Just a last batch of Bagan photos, from this year, and last time four and a half years ago, because I like them.
The Ayeyarwaddy (should be spelled Ayawaddy, but the former is the standard spelling) is definitely the widest, most magnificent river I have seen. Which now includes the Ganges and the Mekong. And that’s not simple national pride, it’s the local beer brand :-)
You can best see the structure of he brick pagodas at Pyathada, a rare one that’s nice and big and can also be climbed. It has no paintings, but the walls have not been whitewashed, and it also has the biggest viewing platform, if you wanna call it that way. Down a dirt road where my e-bike struggled in the ankle-deep sand, I had it all for myself for hours, except for a brief spell when a group of rich guys from Yangon came to snap a few photos. The header is also from this temple, and the view as well.
And to bid farewell, our trusty horse Rambo from 2010 (who was anything but!) A horsecart for 3 should still be cheaper now than 3 e-bikes. But of course the real perk is that the horse cart drivers will make your itinerary even if you have no idea, and they do know their stuff, they can build up the experience and make sense of the maze of thousands of temples. I was still following the itinerary that we got back then (I was taking notes and highlighting it all in my guidebook back then, which I still had with me), but as I was out all day without a lunch break (which was essential in April, but not now), I saw more temples, I pulled up at random places just to see what’s going on, and I managed to get further afield as well.
I hope I can go back one day again, I’m already missing it, I had no idea how much I was missing upcountry Burma until I got my shit together and went back…. and still so many places to go to that are barely on the maps. Living there almost killed it all for me. And now I’m grateful to the people who screwed up my luggage affairs…. because if I hadn’t had to go back, I might have stayed away forever and never got the chance to reclaim my old Burma.
At the moment, I’m back in Indonesia, and it feels like home, and it’s actually a place I was thinking so hard about for years, do I want to come here, could I live here, what are the chances I could manage. But actually after Yangon I can manage anything now. This would be considerably happier. And now I’m at peace, but any moment, it could be blown apart to tiny little pieces. I’m trying to keep my composure and wait to find out what’s behind the corner. In any way, I will get answers now and even in the worst case scenario, some kind of closure to what’s been two and half years of tremendous happiness and tremendous suffering.
Maybe sometime, one day, I will tell you about my life and what’s happening and where I am and why.
Now I wish I had taken photos in the past couple of days, but I just wanted to be there in the moment, with the blue seas to the left and the volcano to the right, the kids playing around in my hammock flapping in the wind, pretending it’s my life, that I belong there, in a way, even though I cannot. Never forget. Always in my heart.