The Path of the Banyan
Cultural mosaics from a journey to the East

These stones were picked on all rims of my voyage. They testify about places, human characteristics, lifestyles, communication means, beliefs and traditions. For instance, when I am astonished by a meal or unknown gastronomical practices, I always convince myself that a local delicacy, can not hurt me. For the rest, it is jut a question of practice. You can follow-me, to share some of these impressions.

These blog posts were originally written in French on my site: “La Voie du Banyan”, mosaïques culturelles d’un voyage en Orient.

The translation into English was done with the support of Google Babelfish (

Apologia of the beef. I decided to stop eating beef. Many arguments are for reducing meat consumption. We do not consume our pets, Asian farmers have similar feelings for beasts of burden.

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The script of the Balinese gods. A message on a Balinese temple seems written in Thai, with old Lanna characters. People explained: “Thailand, is also Buddha”. They have common roots.

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Chinese writing basics. A universal script? Ideograms can be drawn without reference to spoken languages. They represent objects and concepts in a schematic way.

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Catching up with time. A short flight suffice to accelerate time. Going East, one day is saved when passing the date line. In their trips, Magellan and Filias Fog have experiences it.

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The ultimate luck! “08.08.08” opening of Beijing’s Olympics. The homophony of 8 makes it a symbol of luck. Fostering wealth with numbers is impossible but it is a status symbol.

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Hot Taste! Chillies have a neutral taste. The hot sensations comes from a signal on the pain sensors. It is also positive as the brain produces endorphin and pleasure. It’s addictive.

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Smells like hell? Smells like hell, taste like heaven! Durian has neither nauseous odors, nor a delicious taste. The evaluation is from our conditioned mind it’s only strong.

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The Deadly Hug of the Banyan Tree. Life as an epiphyte is not a fairy tale. His strong aerial roots hug and envelope his dyeing host. The “strangler fig” than becomes a respected big tree.

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