European delusions…

As an afterthought to my previous post about the morbid charm of Asia:

In the West we have banned rotting/decay – the finality of everything material – from our lives. We worship the new, young and perfect. And we lose out on life through that!

In Asia they respect “age”, the experience and knowledge that comes with it. So, when you get older your body has deteriorated – but you are respected and an influential part of society. In the West being old means being in the way of younger people :) You bother them. So, “old” people go through great pains to be fit to stay part of the “young and respected”…

No sign of decay around us! Even the food we throw away shows no sign of rotting! Because we treat it with chemicals and store it in such a way as to keep its shape forever…

Here in Asia, in the densely populated areas, you smell decay everywhere. The air is full with the “scent” of decaying mango peels and other fruit and vegetable remains, depending on the season…it’s a morbid smell, yes – but also comparable to the morbid smell of a 1969 Chateau Leoville Las Cases from Bordeaux  (of which I had the great luck to acquire 5 cases at a wine auction in Zurich in 1991) – not to talk about the colour of the wine reminding you of the blood of an only slightly menstruating middle-aged woman…

The “queen of decay” in my every day Hanoi life is the wonderful Asian white lilly that I have in my apartment at all times and whose seed pots after a few days emanate that incomparable, attractive smell that arouses even the nearly dead!

Come and go…live with your senses “wide open” to new things – and if you are lucky enough to have the little extra brain it requires, learn who you are and what makes you happy :) Of course, in the end it does not matter if you ever find out – the only difference will be in the degree of enjoyment of your own life!

 

 

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