After the Keio University lecture yesterday, several students came up to me and chatted. One of them was a graduate student studying computer science. He said he was from Indonesia. When I asked which city, he said "Bandung". "Oh, that's where the famous conference was held, isn't it?" I said. He smiled and said "Ah, you know that!"
I have been to Indonesia several times. On these occasions, I visited the island of Bali, Jakarta, and Yogyakarta.
A visit to a market in Jakarta still remains vividly in my memory. I was in the early twenties. At that time, I happened to be very keen on tropical plants, the orchid family in particular. I tried to cultivate some of them back home, but in the climate of Tokyo this venture required special cares, particularly in the winter months.
So it was quite an inspiration to see the treasured plantations breathing free air in the market, apparently enjoying carefree lives in a climate that was so benevolent to their physiology.
Ever since this revelation, one of my dreams was to live in Indonesia, and have pots of plants scattered around my residence, and sip tea in the afternoon looking and admiring the exquisite beauty of the curve of their leaves.
As I was chatting with the Indonesian student, all these memories swelled in me. I did not, of course, have time to discuss the art of horticulture with the young gentleman, as our topic was on the relation between computers and the brain.
In any sense, the chat gave me ideas and dreams. Wouldn't it be lovely to put the plants just so, and do nothing further about it, letting the weather take care of them through naturally appropriate humidity and temperature?