Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mission Myanmar

(To the tune of the BN Biscuits advertisements):

Myan-Myan, Myan-Myan,
Da daa, da da da daa,
Myan-Myan, Myan-Myan,
Da daa, da da da daa,


Travelling companion and good friend, crazy Aussie girl Sarah, and I headed down to Pham Ngu Lao to book our tickets to Myanmar (Burma). It looks like this thing is actually going to happen, static sheets for my tumble-dryer or not, much to my disbelief; disbelief as I had to buy a Lonely Planet Guide (after much haggling with the bookseller) for 80 000 vnd ($5) just to find where it was on a map and didn't really think things through when I agreed to accompany crazy teacher girl. Okay, I didn't just buy the LP for the map; it's got truckloads of other useful info and a handful of otherwise miscellanous facts.

Allow me to digress. Under the topic Dangers and Annoyances: Bugs, Rats, Snakes and Monkeys they write: "Monkeys, too, can get a little friendly in places. A guide outside Monya pointed out natural medicines for 'not shitting', 'shitting' and 'snakebites', but said that there's nothing for monkey bites. 'Monkey bite is normal', he said."

Great, one less thing than to worry about, as in Myanmar it seems "normal" to get rabies from a monkey bite, become delusional, sinking deeper into the mental deficient quagmire called insanity, foam at the mouth, get lockjaw and die.

I'm really excited about this trip though. I'm like a grade 6 boy at his first "dance" party; you know the kind, with the table with the snacks and plastic cups on one side, a group of brace-faced, hormonal boys standing against one wall mustering up the courage to cross the divide, across the frontier to the other extreme of the room, where girls try their hardest to ignore the boys secretely hoping they'll be the ones that are asked to dance first.

We land in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) from Bangkok on the 10th of February and are staying for about 10 days. According to wikipedia, Yangon literally means "run out of enemies" or "the end of strife". I sincerely hope that is the feeling which will float down like mana from heaven to rest like a feather on my shoulders. I also really want to visit the myriad of temple ruins and complexes such as the ancient capital Mrauk U which now lies in ruins as well the last royal capital Mandalay.

Yangon from:

Obviously, as if there was any doubt, Sarah and I sealed the deal with a bottle of Go2 Cafe's finest Vietnamese Rhum and a impromptu version of "Myan-Myan" the BN song. BN, interestingly enough is also the ISO 639 alpha-2 language code for the Bengali language, an Indo-Aryan language of South East Asia. You're never to old to learn.

I'll keep updating as Mission Myanmar progresses.


arcadia said...

klink baie opwindend. maak net seker jul het nie per ongeluk U2 cd's in jul baggasie nie; dis verbode in burma en enige persoon met dit in sy besit word summier gearresteer...

Preya said...

okay, I'm a little drunk, so I apolo...well, I'm sorry for this comment in advance. Monkeys are bad little things. I happen to be from Mussoorie, India, where monkeys abound, and they do bite and steal your stuff. Be careful. And Bengali rocks..the only other language other than English I speak fluently.

Jon Hoff said...

I have been myself, although briefly. The Shwedagon pagoda in Yangoon is absolutely breathtaking -- and this is coming from a man who barely managed a frown at Ankor Wat.
And if you think taxi drivers are a bit rushed here....well, buckle up son!

loesil said...

Jissie, ja, dit lyk great! Ek is bly julle travel so 'n bietjie, want het die naweek vir Xtoff gesien en hy weet NIKS van Vietnam nie. Dit is waarom jy asb my mails moet reply, of wil jy nie hê ek moet kom kuier nie?

10 Feb...hmmm, watse lekker werk het jy dat jy dan al weer kan vakansie hou? Luuks!

alet said...

Op jou visitor locations is daar so groot blob in die middel van die see (wes). Waar is dit en wie op dees aarde ken jy wat in die middel van die oseaan bly?

henno said...

Ai Lettie...dis Hawaii. Believe it or not, ek ken actually 'n dude wat daar bly, maar die kans dat dit hy is is so 1/1000000. Moenie worry nie, ek verstaan, jy't tog BSC geswot... :p

henno said...

Hey guys - thanks for all the advice. I'll stay away from the primates, while driving in a taxi on my way to the temple complex whilst listening to U2. Got it! ;)

Chi said...

One more trick with the cheeky monkeys, feed them with one hand whilst raising the other hand up, don't ask me why coz I don't know but it worked in Thailand for me, I didn't get monkey bites!

henno said...

I would pay good money to see you holding your hand up whilst feeding a bunch of cheeky monkeys...