Moments back in Asia: From Illusions to Symbols

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Staying in the United States of America too long without the proper exposure to different worlds, and what such worlds could be like and are like, can be a rather unnecessarily painful and dangerous experience. Of course, with the advents of the new media such as the internet, global cities and migration, and mental travel through meditation (such as astral traveling), one could stay in one place and receive a significant exposure to such different realities, however, nothing comes quite as close to traveling, and living a different reality in the flesh (Of course, again, such different realities can be created and re-created in any physical location given one’s resources and sense of imagination).

That point aside, from the very moment I stepped onto the jet plane managed by a Taiwanese company and began communicating with the stewardesses in a language I had not spoken in such a context in at least 5 months, a significant chunk of my imagination and memory was re-awakened, and remembered, that which grew in Asia. Asia is a big place, but this Taiwanese encounter in association with the gateway of travel back to the region was the beginning of such a reawakening and reconnection.

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Noodles for breakfast *Mind blown*. Receipts written with scripted characters that until recently were not seen on a regular basis. NTD, IDR, SGD, PHP, and suddenly I feel just a little bit more inclined to go shopping (minus foreign transaction fees).

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Another beer with a red star on it that doesn’t say ‘Heineken’.

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Fruit juice, for Rhinos?!…And the wrecking ball destroying all previous systems of images of what one’s way of life was like ‘back home’ continues.

Why like this, and not like that? Why rhinos and not birds?

Often, such is the feeling that happens when one begins to question the built up system of illusions and images around oneself. It is often only when one begins to learn to add truthful meaning through independent questioning and answering to such illusions and images that these become semiotic, symbols. One no longer remains a prisoner of the system of illusions and images built by the particular society, and instead becomes a master of symbols, free from everything else but his or her current life in progress.

Such is often the beauty of travel and cultural exchange that ought to be contemplated not only with each travel, but also behind every Snapchat story of a new city. Queue in: *Insert name of city here* LYFEEEE OMG.

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