1. People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain.. or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.
2. It is not power that corrupts but fear.
3. In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren’t enough euros to go around. “The entire EU is short on coins.
4. I’ve read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I’ve made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.
5. Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act which deprived a whole nation of arms as the blackest.
6. A society without jaywalkers might indicate a society without artists.
7. Nobody gives way to anybody. Everyone just angles, points, dives directly toward his destination, pretending it is an all-or-nothing gamble. People glare at one another and fight for maneuvering space. All parties are equally determined to get the right-of-way–insist on it. They swerve away at the last possible moment, giving scant inches to spare. The victor goes forwards, no time for a victory grin, already engaging in another contest of will. Saigon traffic is Vietnamese life, a continuous charade of posturing, bluffing, fast moves, tenacity and surrenders.
8. Asia is an entertainment, Europe is a dream, America is an imprisonment and Rest is a nightmare.
9. In your name, the family name is at last because it’s the family name that lasts.
10. Protestantism harbors within it certain elements – just as the Great Reformer himself harbored such elements within his personality. I am thinking here of a sentimentality, a trancelike self-hypnosis that is not European, that is foreign and hostile to our active hemisphere’s law of life. Just look at him, this Luther. Look at the portraits, both as a young man and later. What a skull, what cheekbones, what a strange set to the eyes. My friend, that is Asia. I would be surprised, would be astonished, if Wendish-Slavic-Sarmatian blood was not at work there, and if it was not this massive phenomenon of a man – and who would deny him that – who proved to be a fatal weight placed on one of the two precariously balanced scales of your nation, on the Eastern scale, which caused – and still causes – the Western scale to fly heavenward.
11. Her family are the Medicis of Asia.
12. He told me about being in school in Shanghai during the 1930s and 1940s where he played a Hawaiian guitar, wore a lei with his friends and sang in nightclubs.
13. I think the biggest impacts on marketing for Australia in the future will be the ability to understand and meet the needs of Asian consumers
14. The incense trade catalyzed the birth of Islam, whose military, spiritual, and commercial impacts transformed medieval Asia, Europe, and Africa. Riding on a rising tide of global trade along the land and sea routes of Asia, Islam came to dominate that continent’s spiritual as well as its commercial life.
15. Há algo em estar sentado com quase duas dezenas de homens semi-nus oriundos da outra ponta da Ásia numa cela bafienta e quente ao som de uma bateria de escovas de dentes que torna aquele momento numa experiência especial.
16. She said, on another day, “I do think about the individuals involved, all of them and I sometimes wonder what they really felt at certain moments, I think all of them were very courageous people. Each of them displayed some kind of courage in making the changes that they did make.
17. Cruelty, yes: it was in the nature of Indian family life. The clan that gave protection and identity, and saved people from the void, was itself a little state, and it could be a hard place, full of politics, full of hatreds and changing alliances and moral denunciations. It was the kind of family life I had known for much of my childhood:…
18. Europe and Asia have no waters separating them, and thus should be a single continent. But they are separate, for social and political reasons, and not because tectonic plates said so. Perhaps ancient Greeks wanted nothing to do with the odd-looking Asians.
19. Il passato è un’indispensabile guida per chi vuol visitare il presente o immaginarsi il futuro. In tutti i miei viaggi mi porto sempre dietro i libri di qualcuno che ha percorso quella strada prima di me. Non solo mi fanno compagnia, ma me ne servo come termine di paragone, come misura di quello che vedo.
20. Your enemy is not in the Middle East or Asia, it is your own government.
21. Indian democracy has taught the world the beauty and competitiveness of its governing system for a prolonged period. But Modi administration is remapping the Indian political map which some called the rise of nationalism, while others called it the rise of patriotism in this era of populism.
22. The only difference between having an affair here and having an affair there was that the American men would always ended up losing half of his estates over a woman he was infatuated just as much as the next tramp who would come his way, while Japanese men would only earn more respect from their subordinates through the possession of much younger women, as a sign of prowess and affluence, while their wives at home, as if there were rule books distributed nationally on the “proper” marriage etiquette for all young Japanese women to read before they enter into the matrimony, would turn a blind eye on their disloyalty quietly.
23. Meandering cows, tenacious bicyclers, belching taxis, rickshaws, fearless pedestrians and the occasional mobile ‘cigarette and sweets’ stand all fought our taxi for room on the narrow two-lane road turned local byway.
24. Never forget,’ says Sugar Daddy, ‘we are a nation built on sugar. It is our history and it is the source of our prosperity, now and in the future.
