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 (http://babelfish.yahoo.com).
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.
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.
Chinese writing basics. A universal script? Ideograms can be drawn without reference to spoken languages. They represent objects and concepts in a schematic way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.