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    Tropical Heat Tour: Myanmar Part 19

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012
    Yangon, Myanmar

    A basic fan room at the Motherland Inn II in Yangon, Myanmar.

    We pulled into the old bus terminal complex around 3:30 am, 90 minutes earlier than scheduled. The whole place, which consists of old, grimy buildings sitting on a dirt lot, was a total mud pit, thanks to recent downpours. When I first boarded the bus in Bagan, I really had to work to shove my backpack into the overhead shelf, and now I couldn’t pull it back out no matter how hard I tried. I actually had to remove three-quarters of my stuff from it to get it down! After I repacked, I stepped outside into the pack of wolves known as taxi drivers. I kept getting pulled this way and that, with offers of a ride into town at astronomical prices. I shook my head and, in turn, shook off all of them and finally found a cab to share with four other passengers, all of them male Burmese teenagers.

    The vintage 1980s compact car creaked and groaned as we ambled down into the city of Yangon in the pre-dawn. Since all of the guys were so tired from their overnight bus journeys, no one said a word, which suited me just fine. I was in no mood to listen to someone jabber away in a foreign language–especially Burmese. Several times, we passed lines of Buddhist monks heading out to collect their morning alms. One such parade must have been two or three hundred strong. I was surprised they were out so early–I thought they came out at sunrise. After two passengers got dropped off, we passed by a Buddhist temple complex completely coated with golden goodness.

    It was around 4:30 am and I spied a dozen people in there praying. I swear, Asia is so amazing! It reminded me of the time one of the girls who works at Motherland Inn II told me her and some friends went to pray at Shwedagon Pagoda at 3:30 am on her birthday because of work schedules. Speaking of the Motherland, the taxi dropped me off there close to 5:00 am, where I rented a room and finally unwound and passed out an hour later. I didn’t get up until 5:00 pm! An 11-hour snooze never hurt anyone. I spent the rest of the evening around the hotel just eating and recuperating.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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