Fly to: Yangon, Burma
Internal Transfer: 4 flights to Thandwe, Heho, Mandalay & Bagan
Visa required: Yes if British
Currency:Myanmar Kyat (MMK)
Time Zone:+6hrs30mins GMT
Day 2, 07/02/11: Burma - The Golden Shadow
The flight from Doha to Bangkok was a little under 7hrs and for the majority I found myself in a deep sleep, woken only by the clatter of the next meal.
When I awoke I found myself in open conversation with a guy sat nearby. Originally born in South Korea to a local family he, along with his sister had been adopted by a Swedish couple. Professionally working in photography he explained how depressing life would be to live in Sweden all year round, so spends six months working and then returns to the East, specifically Thailand to spend six months. Peter was originally trained as a Geography & Social Science teacher but had no intention of conforming, as he said, 'the desire to settle into a 'normal' lifestyle just wasn't there for me'.
As he spoke I thought back to the train, the conversations I overheard and wondered how many of those people questioned their purpose; I wondered if any of those commuters asked the burning questions, the questions which preoccupy my world. Have I just been fortunate to speak to two different people who happen to share some of my philosophy, some of my curiosity?
When I arrived in Bangkok I was met by a huge Mercedes with black tinted windows. My inner voice chipped in, 'who are you to think any of this is for you'...Once more I felt my mouth curve into a smile, 'hello old friend I know you and you ask 'who am I' well I'm me and that's enough so I hear your concern & I thank you for it'.
As I stepped into the hotel lobby I was blown away, on entering my room I was bursting with joy...this place the Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok was spectacular. Never have I been in such a lavish room, my senses overloaded with grandeur.
As I stood in the big bay window overlooking the bustling Chao Phraya River I caught a glimpse of my own reflection. At first I appeared strange, like I didn't belong but then I looked deeper looked into my own face, into my own eyes and soon enough the reflection transformed into the bright harbour lights; immediately I experienced a sense of belonging, that sense of oneness I crave.
I exhaled deeply as I drew the curtains; stuck. They didn't shift; I tugged and tugged to no avail, damn. As I sat back on the desk I noticed two buttons beside me, doh...electric curtains...Awesome!