Cuba Narrative 2
Today is 22nd June 2009
On June 14th 2005, I was in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in Hanoi, having requested the receptionist to page my brother over the PA address:
Dr Hartoch please come to the desk!
I could see my brother and Catherine entering the hall and bewildered by thefact that someone was calling out to them, who knew who would be there, he had a rose in his hand, presumably for my friend Nga. I had writtent to him that, to celebrate his birthday, I would ask my good friend Nga to come and meet him at the lobby of Hilton in Hanoi and that I had sent him a present.
The present was to be myself.
I was in Singapore the day before on the 13th June 2005, was on my way to Myanmar, but couldn’t pass up on this opportunity for a quick trip to Hanoi, which lasted no more than 24 hours!
Was a memorable birthday for me and my brother..
The day is heating up here in havana today and here I am thinking about all the loved ones. When you are in love with a country and surrounded by likeminded people, the heart naturally turns to those whom you love…
So I send this tender message to the person around whom my world revolves, Morgan in Paris. It is difficult for her to adjust to the many lives of this wandering Jew..
I am quite comfortable with my different lives..
I carry Australian Passport and forever grateful to that country for the wonderful years in Melbourne, on three different epochs of my life: as a student, as an itinerant and lastly as a Medical Doctor. But now, apart from wonderfully pleasure filled visits to friends in Melbourne, the life is not bound to Melbourne nor Australia. Thank God for Qantas!
The most important life is the life in Paris, with which I have some struggles which I hope to solve by the end of this year. If people ask me now, where do you live, I have to say I live in Paris, since that is where my home is..
My life among the American Indians which gives me so much pleasure and more importantly insights into life itself and the strength of innocent friendships that continue year after year.
Cuba is a feast and a envelope of emotions, an intellectual stimulant and a lubricant to my heart. It is so special to me, and it will remain so. And it is nice to pay that homage to this country where I am writing this.
My life in Miami is where I touch the North American life, so it is not fully north american in the sense that it is yet another version of north america. I always wondered whether people who live in North Dakota or Idaho consider Miami part of their country or part of some Banana Republic? As it has been mentioned before. The amalgam of various spanish speakers from vilages around the continent gives a lustre to the city. I have loved Miami from that very first day in August when I arrived there as a student!
Another transient life, which has been made bearable by the clean house at Seri Kembangan in Kuala Lumpur, where I regained my love for Malaysia! In the past seven years of travel in Asia,there have been innumerable visits to Vietnam. Cambodia, India, Malaysia and Singapore and the country closest to my heart in Asia, Myanmar/Burma..Singapore is the least favourite since it is an artificial construction of a nationality , country and people. Malaysia has become dearer to my heart, it is the country that I identify with most in Asia. India is an emotional burden, always happy to leave, always come back for more of that emotional burden ..
Thus here I am revolving around my different worlds. Last weekthis time I was with the Indians, then on to Miami and now in Cuba, next week this time, I would be sitting at my desk at home in Paris.. then New York and then UmonHon and Hocank Indians, back to Miami and on to Paris, few days later to Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh to reach the dream.. Yangon and Chaungtha!
People keep on asking me, arent you tired of all this travelling? I always reply, I am waiting for that day to arrive, then I would gracefully sit at my desk and complete reading the various books waiting to be read… but first of all, let me finish this one, Terun Tejpal’s The story of my Assassins…