Austria, Sharing, Vienna, Yangon

Why South East Asia?

Still in Vienna. Sitting with my homies in a Prater cafe. Just had a delicious dinner and a good laugh about nothing.

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Now this blog is about to take off. It does so with the help of the man you can see on the photo below.

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Yeah, dez my dear bro. About a decade ago, we road-tripped down under. With scuba diving and sky diving, with vegemite and cooper’s sparkling ale, with opossums and echidnas and golden orb spiders, with getting lost in the outback and back on the road again, with staring at the milky way, the universe and everything.

I’ll never forget the moment we met in a cafe in Sydney. I had just arrived from Vienna while he had taken a plane from SE Asia. We bought a Ford Falcon station wagon at King’s Cross car market. Cruised around for two months. At Brisbane, our roads diverged again. My bro flew back to Austria while I stayed in Australia for another month, heading due south near the coast to finish the cycle (Sydney-Adelaide-Kangaroo Island-Alice Springs-Three Ways-Townsville-Cairns-Great Barrier Reef-Daintree-Fraser Island-Brisbane-Nimbin-Armidale-Sydney) approx. three months after my arrival. Sold the car. Went back home.

Since that time, the idea that I’d like to follow my beloved brother’s footsteps in order to check out the Mekong delta at least once in my life has had enough time to take root properly.

When it comes to ideas taking root one has to be cautious of what one is buying into, right? Brain stuff can be quite as pervasive as persuasive, as we all know. So let me put this question forth: Why this fascination with countries like Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos? Where does that come from? For me, I guess part of why I’d like to see for myself what it’s like there is because of people who recommended it to me. Another source of my interest lies probably within the books I have come across privately as well as in the course of university studies in philosophy. I remember being intrigued and, I admit with a smile, completely dumbfounded by the first dharma book that got into my hands in Alice Springs. I had a first taste of dharma with Leary/Metzner/Alpert version of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. In regards to academia, I wrote a diploma thesis on Buddhism and Veganism a couple of years ago. Oftentimes when other students heard about it, they asked me:

You ever been to a Buddhist country?

I had to negate that question. And almost all the time it served as a reminder for me to go there. But not yet. Not yet.
Maybe next year…

Now the time has come. Unrequited love provides me with the necessary fuel to acknowledge and release worn-out identities and also with the final pull to break new ground once again.

If it hurts, you know what, it’s probably worth it.

Information about history, culture, religion and society can only go so far as to paint a picture. But the image is not the object. The map is not the territory. If I got a picture in my mind, it’s only to prepare me for the real deal, I guess. Concepts are useful and have their place. And yet, only firsthand experience is real experience.

 

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