July 25, 2002

Deep Thoughts: Myanmar

By Señor © 2002

The following is an excerpt from my travel journal. To set the scene: I was in the small village of Inle Lake, Myanmar, staying at a beautiful hotel which was built on stilts on top of a lake. It was non-tourist season in Myanmar, a country which doesn’t get very many tourists anyway, which explains why there were only six guests in the entire hotel. This wonderful day was a particularly slow and lazy one which gave me ample time to catch up on my writing…

5/5/02 Inle Lake, Myanmar

Paradise is sitting on your balcony immediately overlooking a beautiful lake with majestic mountains in the background, while smoking a cheroot (a Burmese cigar). The only things that could make this better would be some ganja and a beautiful woman, either one that I’m in love with or at least, deeply in lust with! This morning, I’ve found yet another world! I took a three hour cruise of the lake visiting many pagodas, monasteries and villages... all situated on the lake and only accessible by boat. The highlight of my day and any day spent here, was just sitting on my balcony. A close second to that was visiting a souvenir shop, where they didn’t try to sell my anything and they gave me endless amounts of free tea, a cheroot and delicious Burmese crackers with even more delicious toppings. Surprisingly enough the people around here, do not seem to be as friendly as those in Yangon. But the few that are, are wonderful!

After cruising around for a few hours, I returned to my bungalow to write, read, nap and jerk off. Could I be any more relaxed? Later this afternoon maybe I will head off for a journey on canoe. I’ve had boat rides in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and now, many in Myanmar! I plan to travel to Singapore next, but I do have other attractive options... Island hopping in Thailand, or learning to scuba dive. I could go to Bangkok and look for Sotyn. I could go back to Cambodia and visit Chetra, Lin and all the Riverside Café girls. I could go to Vietnam, spend some time exploring Hoi An and spend time with Nguyen or Hang #1 or Hang #2 or even little Myhoa down in Ho Chi Minh City! No guarantees, but all of them seem to be pretty good options.

It might be best to blow off the chicks. What’s the point, really? I’m not gonna stay here, nor will I marry them. If I really wanted to, I could buy a hottie in Bangkok for a few days. Does this mean goodbye to Cambodia forever? A depressing thought, but one I could live with. Here is the deal: everywhere I have been I have been tempted to stay and learn the language. But do I really want to learn a mostly useless language?

Costa Rica is never far from my mind.

There I hope to:

A) be as attracted to the chicks as I am here
B) have as much luck with them and
C) be able to communicate with them in their own language which is a useful skill and widely spoken language.

Now that is a plan! I’ve got a lot of wonderful shit going on. Not even to mention the three or four weeks I have left on this trip.

The dinner crowd has dwindled. Only two tables, totaling 5 people are there. So it goes. Tomorrow I will only be a stat after I leave. My canoe ride was a wonderful and slow tranquil cruise in the perfect weather of the early evening through the friendliest water villages. The children came running out of their houses waving, giving thumbs up, blowing kisses and of all things shouting out joyfully "dado" or "dada" which doesn't means hello, but goodbye! Whatever the meaning, it was adorable and it made my day! I will miss this place, but no spot more than my balcony, where I'll go after my diner is complete. Of course that won’t be for a while... I learned last night that patience isn’t just a virtue around here, but a necessity. I told the hotel staff today, there is never a need to be in a hurry here, and God bless this place for that!

The weather around here is crazy. Yangon is hot and humid. I’m told Mandalay and Bagan are even worse. Here the day is never too hot and the evening cool, which is followed by crazy rain and wind storms which continue intermittently through the night. But during the calm intermittent periods, it’s just perfect!

Finished dinner and it’s a fucking storm out there. I am trapped at the restaurant with nothing to do but write and get shitfaced! I really don’t feel like drinking, besides a day-after drunk stomach is not very appealing considering I have a 6 hour drive to Mandalay tomorrow. I haven’t had even one beer since Wednesday, that’s definitely the longest I’ve gone this whole trip! I’ll have to have a beer tomorrow night in Mandalay whether I want one or not! Although even months before I arrived in Myanmar I imagined my time here to be quiet and sober. Yangon does offer a night-life but Inle Lake is as quiet as it gets! As the rain hurls down upon the roof, once again I wish I had a joint. Oh well. It really isn’t that big a deal. I read something about opium in Mandalay… hmmm, I don’t want to wind up in a Burmese prison, lets see what fate has in store for me.

I made it back to my balcony! Thanks to the roof she is as dry as dry can be! It’s now drizzling around me, but I am comfortable and once again on my balcony, HAPPY! I would like to write about Day Two with Top Cat, the old man tour guide whom I toured the Nguyen Dynasty ruins with Hang plus adventures in Hanoi, but now is not the time. I’ve now come to understand that saying from McGrupp: "What is meant to be written will be..." Indeed, no more no less…

Myanmar is Senor's fourth installment of his Asian stories.

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