Differences

English: Bird's eye panorama of Manhattan & Ne...

English: Bird’s eye panorama of Manhattan & New York City in 1873 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 13 of Golden Threads is up! If you’ve been following along, you can go directly to it, to find out what happens next to our heroine. Or you can click on Golden Threads to find earlier chapters. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

In my last post I asked the question: why do so many novels feature time travel? This week I ask the question, have you ever considered what it would be like for someone from earlier times to land in ours, say in New York City? Even someone born 150 years ago would be completely lost, but what about someone from the sixteenth century? If they avoided being flattened by a moving vehicle their first day here, how would they adapt? Could they? Would it help if some kind soul took them into their family?

It isn’t just the obvious things that would be different for them – modern machines, skyscrapers, asphalt, computers, television, cell phones, electricity – but the basic fabric of life. Take food. For the most part, we don’t grow our own, and we don’t even buy it from the local farmer. We buy it in supermarkets. It comes wrapped in plastic, a substance they’ve never even dreamed of. We cook it in microwaves. Children attend huge schools, until they’re eighteen. We don’t have servants. Instead, we clean our own houses, using machines. Yet we don’t make our own clothing: we buy it pre-made and throw it out when it gets holes in it. We listen to music all of the time. Their world was noisy, full of insects, frogs, and birds, all yammering for attention, but it’s a very different type of noise than one hears in a large city. Just imagine how unprepared someone born five hundred years ago would be for all this.

And the number of people? It’s so different.

What’s something important that I’ve missed? Join the discussion here.

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