Today i just want to write.
But instead of finishing my... four incomplete blog entries (china, Vietnam...) I want to write about nothing.
I am again amazed by the little things that make Asia so unique for my eyes. I still remember when my mom told me "why do you want to change one third world for another?" when against all Bolivian logic I decided to come to India... and not to Europe or any other "paradise" destination. Simple, this is a journey to learn and understand, not a holiday... (Statement that, as many of my traveler friends know... has to be explained over and over while hitting the road). Not a holiday, but a lifestyle... not the best for some eyes, of course, but the most rewarding and fulfilling for me. And for others.
Today I was lazy, sitting on a computer writing random stuff on facebook (yes, a dangerous disease, facebook), and the Baba of the family told me "I am leaving at 2:30, remember, you have to sing for me before that". I just nodded. What can I say, is so normal here (it is not the first, nor the last time i was asked to sing in India... ), and even when I still don’t feel completely comfortable with that "singing" idea, i didn’t feel it as weird as the first time someone asked -back in Delhi, back in those days... a lifetime ago-. In two minutes, i decided to make an honor to our recently lost: Mercedes Sosa. Of course, i will sing in Spanish, that is the whole idea... but of course i have no clue how to, and of course it will sound as a pathetic amateur performance in a chinese karaoke house -without the baijou help to enjoy the moment, though. They won’t mind, as the simple idea is to share, with the voice.
I was thinking these days, when I took it easy here, in the land of colors and the compressed India that inhabits Kolkata old streets, about what i want, or better what i need. In Vietnam i was done of Asia... tired, exhausted to be more real, not of Asia per se, but of traveling so fast, so long... so hard. Not a holiday!! I was more tired than after presenting one of my last minute finished reports back home!!!...Vietnam was gorgeous but very life consuming... I was just done.
And just to make it harder, after Vietnam i took a million flights and had my last kick out of SE Asia, when i reached Hanoi's AP (after a flight from Saigon to Hanoi) and Air Asia happily said "oh!, the money on your ticket has been refund -to a chinese friend's bank account...-, you have no ticket, you have to pay 85USD if you want to flight". I felt numb, and slow, just the same feeling the first time i went to Chile and i had no clue what those people was saying, just that, at that time was a matter of accent -i just needed some time to tune my ears to the Chilean voice-, and this time is a matter of... of what????... I just couldn’t believe it. That, and my latin american explosive character when i am tired (those who know a fight with me would totally understand), got me to an alley: the only guy in charge of the flight just disappeared in the "only staff" area and i was lost, no flight, no nothing... yes, ladies and gentleman, SE Asia laugh at last.
With my now ugly looking but not painful motorbike burn (another one of Hanoi's gifts), i wondered for a while until I found an English speaker, from Vietnam Airlines, and after crying my story with a lot of cursing, she got the guy back and i had to pay the money, not without asking his name (i already complained in the web page) and asking her to write this weird sounding words that compose it. And they have problems understanding my 31 letter full name... ha!. I hated the flight, I hated Vietnam... but then, in Bangkok, i re-meet Lena, the German girl I was traveling with in Vietnam, and who stayed in Bangkok Airport just to hang out with me before my Kolkata flight... and after talking for half an hour... the anger was gone and i knew that i really loved Vietnam and its craziness... but yes, because of -and thanks to- her, Vietnam was amazing to travel. Just harder.
OK, back on track, as this is about Asia, and not really about my complains. I was thinking these days on my last moments here... and what i really feel about it. More than 9 months I’ve been exploring the different shapes of Asia... and yet, I’ve seen nothing, as this continent is as big as one can imagine. Walking the streets of Kolkata and re-feeling the jasmine, sandal and luci (puri) scents in the air, and walking almost jumping among people sleeping in the streets at evening, i feel that Asia has made me harder, stronger, and a million times more patience -except of course if i didn’t sleep or if something is extremely annoying-. I also feel that my eyes have changed, i see the colors with other eyes, my pictures and my interests look deeper than on January when I was just dizzy with all the information reaching my eyes. I feel comfortable here. Only in India and China i felt as comfortable -after a while, of course- as to live in, but for completely different reasons.
"Why do you change a third world for another". Because life, soul and essence of life is here, and there. Compare to Asia, Bolivia has nothing, nothing to envy!. Well, maybe the always great feeling of the mixed religious places, that sparkle eyes and imaginations everywhere here... and yes, even when my heart still bumps when i even imagine a plato pacenho or a sopa de mani) asian food... indian, thai, malay, chinese, vietnamese... is just, unforgetable. Just too much. So yes, that we can envy, as a new world we certanly didnt had enough time to developed as amazing receipts as this continent... but if we talk about landscape, colors, people, diversity -human and non-human-, markets, and sky -what every other traveler looks for-: I think we are even ahead.
Today I feel strange, images of the book I finished last night -"A thousand splendid suns", a story of the last 40 years or so in Afghanistan and the strong Muslim character and world changes... - images and sounds of this morning and a million short stories that I just didn’t have time to write are mixing in my head. The reason why i feel i was exhausted is because so much, so much has happened and i realize i had no time to even digest it, to even sit and imprint the memories in my mind... i hardly have time to sit and write in this blog. I can tell you "I’m in Hanoi again, chaos and motorbikes", but what I really want to remember is the taste of that first coffee cup or the first motorbike taxi that i took, the 5 accidents I’ve seen in my 3 weeks there, the perfect colors of the minorities cloth and the smell of the humid city after the electric storm, but those memories, because of the speed of this life, are soon overpassed by new colors, smells, names, words, languages and even friends. I need time to sit, and think... and smile when i remember a name, a joke or that dinner in the trekking when we were drinking rice wine... or that stories we invented about the people in the beach in the laziest days in Nha Trang... see? Now all my "recent" memories are about Vietnam... and if I read my blog... two months ago... i will feel that a life time ago i felt like that. Once.
I need a rest, not for my body, not for my soul, but for my mind. Not because its tired, but because i really, really want to record every single possible detail. is that possible?... today i feel\think that everything is possible.
So now, I decided to skip Nepal, as I did with Cambodia and Laos, it is not a matter of going just because you are close... is better to see a few places and really see them, that to collect a million places that you cant even remember. At least for me. After India, will head Europe, just to take that imprinting time... and then slowly back home, in February, i think.
But today, i wanted to write, about the millions of thoughts that i will not share, those that i will not remember, those that i didn’t even mention before and that will stay here, were they were born. Historical facts and religious stories mixing with food taste, dance performance, art and politics... all surrounded by places, sightseeing, people, culture and landscape. I wish i had a life time to order and select this information, but i don’t... it is volatile, and just as an honor, i wrote this random words.
To remember, what I have already forgotten.