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jeudi 3 avril 2014

IRAN IN MALACCA. JADE in Malaysia tinged with Nostalgia

Almost two years to this day. I had arrived at KLIA after a memorable journey, which made this arrival even more memorable.
Omaha-Denver-Los Angeles-Honolulu-Guam-Hong Kong with a long layover-Kuala Lumpur, indeed a circuitous route to reach the Far East. I had been working with the Winnebago Indians and on that chilly early morning, I met HP from Bogor who was to become a very close friend. My mind was already at KLIA, where just a few hours earlier an Iranian air flight would have deposited the teacher of my re-entry into the Iranian culture.
It was a memorable trip. Included was a visit to Malacca, Hotel Puri and my good friends IH/AG. They treated us to a nice nyonya meal, the breeze at the Malacca Club. IH is an aficionado of Chinese culture and history and was surprised to learn that Iran also produced Jade.

Few months later IH received a package from Iran, sent through an Iranian resident of KL. Fortunately IH's daughter lived nearby and she was able to take delivery of the lovely jades from Iran. Since then she had made a pendant and a ring jewelry featuring those jades. When IH/AG came to pick me up at the Hotel Puri, she gave me the little gift which had been sent along with jade and books on Iran to her. It was in a small lacquer box with Iranian motives on them, on opening a nice clear Jade shone out.
I felt grateful for the ingenuity of the oppressed people of Iran and their hearts as big as a bakery in the sky, but also felt immensely sad. After I lost contact with our friend in Iran, I also lost touch with the quotidian culture of Iran, the great literature and movies from that ancient country.
Thank you, NM
So it was only fitting that on my CX flight over to Asia, the movie I chose to watch was by Ashgar Farhadi, symbolically set in a suburb of Paris, about an Iranian man and  a French woman separating their lives.
And the title was, once again appropriately,
Yes, Iran is in the past. It appeared when my father lived there, it lay submerged while I wandered around the world, it made an appearance in 2012 and now in Malacca, in 2014.
I looked at the laquerbox with its shiny green content I realized that once again Iran had disappeared into the oblivion..
CHASM, while it lasted..
a vegie meal in Malacca with IH/AG

While I was writing this I made a mental note that whilst being in Asia less than one week, I had already been in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca in Malaysia, Rangoon and Thaton in Burma, Siem Reap in Cambodia and my next destination was Kuala Trengganu!