Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 23 - Mawlamyine to Kyaiktiyo

I wake up and have my meditation session. After, I ask the guesthouse for a myanmar breakfast. Most guesthouses provide breakfast, but it is usually toast, butter and jam and eggs. I have never really loved toast (unless it's smothered in vegemite) so I try to ask for a myanmar breakfast. It varies from place to place, sometimes noodle soup or maybe fried rice with an egg on top (note, burmese fried rice is more like white rice lightly stir fried with maybe an onion or yellow bean. very different than the rest of asia's fried rice.)  They asked what I'd want and I ask for oong na khao suey, a variation of the khao soy in Laos and in Thailand.  A place down the street sells it so they picked it up for me.  It was FABULOUS, by far the best breakfast I've had here yet.  I had ordered this dish in a different city but it wasn't quite the same.  This one was much more of a coconut curry, which I do love.  

After breakfast I pack up and head to the bus station.  The bus ticket costs 7000kyat to go to Golden Rock (Mt Kyaiktiyo). Golden Rock is halfway between where I am and Yangon and my Yangon ticket cost 5000kyat so something doesn't add up.  I end up taking a laan-ka (pickup truck with benches) for 3000kyat.  It seemed like a good idea since it left earlier and cost a lot less.  However, it soon started to rain and because of the poor job wrapping the sides and top, I got pretty wet.  But water is only water so no biggie.  The car also got packed with about 20 burmese people inside with me and more on top.  It was a packed and wet ride and no one spoke a lick of English, but one of the girls spoke a little thai so there was a little communication happening.  We stopped a few times, car overheated, flat tire and then eventually they moved us to another truck.  Not fully sure why but it's part of the fun I guess.  

Eventually I got to the town, but with every town you get to in Burma, you're really not at the town so you need to then take a motorbike to the town (15km away).  Once situated at my guesthouse I decided to walk up the road and ended up on the path to the golden rock.  I mis-confused information from the guidebook and thought it was only a 45min walk to the top so i ventured down the path.  After about 2 hours or so (wasn't really keeping time) I decided to turn back as it was 4pm and the last bus down is at 6pm. So if I didn't make it, I was fucked. The path I took was wet, steep, rocky, slippery and would not be good to walk in the dark. Also I left without thinking and didn't have my torch, mozzie spray, tissues for going #2, or water.  Turns out the walk I took would take 4-6 hours. Good thing I turned when I did.  Still it was a good walk full of fun, exercise, and getting soaked.  I'm glad I got to see a bit of the jungle as in the morning I'd be taking the car up and down.

I got home, exhausted and took a shower then grabbed a little dinner.  After I found a hotel with internet, and because no one was on I actually had somewhat decent speeds and was able to catch up on email correspondence.  My battery was dying and I was getting tired, so I called it a night and went back to my room to meditate and go to sleep.  clearly the walk took a lot out of me as I passed out and woke up way past what I had planned, or was used to waking up at.  Tomorrow, the infamous Golden Rock.

how apropos that this was the song on when I was packed in the back of the truck. 

always love when you see your driver pounding beers.

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