25. And now that I have been scammed once, I felt like it could not happen to me again.
26. The face of self-pity was universally understood.
27. Sanjay Kanaka Ramachandra, ‘The Satellite’, baada ya kutoka Korea ya Kaskazini na Salina Cruz kwa ajili ya kozi maalumu ya ugaidi na kwa ajili ya Kiapo cha Swastika kwa mpangilio huo, alirudi Mumbai kusimamia shughuli za Kolonia Santita za bara la Asia na Australia – kwa uaminifu wa Sheria ya Kitalifa ya Kolonia Santita. Ramachandra, anayeitwa ‘The Satellite’ kwa sababu ya jina lake la mwisho, alipewa pia jukumu la kuyachunga Makao Makuu ya Kanda ya Asia-Australia ya Tume ya Dunia; na kupeleka taarifa yoyote ya kijasusi (inayohusiana na WODEC-Rangoon) Mexico City kwa ajili ya maamuzi ya Mkurugenzi wa Usalama wa Kolonia Santita Gortari Manuel. Mojawapo ya operesheni kubwa alizowahi kuzifanya Ramachandra kwa niaba ya Kolonia Santita ni kuingiza nchini India mzigo wa tani 350 za majani ya koka, ijapokuwa tani 37 zilikamatwa na mamlaka za kuzuia madawa ya kulevya za India na za Tume ya Dunia, na kusambaza kilo 560 za kokeini safi (isiyokuwa na doa) katika nchi zote za Asia na Australia ndani ya siku 14
28. Minding his own business had been his motto living in a strange foreign country with a world-recognized social issue of failing morals.
29. Ramachandra maana yake ni mwezi. Mwezi ni setilaiti na mwezi unamulika. Ramachandra anaitwa setilaiti kwa sababu ya umuhimu wake katika bara la Asia. Anamulika India na bara zima la Asia, na Australia, kwa niaba ya Kolonia Santita. Ana miaka 44. Ana mke na watoto 6. Ni jambazi aliyekubuhu wa India.
30. You can take the Indian out of the family, but you cannot take the family out of the Indian.
31. Technology has become the West’s main prop to its claims of inherent superiority over the non-West, and the reason why the non-West should adopt Western culture. If advanced technology is particular to Western culture, then it is only by Westernizing that the non-West can obtain it. This argument collapses if Western technology can be adopted in isolation from the broader culture, or if other cultures can generate significant technology independently.
32. Perhaps the strangest manifestation of the Eurocentric approach to the history of military technology is … the attempt to discern fundamental cultural roots in the distant past that have resulted in the perceived current Western dominance of the world. This essentialism attempts to contrast ancient Greek logic and philosophy with the less rationally minded philosophies of the non-West. Modern science and technology, in this view, is a simple jump from ancient Greece to early modern Europe.
33. The modern bias in contemporary Western scholarship (which has spread to the rest of the world as well) insists upon focusing all attention on the formation of the modern world and ‘‘modernity.’’ By directing attention to a time period rather than to a region, Western scholars can place the West at the center of any discussion, and subordinate backward Asia to Western history, without explicitly condemning Asian cultures and polities or arguing for a narrowly Eurocentric view of the world. Nevertheless, modern history is effectively a racist pursuit that not only elevates white Westerners above all others, but also actively denigrates Asian history.
34. The very appearance of the word ‘‘oriental’’ as a serious geographic or cultural term triggers alarm bells for any American academic. The late Edward Said’s Orientalism argued that the word ‘‘oriental’’ is a fundamentally pejorative term for certain parts of the non-Western world, not only indicating that they are inferior but also justifying Western colonization or domination of them.
35. China failed to maintain its technological lead, and a similar failure throughout Asia to take advantage of the early exposure to that head start transformed precocity into a false dawn. Perversely, Asian improvements and adaptations of current (twentieth- to twenty-first-century) Western-developed technology are taken as further signs of lack of creativity.
36. Not for the first time, Joyce lamented the lack of irony in conversations in Asia.
37. There, in the Levantine crossroads between Europe, Africa, and Asia, the sovereign nation of Israel would exemplify what right looks like.
38. She pulls me further down. More trapped souls reach out to us, dressed in clothes from decades past. The girl ignores them as we descend along the timeline – decade by decade – towards the birth of the island.
39. Kolonia Santita ilikuwa na tani 627.54 za madawa ya kulevya ilizokuwa imezikusanya kwa siri kwa muda wa miezi 9 mfululizo. Ilikuwa imepanga kuzisafirisha ndani ya siku 10 baada ya kutokea kwa mauaji ya Tijuana-San Diego, katika mpaka wa Meksiko na Marekani; kwenda Asia, Afrika, Amerika, Ulaya na Australia, kabla ya kukamatwa na Mamlaka ya Kudhibiti Madawa ya Kulevya na Ugaidi wa Kimataifa Duniani WODEA. Kokeini tani 183, heroini tani 90, methamfetamini tani 81, eksitasi tani 27.54 (vidonge milioni 110.16). Bangi tani 186, uyoga wa kichawi tani 60. Madawa hayo yalikuwa na thamani ya mtaani ya shilingi za Kitanzania trilioni 12.9.
