdly fascinating
 
PrincessGrace replied...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm
haha thank you! it's so interesting how far we've come and I often wondered what people back then would think of us now.
 
DreamWriter15 said...
Feb. 22, 2011 at 11:07 pm
I love it!  It's so witty and SO what the world is.  Although...it makes me miss the beaches...maybe I'll visit them someday...but not during the day, at night, when the sun sets.  I miss beach walks...  ANYWAY!!  You're writing shows great promise, and is very smooth, showing a great amount of confidence in what you are doing.  I look forward to reading other things from you. :-)
 
PrincessGrace replied...
Feb. 23, 2011 at 7:18 am
Thanks! I wish we could watch the sun set in florida.... it doesn't on the east coast :'( and yeah, I always wondered what a medieval man would think if they saw our modern beaches.
 
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