Saturday, October 19, 2013

Poor Country Myanmar and dirty Rangoon / Yangon. How did it happen?

Please if you are in the slightest interested in Myanmar / Burma and want to know more, please read up under Wikipedia - Myanmar, we are totally fascinated by what happened to this country and how they turn out to be so poor.

Saturday, 19.10. 2013, Yangoon, Park Royal, Lobby Bar, 19h34

Right now we are sitting by the Bar, waiting for a Small Bar Supper... we had an amazing day, but still: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO WRITE. I have no opinion. This country pulls me this way and that way. Do I like it? Dietmar's words, it is a country we do not have to return to. Thats true, we do not have to return. Still, I feel compassionate about this place. Even though I do not like it. People are very friendly, they are polite and very helpful. They would do anything to make a visitor welcome.

Yesterday Morning after breakfast we worked a bit on flight planning, and then we decided to do something touristic. We went on a 'Circular Train Trip' around Yangon. We made our way to the Railway Station, found a sign 'Please keep our Tourists safe", found the ticket office for that particular train and bought a Tourist Ticket for $1 per person.

We were only to sit in the yellow coloured coach for tourists and we can sit anywhere. The round trip would take about 2 hours. The train arrived 10 minutes later and was nearly full... with mostly locals. We found one seat and soon after a second one next to mine became available. Now the 'Schauspiel' began. Families in and out, children, food, drinks, people standing in the alley, people spitting out of windows, and the train was partly swaying from one side to the next. I thought: really, we do not get killed flying a plane, nor driving a scooter in crazy traffic, no, now we get killed in a swaying train which does not travel faster than 10 km/h.

Outside the world goes past. Heaps of rubbish, everywhere, they obviously have no way of garbage management, we never saw burnt rubbish, nothing. Only heaps of garbage and that inside vegetable fields, sometimes in the centre of it. Right here we decide: Here, in this country, WE CAN NOT RISK EATING FOOD cooked on the side of the road or buy fruit from a food stand, as we have done up till now in every other country. We must now trust our hotel management to source their food from a reliable supplier. Still no guarantee but that is the best we can do for now to protect ourselves. At that moment of time a lovely friendly girl sitting opposite us pulled 2 apples out of her moms grocery bag and offered them to us with the biggest smile. Well here we are! Bon Appetit! We learned she is a 10  year old, speaks english at school, asking us where we are going, telling us her name, where we are from, and learning we came here with a plane had only three words to say in a sweet voice: "Very rich, yes?!", us replying: "not very rich, a little rich". Her mother and father obviously very proud of their daughter's ability to speak english with visitors.

Other people next to us throwing their noodle polystyrene container, tins, paper, sweet packets, yes, everything out of the window. People living next to the track, throwing their garbage next to the railway line. And no one cleans up... Outside dirty houses, overgrown gardens, broken fences, nothing in order. People crossing tracks, spitting everywhere, most people are bare-feet.

Now that we enter a more rural area the veggie plantations are getting a bit better, the rivers flow and are full of rubbish. Dead dog bodies, blown up with legs stuck in air, stinking, all next to harvesting people who stand waistdeep in water on the fields cutting spinach leaves.

After 1,5 hours we get off the train, also cross the railway lines to get to the other side, find a taxi and ask him to take us to the most famous Pagoda in town.

Masses of people, taxis, and needless to say, rubbish everywhere, even in sacred places. Than we were asked to take off our shoes and that was the point of decision when we had to have a break and go back to the hotel for lunch and a drink. We did not want to take off our shoes with all the spitting going on. Did I mention that the spit is bright red because of all the betel leafs they are chewing?

In the afternoon I went walking and saw lots of interesting things. Peculiar bikes, normal families, overfull Buses with people hanging out of every opening, Taxis etc, stands with cheap toys, food stands, nice modern shops full of refrigerators, washing machines etc. Everyone is here from Sharp, Electrolux, Samsung, all the brands we have in our own country. Everything seems available. On my way back to the Hotel I saw a tricycle in the middle of a 4-lane road loaded with a brand new Queen size mattress pushed by four people. The local cycle owner and three westerners, one young woman and two men. Now we get talking, and they told me they are journalists, having rented an unfurnished small place and they are now furnishing it bit by bit. And today they bought this mattress.

Unfortunately we did not have too much time together and our paths went different ways. It was dark already and I had to get back to the hotel.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.