A Touch of Spice, A Touch of Nostalgia

January 16, 2014
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He's a Greek boy, who lives in Istanbul. He spends most of his childhood in his grandpa's perfumery, with his grandpa teaching his primary astronomy knowledge and philosophy with the characters of different types of spice. Meanwhile, he falls in love with a Turkish girl. They have good time with each other everyday and play the cuisine toy box together to simulate a small kitchen. But before long, the conflicts between Greece and Turkey force the boy and his family out of Istanbul and back to Athene, Greece while his grandpa and the little girlfriend who have Turkish nationality can stay in Istanbul.

The boy starts a new life in Athene, which is hard for him to adjust in. He misses his grandpa and the girl. He stays most of his after-school time in the kitchen, in order to let him feel his grandpa; He writes many postcards, with the spice smell painted, to the girl. Before he got on the train to Athene, the girl gave him the cuisine toy box. She said, "It can remind you of me!" Now in Athene, he only plays the toy with girls at school and stays away from boys. His parents and teacher is afraid that he is a homosexual. The information that his grandpa will come to Athene to visit him excites him many times, but the facts are always letting him down. The intensive missing drives him escape out of home to take on the train to Istanbul on the sly at midnight. But next morning, his parents find him back. 35 years after his departure from Istanbul, he is now a famous astronomer, respected by his fellows and students. He has never been on the land of Turkey in the past 35 years. When he comes back to Istanbul that year, he visits his grandpa in the hospital, who is closed to his death. Then he meets his old love, the girl, who is a multi-lingual tour guide now in Istanbul. She have married to a man who used to be the boy's acquaintance in childhood. However, the boy is still loving the girl. At last, the boy applies to have his career in a university in Istanbul. But the departure appears again: The girl has to go to Ankara with his husband. Later, the man sees his old love off at railway station and goes to the perfumery, which is regarded as his childhood paradise. He pushed the door of this deserted perfumery, stepping onto the second floor. He picks up the remanent spice grains on the ground and sprinkles them on an old table, making the shapes of galaxies and clusters. He blows up the spice grains, making them floating as the clouds and being imagined just like celestial bodies.

Above is the main plots of a Greek film, A Touch of Spice. It lets me know what is the significance of nostalgia, an old-fashioned but hard to grasp term created by Greek people. When a man steps onto the land he hasn't been for decades, touches the goods he used to touch when he was a child, the surroundings may just feel like a case in the dream. It is hard for one to believe he is just back to the old world in such a situation. And the old goods remind him the old persons. Old families, old friends and old love flood into the mind. It occurs to him how he got on with those people.

The scene of departure is always the most shocking and profound memory of nostalgia. I was really impressed by the girls words at the departure, "It can remind you of me!" It is not a simple mind of a kid. When the boy takes on the box, he can always recall his beautiful time in Istanbul, not only with the girl, but also with his grandpa. As time goes by, nostalgia becomes a treasure buried in the depth of the mind. It can be recovered at some moments, little now and little then. Once the gate of nostalgia is opened after a long time after farewell and the man has the opportunity to be put into the situation he is familiar with, he'll feel it like a delusion, floating in his brain but hard to believe. All the past is just like far way clouds, but he is just touching the goods he used to touch decades ago.

A Touch of spice gives me a grasp of nostalgia. Those far away memories, which were stopped by sudden events, always ended up with a hurtful departure. And when it becomes a personal history, it is recalled as a type of dream, real and intangible

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