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Published: August 3rd 2009
If you one day decide to pack your bags and leave your country, home, family and friends and catch a train to another city then another country then another continent and you keep catching trains through unknown cities and towns into new places until eventually you find a small city to live in, then you have traveled.
But if you move through these lands and meet the people, learn to speak a little of the language, lose a person and a dog then find people who become friends, meet many new faces, eat and drink and smell different flavours and feel at home feeling the colours of the lives within the lane in which you live even when you walk by the cricket betting shop on the corner of your lane, then you have traveled further into a place you never knew existed, never knew how it looked or smelt or tasted or sounded. never.
This is how I come to be walking down my lane, past the cricket betting shop, the flower market, the bird man, my landlady with her 8 cats, 1 dog, 4 tortoises and a bird, past the tomb plot shop, the man in the
cowboy hat who offered me a lift, past the lady with one eye and the old temple gates and onwards up a commercial lane towards a leaning pagoda.
You can look for this place by following the commercial lane until it turns a corner, past the place where the houses have been knocked down for the new road, and into the old residential area, there you will start to find it, feel it - you can only find the place by walking through the dark area under the road and following it with eyes wide open. A little later, you will walk in between the houses of the old and be welcomed by every person you smile at and once again, you know that you have traveled further than you knew existed - not to a place without but a place within.
Rough diamonds everywhere and in everything.
the old water,
and the culture.
Search without searching and one year exactly to the day you left your home and country, you will find the place at the end of that lane then climb
to the top of the hill and you'll find a leaning pagoda. When you reach the pagoda and turn around, you cannot see your homeland but a new home land that is hard to remove from under your skin, from your thinking parts in the day and from an honest feeling that something is quite real and also the place comes from new close friends and new memories.
I want to thank my friends for making my first year away from home possible, for helping me find this place.
It’s been an interesting journey.
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