At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


One month ago I created a new tobacco blend.
[Mentioned here:]
It is the most dangerous thing I have ever done.

The blend is closer to the tobacco which I smoked for the last few years that I lived in Valkenswaard than anything else. I have not smoked anything precisely like it in over a quarter of a century. The memories associated with the smell and the taste are therefore pristine and compartmentalized, and in consequence things I had nearly forgotten about have resurfaced. In startling intensity. Specific aromas can do that.

For instance, I again have on my tongue the taste of the Trappist beer we drank at an establishment out in the countryside (I want to think at the Venberghsche Molen, but I am not entirely sure about that) when Professor Charleson was last in town (1977). I gibbered about Rudyard Kipling while we walked back. I may have said something intelligent, but I doubt it. My father and Prof Charleson did not challenge any of my statements, though.

I also remember the progression from reading Pieter DeVries' "Comfort Me With Apples" to discovering the Shir HaShirim (The Song of Songs, Which is Solomon's) from whence the title of DeVries' book is taken.

The Song of Songs is almost certainly not suitable for a teenage male, especially at a time of hormonal "angst". It was a revelation of astounding proportions for a fifteen year old boy.

"Achot lanu ketana veshadayim ein la ma-na'ase la'achoteinu bayom sheidubar ba?"
['We have a little sister and she hath no breasts, what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?']


The ecstacy inducing descriptions of the young female protagonist in the Song of Songs in some parts reminded me of Kitti H., and in other parts seemed to describe both Suzanne and Muni. Heck, the entire Song of Songs suggested pretty much every young lady in my circle - I did mention that it was a time of hormonal "angst", did I not?

Many of the memories that have flooded back in the four weeks since I compounded the blend are remarkable in the level of detail. Compound memories of people, places, times, and textures.

Suzanne's mother made wonderful kwee kwee (Indonesian "cakes" - puddings and pastries, some savoury, some sweet) and nasi tjampor (mixed rice - cooked rice with savoury additions). When Muni helped her, the lumpiya (tiny imperial rolls) were exquisite - Muni had such deft fingers.

Suzanne and Henri's grandmother came down from 'sHertogenbosch for a party one day in summer, and we ate lumpiya, kwee kwee, saté (small skewers of spicy grilled meat), manok maengguri (coconut chicken stew), mie manok (chicken noodles) and saoto pangsit (rich soup with wontons) at night in the garden, twenty or thirty of us. Various sayog-sayog (vegetable dishes) for crunch, and sweet cool drinks.

I believe I spent the entire evening discovering how peripheral vision is perfect for teenage-girl watching...... They were absolutely lovely then, crisp white blouses, skirts cinched tight around their small small waists, neat little shoes. Very ladylike. Kitti, Muni, and Suzanne were, in my eyes, about as graceful and winsome as young ladies could possibly be.
Pristinely innocent, yet deliciously delicious.

I sat in the back, so that my pipe would not bother anyone. The girls were between me and the light. As were all the other non-smokers, but I wasn't watching them.......


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  • At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Thomas said…

    This was great reading!

  • At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are those fragrances again!


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