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.
.. Bhutan all but bases its identity upon its loneliness, and its refusal to b assimilated into India, or Tibet, or Nepal. Vietnam, at present, is a pretty girl with her face pressed up against the window of the dance hall, waiting to be invited in; Iceland is the mystic poet in the corner, with her mind on other things. Argentina longs to be part of the world it left and, in its absence, re-creates the place it feels should be its home; Paraguay simply slams the door and puts up a Do Not Disturb sign. Loneliness and solitude, remoteness and seclusion, are many worlds apart.