I am a very lucky girl. I have spent 9 months travelling in South East Asia. It has only been two weeks since I am back, but feels like this trip has never happened. Everything seems so normal. The streets are clean, I can understand what everyone is saying, I do not need to spend all day looking for toiletries, I am not sweating and I can be invisible again.
Last night I watched a movie, The Lady, about a military regime in Myanmar, Burma back then, and the sacrifices people make for a better tomorrow seeking democracy and freedom. I am not sure my fascination with this film is objective enough. At some point I was weeping like a crazy cat lady and I could not understand whether it was because of Aung San Suu Kyi’s love for her country and family or was it the fact that all my Myanmar memories suddenly hit me and it became overwhelming in the most beautiful way.
…the very delicious curry that gave me food poisoning, the most colourful local markets, Inle lake boat trip, flower necklaces, Bagan temples, orchids in my hair…
It was 6 AM when we crossed the border. I was tired and sweaty after 16 hours bus trip. I was walking with my backpack, which felt heavier than usual, passing by what then looked men in skirts (longyis) and everyone rocking never seen face paint (thanaka). Suddenly I saw a silhouette of red approaching. Young boys dressed in maroon coloured robes marching in a peaceful fashion. I could not believe how beautiful their faces were. The shaved heads made their eyes pop, which made them look like living sculptures. I was staring at monks like a fool.
As I kept watching The Lady I remembered all the grace, elegance and beauty of Myanmar ladies. The way they carry themselves and how they dress, those perfectly shaped little wastes wrapped in fabrics that sit so effortlessly on their hips making their every single step like a walk in the clouds.
Travelling is a privilege that not everyone has. However, if you are lucky to go to foreign lands and experience the magic, certain things in life that you never paid attention to, start to make great sense.
“Your travel, you will discover, have awakened you to the parts of the world, and awakened parts of the world within you. <…> you’ll come to realise how the mass media can only offer a partial perspective on other places and cultures. As you continue to read, learn and think about the places you once visited, you’ll realize that your travels never fully end. Even in times of solitude at home, you’ll feel less like an isolated individual than part of a greater community of people and places, near and far, past and future”.
Vegabonding: An uncommon Guide to The Art of Long-Term World Travel (Rolf Potts)
The last few days have been rather gloomy in UK. I am very lucky that most of my friends are sensible and I do not get any comments of hatred or racism. Sadly, I can see a number of worrying Brexit posts that make me wonder where people get all that hatred from. Yesterday I saw two gentlemen chasing a Polish man, kicking him and insisting he leaves UK. My friend told me she was asked by a customer whether she has started packing her bags. You see, it is high time she went back to Latvia.
I dream of the world where we are able to live with each other peacefully. The place where we are curious about each other’s culture and favourite food, way of dressing and praying. The world where we are loving instead of hating.
“Please use your liberty to promote ours”. (Aung San Suu Kyi)