East or West

One of things that I like doing is taking pictures of places that most people don’t bother to look. In the early morning whenever I got out to explore Bali, I was exposed to the beautiful ritual by women, who wore traditional dress and offer their blessings for a good day.

While on the right side of the picture, an anglo women is wearing a neck pillow, with shades and snoring her way to another country, these are two very contrasting pictures. One women appears spiritually in peace, devout to her culture, religion, customs; whereas the other one is discontent, uneasy, devoid of any life. Every time I would walk past the road the local women would acknowledge my presence, greet me with a smile, while an anglo woman didn’t ever bother to manage a smile.

This made me question about how critical the culture plays in shaping human behavior, obviously there are genetic differences, however it cannot take hold of how people would conduct themselves in an environment with unlimited behavioral possibilities. Any nation, society, group will fall into chaos without a proper culture, as can be seen from the picture above. Even though the western girl is travelling at the speed of sound, thousands of feet up in the air, exploring continents, she is devoid of any spirituality, happiness, connection with the outside world.

Often times I wonder how much romantic consumerism is infecting people with ideals, one doesn’t necessarily need to hop from one place to another to feel ‘ecstatic’, as touring places I found many people who never traveled outside their own country yet they were full of joy.

Without a proper decent culture and spirituality, any nation will fall into chaos, it’s society will not function, it’s structure will crumble, in it’s weakness another conquering culture will take over as can be seen in the world.

Spicy Bakso

bakso
bakso

My mouth becomes watery every-time I look or even think about bakso. It is one of the most popular meals in Indonesia, it can be found anywhere from street vendors to restaurants. The type of bakso that I loved having was the one with full of flavors covered in red spice.

It’s a dish that has meatballs, noodles, chips, filled with delicious broth, there is variety in them, but it’s mostly spicy. Yet the one thing that I didn’t find westerners trying is the delicious bakso, simply because most westerners can’t eat spice, they could barely eat a spoon of the soup let alone the whole bowl ! As I am asian, spicy food was already part of our diet, and our body is accustomed to handle a wide variety of spices. Eating red hot chili peppers with our food is normal, yet to see a white person eat just one slice of chili is like comedy.

Our genetic makeup has designed our taste buds to be different from each geographical area. It’s also common that most asians will not find western food tasty, hence asian foods are popular abroad. Having spice lights up my senses, it’s strong smell hits the nose, it’s chemical reaction waters the mouth, it’s intensity jolts the mind, causes the eyes and nose to be runny, spicing up my experience.