Tuesday, December 1, 2009

3: An Unchartered Territory - My Sojourn To Myanmar: Day 2

12 November 2009, Thursday (25 Zulkaedah) 

Day 2 Story 1, Yangon, Myanmar
Day 2 started very early for me, as I got up at 4:50 a.m to perform my subuh prayers. I got up even before the alarm went off. In any case, I managed to fall asleep again after that, and woke up again at 7:00 a.m.

For breakfast, I had fruits and durian cake, and several spoonful of serunding which I had brought from home. 

Uni Shopping Mall
Later, Sharon and May War came to take me to Uni Shopping Mall, a newly opened shopping complex (hardly a month old). Nothing much fancies me. I just bought a couple of things plus some drinks from the supermart. 

Mini Myanmar 
Entering the heartland of Burma is like stepping into the past. We proceeded to a place called Mini Myanmar, a most enigmatic and fascinating location. It was astonishing to discover that Myanmar comprises more than 100 races.

Myanmar is a union of 135 ethnic groups with their own languages and dialects. The major races are the Kachin, the Kayah, the Kayin, the Chin, the Mon, the Bamar, the Rakhine, and the Shan. The name Myanmar embraces all the ethnic groups.

I enjoyed being here as I got to sample a cross section of the culture, customs and lifestyle of the major races in Myanmar. Dignified and proud, the Burmese people regard foreign visitors as guests in their country and take pleasure in introducing their customs 

Lungyis (Longhi) and Thanaka
Men wear lungyis, loose-fitting cotton wraps; I had asked Tun Tun (who came with Sharon and family to greet me at the airport) why men in Myamar wear lungyis.  And, tongue-in-cheek, he had replied, "It'e easy and free!!!". Hmmm......

Young women and young boys brush their faces with Thanaka, a powder made from ground tree bark, both for beauty and for protection from the bright sun. Ancient traditions that have disappeared elsewhere survive in the valleys of the Irrawaddy. 

Nasi Briyani
May War brought me to KSS Restaurant for lunch, a halal restaurant that serves Nasi Briyani. Yes!!! Yummy Nasi Briyani can be found in Muslim restaurants in Yangon, Myanamar, although halal food is quite pricey here. Nasi briyani for two cost me RM35 (11,000 kyat). 

"Have Handphone, Cannot Use" 
On day 1, miracles of all miracles, I managed to send an sms to my husband to tell him that I had arrived safely in Myanmar. He was frantically calling me and smsing me to no avail.

The funny thing was, I could send him smses but I couldn't receive any. But my joy was shortlived as soon after that, I wasn't able to get any line or connection.

I managed to send an sms telling my husband the hotel number and that I was going to be traveling and wasn't sure if i could contact him again along the way.

That night he called me at Panorama Hotel and that was the last phone contact I had with my husband. 

Cyber Cafe (CC) 
After coming back from Mini Myanmar, and as I was almost cut off from my family back in Malaysia, I headed to the Cyber Cafe near Panorama Hotel after I had performed my Maghrib prayers (Maghrib/sunset is at 5:30 p.m in Myanmar) to tell my husband of the latest update and what the tentaive plans were for the next couple of days.

The CC was my lifeline in Myanmar. And thank God, the charges were filthy cheap, i.e 400 kyat for an hour (RM1.36). I spent 2 hours at the CC, and came back to the hotel to have dinner which consisted of Maggi Mee again, and some fruits.

I retired to bed early, given that I didn't have sufficient sleep the night before, and in anticipation of the long traveling that I was going to do the next day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    Wah... mahalnya Nasi bryani tu, biasanya di Tempat ibu mertua saya di Boe Moe Street, (Dagon Township, Maynaygone, Yangon) harganya cuma lebih kurang Ky1500 = RM4.50 atau Ky1000 = RM3.00. Teh tarik juga boleh di dapati dengan banyak dan hampir kesemua peniaga di restorant dan warung tepi jalan adalah orang Islam Myanmar.

    Di Myanmar tiada 'Roaming Service' kerana Kerajaan Junta Myanmar mengamalkan polisi tertutup dalam hal Global Communication. Kita cuma boleh berhubung jika membeli sendiri kad prepaid MMPT ( Myanma Post and Telecommunication) Ejaan memang tiada 'R' dalam perkataan Myanma). Setiap kad berharga Ky25000 = RM85.00 dan boleh di gunakan untuk selama 14 jam atau 2 minggutempohnya, kemudian kena beli kad lain, walaupun kad yang ada belum habis. Apapun, itulah cabaran saya semasa mula mula bertugas di sana dan seterusnya bertemu jodoh dengan orang sana. Barulah kini saya benar benar menghargai negara kita. Walaupun lama di USA kira kira 8 tahun, satu ketika dahulu, mungkin kerana kemajuan di USA, saya kurang menghargai Malaysia, tapi bila tinggal dan bekerja di Myanmar mula terasa betapa indah, damai dan bertuahnya kita di Malaysia. Nampak tak banyak lagi bas dan kereta zaman P.Ramlee masih ada di jalan di Yangon. Terasa macam zaman dulu dulu pulak kan?