today: the last afternoon in Dawei .... I wander the streets, it's a lot less cloudy and no rain for a long time, clear sky.
Powering along on foot, suddenly I get the inspiration, '...you know, you really ought to look at the beach..... 12km away"
for the first time in 7 day I really FEEL like getting out and walking and seeing it.
When I first arrived in Dawei I just wanted to crash in the Hotel, it has an inviting upstairs lobby, with wifi and space and a quiet. lovely atmosphere.
I was somehow tired out and just ate, walked, typed and went to sleep early .
I think lots internal stuff was processing.... whatever.
I was too tired.
After a week of this I had recovered - something happed deep in the bowls of the subconscious, - I could tell I was back to normal because I felt like staying up late.
I feel like I've spent the last 7 days in a womb, in cave, enjoyable, but now I gotta get outta there.!!
The last thing I read, in my cave in the afternoon was .... how the deeper parts ourselves, our sould, subconscious, has it's own rythems, and how it always moves and pulses just like physically we breathe. -- it has it's own cycles and rhythems.
Ok so having wandered quite some distance on foot, how the h*** do I get to the bitch, oooppps I mean" BEEECH ", pardon my bad pronunciation.
I stand around by the side of the road and look like I want a ride, and voila, someone stops and offers me a ride.
He looks like he's just going home from work, and doing some freelance taxi driving when he sees the chance.
The guy has guts, we speak zero of each other's language, but that does not matter, gestures while talking your own lingo works fine.
He's worried though, he stops and gets more petrol, --- good idea. It's going to be faaaaaaaaaaar
But he's still worried, because he's not yet figured out where exactly this foreigners wants to go.
I mean, where would any foreigner want to go if he points in the direction of the beeeeeech ?
The beeeeeeeech of course !!!- surprisingly enough.
But he had guts, he never drove a foreigner before I think, he's totally fazed.
We stop at another shop and he asks the guys there, "hey where dya reckon this crazy tourist wants ta go ? I got no bloody idea, can you figure out what he's saying ?"
We waffle a bit and the word "bitch" or " beeeech" pops up.
I Jump on the word, and nod vigorously, YES ! YES! beeeech! that's right BEEEECH!!!
Who needs big vocabulary ? gestures and one of two key words and all is fine.
Ok we all got it now, he no longer looks worried and we go much faster, the purpose of the trip has been established yeehar!!!
He still points and asks me the directions. I've never been here in my life, but I pretend I know what I'm doing since someone has to make a decision.
- STRAIGHT I point - Right I point...etc...
As we go over the little mountain ride (a very modest ridge) there is the sea, The Andaman sea.
....and then something "gets" me... images and feelings of far away places, nice memories of beaches, no idea where they come from, with a very distinctive flavour and taste swamp me.
I got to spend more time here!
I can't leave tomorrow.- I'm not MAKING a decision - I'm not making it, I'm simply recognizing it as what I WILL do -
Gosh... I wonder why I didn't come earlier ?
...cycles of the soul..... Ok, yea, that makes sense. It wasn't time. I really had no desire to get out there, 7 days ago....
But what really got me is that this energy, flooded me the instant I saw the sea, I knew, this was "it", It was like meeting a human person, with a personality and all.
The trip to the beach was simple, more directions from me guided by a rough sense where it ought to be.
At the beach a young man asked me where I'm from what I'm doing etc.... and for some reason I totally don't mind.
In fact I tell him with gusto and we chat away.
Pretty soon I get this sense... oopps ok the 'guys upstairs' have set this up, they've sent him to you.
"Walk with me..." I ask hiim.
We head for the water.
He comes from Mandalay, did a Bachelor of Physics, (standard stuff in Myanmar) and is a photographer, oh yes, he has a camera slung round his neck.
|Photographer from Mandalay,|
But he's not your average country guy hopping round on his motorcycle doing wheelies, he seems like a lost professor, an intellectual in search of his niche, wondering why the damanations he can't seem to fit in anywhere (I can tell the signs, been there, done that, probably still doing it... duhhh... )
"There are some hot springs near here,"
"Oh really, how far ?"
"And,...see this ?" He points to the edge of the crescent shaped bay.
"Its the Myo yit Pagoda", sitting on the edge of the sea, quite a distance away, but I know by now when something has that 'must visit, this is meant for you' smell about it. This does.
Just as well I've already decided to do another day.
I get paper and pen and ask him to write it all down, in Burmese.
I'll show it to the motorcycle taxi driver tomorrow.
"Oh and give me your email," I add.
Somehow I'm surprised at myself, for taking charge and making decisions snap snap snap, - but I know I have little and time and I'm like a dog let out of his (self imposed) kennel.
"Oh, and here is a book, for your English," that Paulo Coelho book, I knew I had to give away....
Hot springs are next, on a slimy muddy, "road" with lakes and pot holes the size of a car....
|Road to hot springs....|
Yep the springs are there, and "dey is damn HOT!"
All young guys hang around it, fully dressed, totally wet, with plastic scoops to splash themselves.
Do I feel conspicuous ?
What gives you that idea ?
Just because I'm the only non-Asian tourist in the whole region with a bright backpack and a camera ?
Best thing to do is to shout a loud "Mengalaba" - which Translates as the equivalent of : "Gidday 'ow arre ya going mates?" or something like that.
That breaks the ice.
Where are you from ?
the usual blah blah....
then it's time to hop on the bike and take off. This is really just a reconnaissance trip for tomorrow. I need to go and change my airline ticket and the office might be shut and the sun is almost set already.
Something else I've noticed about this little visited area of Myanmar:
There is a certain kind of facial structure, a certain kind of racial mix I've never ever seen anywhere else.
Not the usual Burmese face, not even Thai looking, not round or any of the usual variants of faces I've seen in SE Asia, no, this facial structure is totally uniquely different - It's a small subtle thing, but it is not just the face, it is like a different kind of body build. And a different attitude that goes with it. A different 'energy' or personality. Fascinating. Would like to find out more.
And now at the hot springs there is a guy with the same kind of bone structure at the hot springs.
He is the one who talks to me the most. Both of them had something that reminded me almost of the fierce dignity of the Masai Warriors, a different kind of strength, what little knowledge I have of all of that.
The whole Tenasserim area is off limits for land travel, only flying is allowed, No tourist go there much .
Lonely Planet gives it one page and says it's too hard to go there. Well not if you fly.
But I hope it stays secluded, though I doubt it.
A 50 Billion dollar pipeline for gas/oil ??? is being built all the way from Kunming China, Dawei, to this beeeech, and a new special deep sea port is going to change the face of the coastline and the whole society for a long distance in both directions ...
I'm reminded of the Tao To Ching....
Those who look down upon this world
will surely take hold and try to change things
But this is a plan
I've always seen fail
The world is Tao's own vessel
It is perfection manifest
It cannot be changed
It cannot be improved
For those who go on tampering, it's ruined
For those who try to grasp, it's gone
Allow your life to unfold naturally
Know that it too is a vessel of perfection
Just as you breathe in and breathe out
Sometimes you're ahead and other times behind
Sometimes you're strong and other times weak
Sometimes you're with people and other times alone
To the Sage
all of life is a movement toward perfection
So what need has he
for the excessive, the extravagant, or the extreme ?
Tao Te Ching, verse 29 (Star translation)
Dance me to the children, who are asking to be born
*- Leonard Cohen. *