Currently reading: Burmese Days by George Orwell

I took my daily morning walk alone through the neighborhood. This time in search of an internet cafe. Found the one they recommended but it was down, so I sat in front listening to my ipod and burmese people-watched.

Chad rented a bike for the day $1 and biked an hour to the hot springs. I may do that tomorrow, but the sound of hot springs seems dirty to me. He said it was OK.

I’m use to the local staring by now. And I understand the confusion when I tell them im from US and then have to explain my parents are from Taiwan.

Had breakfast back at the hotel, and walked back out around 9 am for the internet. Still not working. I got hungry again so I settled at a random Burmese restaurant and got the Chicken meat in curry. Came with rice, a plate of sliced tomatoes with hot sauce over it (interesting but yum), and a veggie soup. I see a group of local male workers, and a pitcher of beer is poured. As I walked to the back of the restaurant for the ‘toilet’ they call it, I noticed a huge recycle bin full of empty liquor bottles.. They must drink a lot here!! from Myanmar whiskey, to beers. I also notice a man squatting on the floor butchering fish to cook, with flies all around it. Gross, that’s what im eating!! Turn the head around and act like you dont see it.

Is it normal that I’m constantly wanting an ice cold beer in this hot country? it’s about 85 degrees and humid/sticky. its bareable. Sprinkling here and there.

I got back and took a 2 hour nap. At noon, we went Trekking through the villages/mountain with a local guide our hotel arranged. It was altogether a 4 hour trek. Easy enough to go in our leather flip flops. At first it was just a glide through the green neighborhood huts/restaurants we had been use to. The guide took us to a restaurant hut for fried tofu, “On me” he insists. It was Yummmmy. We felt so bad to let him pay, even if it was 50 cents, because the whole Trek was 4$ each, for half a day, so i cant imagine how much he’d be making. And he kept saying how it was ‘low season’. So generous!! “You are in my country, I treat”. So warm!

Then we were hiking up the mountain, and went through a cave. The guide pointed at an underground cave where monks go for 2 hours a day to meditate. WOW!

Outside of the cave was an old monk who lived by himself in a hut. There were no huts within 1/2 mile from there. He invited us in for green tea, we stayed about 25 minutes. He ended up busily offering us all these different snacks. He was 72 years old, had 5 sons who has kids of their own, and have been in the monastery for 9 years. He seemed so peaceful. I quote him “Everyday, I eat, sleep, relax.. Time goes by.. and then I’ll die.” He said it in the Burmese language, but you can tell by his face that he was  at peace with it. That it was OK. He must have reached Englightenment.

The monk gave us his blessing, we put our palms together, bowed and thanked him goodbye.

Finally got back around 5 to our guesthouse, with the hotel owners offering us tea and mango’s upon arrival. And finally, here I am at the internet cafe, catching up on all my Travel journals.

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