Friday, October 26, 2012

Entry Myanmar

A thought flutters at the edges of my attention : do I have any chance of finding the way back to my sanadals on my own ? Probably not. It´s five hours after arrriving in Yangon , two hours after being whisked away from the Shwedagon pagoda to another pagoda and the surrounding monastery. Outside searing heat and the sunlight cutting thru the eylids , inside shades of grey and brown . Smells of teak , wet bricka and faint whiffs of spices. Shwedagon ( spoiler warning ) came in two stages . The actual pagoda was someting that was almost imaginable coming from Thailand. The hiden gem was the slanting little city between gates and the top layer : a huge covered arcade leading upwards , offering shade and coolness. As an extra blessing I arrive just after a heavy rain , and the stone floors exposed to the sun are like wet caress against the feet.
The whisking away landed me in a another environment : no shops , a lot more darkness and a lived in atmosphere. Patches of moss , broken bricks and rough and broken teak planks in places. A single lamp burning over the Buddha statue. Talking of the monastery becomes inevitable a recap of Myanmars last decade of history : this is one of the remaining monks ( yes , as in Tibet the monks have been at the forefront of protests , and the government has responded by pushing them out of the monasteries. ). The floors are not in a general state of disrepair , they are still struggling with the aftermath of the 2008 floodings. Most of all we just sit and share the silence , and part ways when it´s time to start preparing tomorrows meals. Day ends with eating in one of the many street stalls , aggressive converted after the UN Child Convention : only kids sit really comfortably , the rest of us sit with the knees riding up near our ears.

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