The thing about being back in ‘civilisation’ is that it’s quite stressful. The capitalist gene kicks in and everywhere I look I see things I want to buy. Ok, not everywhere I look. When I look in the clothes shops the communist gene kicks back in. But everywhere else I see things I want to own, consume – pork belly, ludicrously priced organic skincare, a house with gables and a veranda.
It makes me stressed. So stressed that I can’t breathe properly. It makes me think about money. And the fact I am unemployed with only my book advance to sustain me until John manages to woo Singapore’s design companies into employing his genius. Wanting things is stressful.
In Bali and India there was little to want and what I did want I could generally afford – partly because back then my bank balance was still flush – a nanny? Check. A tuk tuk driver? Check. Tailor made clothes? Check. Ribs every night? Check.
There’s a lesson here in wanting. It’s certainly true that I was happier in Bali. But was that because I wanted less or because I got what I wanted (barring wine)? The Buddhists are right whichever way you look at it -wanting things is the root cause of unhappiness.
I gotta figure out a solution to that one.