You do not know what it was like. What you now know of as central Europe was cold as cold could be. My people lived there. We were Neanderthals. Most moderns think that we were stupid. We were not.
Nor did we look “odd” to you. The skeletons that you moderns found were from our elders, and after three or four hundreds of years, of course they look primitive. I assure you that they were not. They were our elders that passed on the genetic trait of longevity that I have.
My name is Jenniffer, well, now, after thousands of iterations. I carry the easily transmissible trait of longevity. I am also, at least in my opinion, a pretty hot looking woman, who most of you moderns would say was somewhere between 19 and 23 years old. Just add 15,000 years or so, and you will get it right. My names have been many, as I live so much longer than you do. It is not magic, it is an infection that is beneficial for both.
Oh, the language thing is interesting. Within five generations, my people evolved from guttural vocalizations to advanced language. We did carry it a bit far, though. We had seven genders in our, what you call, laughingly, the “Indo-European” root language. There were three masculine genders in our language, the bearded elders, the ones just starting to grow facial hair, and the ones that would now call the little ones. For the women, there were the ones who were not any longer fertile, often with hair all over them, the ones that were fertile, with only hair where one would expect it, and the prepubescent ones that have it only on the head. The seventh gender was reserved for very little children whom we called “daaaas gifftie”. I do not know why that was done, because I have forgotten after so many centuries. I just remember the seven genders.
It was cold back then. For some reason, I was able to weather it with not much problem. I also learnt the manner in which my people spoke. I guess that I am a fast learner, because I believe that I use your language fairly well, but 15,000 years of living can give you some skills.
OK, I know what you are asking. Why am I still a hot Neanderthal chick? Well, we did not have the high tech instruments then, but we knew what worked. There was a group of what you folks call Cro-Magnons about five units away. Oh, this is very ancient. One of my units would be about half of one of your miles. They are very similar to the modern kilometer. It is funny that we found it in the ice age.
The funny thing is that I have not changed, except for learning things, for over 15,000 years. I will tell you one secret. I learnt to create an identity, and I went to graduate school. I KNOW why I still look young, and we are genetically almost identical with you, but there are some differences. My life for all of these years has to do with an infection of a peculiar type of microbe, and I can spread it.
As a matter of fact, I did that two years ago, when my friend became ill.
I will go into detail about that another time.