• Valentina Poletti

Spices

Since I lived in India it happened two times that I ate or smelled food that reminded me exactly of the food I had there. Just one smell, one taste and I was projected back home. The first time I was in a Southern Indian restaurant in Frankfurt, the second time I was in Hong Kong. The smell of the spices projected me back to South India. India was the first country that taught me minimalism and essentialism. It taught me how redundant most of what we have actually is. It also taught me what true poverty is. Lately I felt the urge to take a trip to help with my inner journey. I let my instinct completely decide where and when to take me: I opened the map, and let my finger drop on it. It chose Nepal. This turned out at a very essential moment to take a trip. I started facing some life-long fears that I've been working on for a long time. Fears that lead me invest so much in relationships with emotionally unavailable people. That lead me to try so hard to make the connection work when there is little or no effort on the other side. On my first stop I visited an old friend of mine who now works in Hong Kong: she is one of the people I can truly count on: I needed her mirror-like groundess before starting this journey. In Hong Kong I came across the smell of spices from an Indian restaurant, that flashed me back there. I immediately realized how much I desired to go back there, only in a more northern region. It surprised me to say the least: after my experience living in India I figured I would never be interested in going back. It is certainly not a country I would to spend my vacation in, let alone live in, yet somehow it felt as though I needed to go there: the familiarity of a place that feels like home along with the distance from everything else that only a radical culture can give you. And so I manifested my desire. As I arrived in Kathmandu I was exactly where I needed to be. I had no idea, how closely Nepalese culture resembles the Indian one. The cities, the streets, the shops, the people, the language, the clothes, the food, everything reminds me if ut. It is so similar, in addition there are spectacular mountains. Somehow my life experience here made me melt with the culture as though I belonged here. I woud hang out with local people, dressed like them, ate like them, even learned some of their language. I lived with the same budget as them. Normally when I travel I keep my own routine in terms of food, exercise, and other activities, but somehow in India I let the culture melt me in its hug, just like a cube of sugar melting in tea. Last time I lived here it became so normal for me to eat with hands, walk barefoot and use no toilet paper, that I had difficulty adjusting back. I became a part of it, and the people took me to places and frequencies that otherwise I would not visit on my own. The frequency that is attracting me to this culture is stillness. Here everything is slow to the extreme. While the world is changing and revolutionizing, life here is as it was when I last visited. People care little for change, for improvement, for bettering. They keep their traditions as they are, even though this may be the one reason for their poverty. I needed stillness. I have been working so much, have been growing so much, have been improving so much lately. I have been trying so hard to make people happy who have chosen not to be happy. I have placed so much effort to make connections work with people who don't care to make them work. Now my attitude is "the hell with it". I stopped trying. I stopped placing this effort. Whatever is meant for me will come towards me and reach me anyways, if it won't, it's probably not meant for me. So here I am. In the middle of nowhere, without an internet connection, and I don't care. For the first time in a long while I don't care to check my Facebook account or my e-mail address, except to see the messages of people who want to grow with me. There is little to no artificial lighting here and I love it: you can see the moon and actually live the darkness of the night.

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