40. I ended up in the back seat of a chicken truck’s cab heading through beautiful scenery and disastrous roads to my hotel. About an hour later, we stopped to sell a few hundred of the chickens to a butcher shop.
41. We’d incorporated Asia into our bones – its colours and laughter, its smells, its rhythms, its tolerance and patience, its compassion, its lack of ageism.
42. A lone Japanese man stood on the sidewalk a short distance away. Sleek, self-possessed, dressed in gray. Emma’s lover. Moon’s prime suspect. The man who had once been Dr. Toshi Okada—maimed, supposedly dead, come back alive for revenge.
43. In this eyewitness story, we meet Tzu-hsi in the twilight of her reign. Advanced in age, the Empress on the Dragon Throne is no longer the young beauty whose skill at seduction and aptitude for court intrigue saw her rise from a lowly Imperial concubine to the second most powerful place under the Hsien-feng Emperor.
44. Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war. Above all, we are free men, and they are slaves. There are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service — but how different is their cause from ours! They will be fighting for pay — and not much of at that; we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it. As for our foreign troops — Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Agrianes — they are the best and stoutest soldiers in Europe, and they will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of Asia. And what, finally, of the two men in supreme command? You have Alexander, they — Darius!
45. We know that there are many animals on this continent not found in the Old World. These must have been carried from here to the ark, and then brought back afterwards. Were the peccary, armadillo, ant-eater, sloth, agouti, vampire-bat, marmoset, howling and prehensile-tailed monkey, the raccoon and muskrat carried by the angels from America to Asia? How did they get there? Did the polar bear leave his field of ice and journey toward the tropics? How did he know where the ark was? Did the kangaroo swim or jump from Australia to Asia? Did the giraffe, hippopotamus, antelope and orang-outang journey from Africa in search of the ark? Can absurdities go farther than this?
46. Walking on water is easy if you know where to step.
47. I’d learned so much from traveling to familiar places that I figured I’d learn twice as much by going to a place I knew nothing about.
48. We’d never seen anything as green as these rice paddies. It was not just the paddies themselves: the surrounding vegetation – foliage so dense the trees lost track of whose leaves were whose – was a rainbow coalition of one colour: green. There was an infinity of greens, rendered all the greener by splashes of red hibiscus and the herons floating past, so white and big it seemed as if sheets hung out to dry had suddenly taken wing. All other colours – even purple and black – were shades of green. Light and shade were degrees of green. Greenness, here, was less a colour than a colonising impulse. Everything was either already green – like a snake, bright as a blade of grass, sidling across the footpath – or in the process of becoming so. Statues of the Buddha were mossy, furred with green.
49. Don’t take everything for granted, and do not always count on finding everything you need.
50. An inch of gold can’t buy an inch of time
51. Il senso della ricerca sta nel cammino fatto e non nella meta; il fine del viaggiare è il viaggiare stesso e non l’arrivare.
52. Monsoon Love is a love story with a few comic twists. The idea for this story came to me when I went into the local town of Pokhara with a friend to buy his son a birthday present. We had just arrived at the shops when a heavy down pour began, and as we had arrived on his motorbike and didn’t have raincoats or umbrellas so we had to wait for the rain to stop. We were standing under a awning watching the street while we waited, and I noticed this very beautiful young woman walk past me dressed in a t-shirt and jeans with the cuffs rolled half up her legs, but the way she held her umbrella made it impossible to see her face, though with the nice body she had her face must have been just as lovely. Then I though, imagine some guy stuck working in an office, and seeing a view like that every day of the same woman, and falling in love with her despite not seeing her face.
53. Never Underestimate. Just as in any other negotiation, watching before acting is as important as listening before speaking. It’s doubly important in China, however, where customs are time-honored and breaches of protocol not so quickly forgiven.
54. I had never thought of haiku, or any kind of poetry for that matter, as a social activity.
55. It was one of those striking moments in life where you find familiarity in the inexplicable.
56. Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Never fight a battle of wits when iocane powder is involved. And never, never, never, never, never, never, never let the New Republic’s editors choose the headline for your article.
57. Doubt is the only reliable source of creativity.
58. When given the chance to see China off the beaten track, definitely take it.
59. In Japan, however, if you against someone and create a bad atmosphere, your relations may break-off completely. People tend to react emotionally, and most are afraid of being excluded from the group.
60. As the silence returned, I sat back and felt the tension ease away; I hadn’t even known I was tense. A few moments passed and once again the cycling fan laced in with the clanging chains and mixed with the rumbling mower and the buzzing insects.