Burmese is completely irony on its behalf. They’re complexity mixed up from variable rituals and believe. I also went to the city called ‘Mongla.’ It’s the city nearest to the border of China. This town is unfamiliar to the tribal village I went before. I see the sign on top of the restaurant written in Chinese. Mostly everyone here speak the language. Above all, this town is foreign enough for a backpacker who wanted to explore Burmese but unintentionally ended up here. Wondering if he’s still in Burma.
I see zero westerner. No matter he’s expatriate or tourist. There’s no English speaking here, but all the signs were written in English nevertheless.
I was pissed and very angry. I’m telling you why.
This town known for the place of casino and prostitution. No English speaking, no doubt, but this city has the right to do it because this is not completely Burmese. They’re called themselves ‘Special Region.’ Regardless to the Burmese law and the military government. So this city promises difference vibes from all the poverty tribal villages and no shaky and dusty road. Just hearing there’s casino and discotheque, you’d assumed that it would be fun. After a long walk uphill and downhill, that makes my breathe warm and my nose hurts. It could be some sort of relieved to spend the night in this city.
Things turned out quite the opposite. This city is fairly fascinated the way isolation towns in those horror movies can possibly offers. My guide told me that all the gambling business here are moving into another town nearby, so they could manage this city as the bridge between China and Burma. Some sort of cliché border town with duty free shopping center, and a bunch of guest house and restaurant. (But still a prostitution.)
I use this picture to show you why Burma is fundamentally irony on its behalf.
I visited the tribal village where good hearts are greater than money. But this city, money is everything here. It’s like living in the outskirt town of China. I lost the ability to communicate with people either language or gestures. I tried to fit myself into the place but it wasn’t quite fit me. After all, from what I saw in the market that morning. This city is absolutely alienate and extremely exotic in the depressed-disgusting way. It required a lot of gut to live.
You can’t take a photo in this market. It’s prohibiting because they’re selling some sensational stuffs. Like bear, tiger, deer, snake, monkey- they’re all dead, and put the bodies on the ground like vegetables, and another thing that made me burst into tear is . . . dogs.
I couldn’t dare to walk in this market. I turned around and start walking out of the market immediately. Seeing that dog’s dead body giving me the feeling like seeing corpse. I couldn’t stop walking until I get to the bridge, which is the landmark of the city. And I think how insane these people to walk around the dead animals bodies like it nothing to them. How sane am I? And even maybe I’m the one who overreacted. There’re two sides in every issue in the history of the world. This is how we are. This is how the world works. To set an argument up and make a big headlines out of it.
I slowly moved my feet on the bridge and stopped at the top of the stair. I thought, is there a zombies invaded this territory? Who am I to set myself as a judge to say what’s right and what’s wrong. Its right for them, I try to understand. But it just felt so fucking wrong in my opinion. And I’m fucking mad and despair that I couldn’t do anything to stop it. What is dead is dead; I couldn’t do anything about it. Even if I could possibly get a photo in this market and show it to the world, I wouldn’t. I’m never coming back into that market ever, ever again. This is fucking disappointed. And I pissed the fuck off.
At the end of the day, all these feeling are gone. Because this is the down side of travelling with the group of people. I didn’t really have enough time to participate any events despite there’re so many events that I ran into. It’s only gave me a vaguely recognition of the place. Not in deep, just a little below the surfaces. It wasn’t love, it wasn’t hate. When my final day in Shan State has arrived I have to set the moral compass back to normal and carry on.
It felt as if she’s an acquaintance you met in the cafeteria each day at lunch. The one that you don’t feel like talking to her. But you recognized her almost immediately. Even though you haven’t seen her for years. You still remember her –yes, Burma is a her. Her face, her scandals, this aggressive, fiercely bitch!
It’s that feeling when you watch the end of ‘Lost in Translation.’ The urge to smile and cry at the same time. And I feel so graceful and relieved that the cloud of dust behind me slowly fades away.
And pretty soon all these dust will disappear and we’ll see who standing behind.