The Scent of the Orient, after a three year separation from the areas I most love on earth, I have been lucky enough to return too. A little over three years ago I was convinced between family and friends to remain in Canada and give it an honest go, and see if I can find the happiness that I do when I live in Southeast Asia. Well after an honest try, I find myself back in Southeast Asia, specifically the Philippines, and I am loving it.
It has taken me a while to realize that though all decisions are ones you learn from, I learned this time, I should have not stayed, and returned to my work in Cambodia, and just enjoy the time I have with close friends and colleagues. What marks a return to a place that you love. That is such a tough question to answer. I remember back in 2010, I was on a Korean Airlines jet headed to Cambodia, and I remember the feeling of being at home surrounded by everyone on the plane. The kindness, of strangers, something that is not all the often any longer in Canada, and if you call Vancouver home, it would not be something you would ever ever think of being.
It was not until recently I realised that one of the things that I love is what I call the Scent of the Orient. Walking down the road, I could smell the odour of burning leaves, and trash on the side of the road. Here, never sure where to deposit that candy wrapper or, chip bag, and then I realized the piles of debris on the side of the road is the trash collection effort, and then it is lit on fire. There is not huge landfill per say nor is there often of scheduled pick up, it is taken care of each day, in the same spot and in the same manner. I know there will be some Westerner that would condemn this as wrong or bad for the environment, but what about our huge landfills, that keep growing and growing, so much so, now we need to or are trying to discover a way to ship our garbage to neighboring towns and cities.
It does not matter to me really, but I do know one of the things I love about this part of the world, is the Scent of the Orient, which is as unique as the Sounds of the Orient…which will be something I else I may write about in the future.