Burma was my leap into the cold water. The many journeys of my life have always been well planned and prepared. But everything went very fast here.
The city gained a modest reputation, as once the famous British writer George Orwell was stationed as a police officer. Mawlamyine is not particularly exciting, but if I believe the inscription of a wall, there is an Olympic base here.
Onward journey to the north, to Bagan. What you see on the way shines golden: pagodas and faces.
Yangon. The thundering night rain is already there when I take a seat in the taxi in the back seat. The passenger pad is worn, the bare coil springs now jump up and down in time to the holey road. The warm rain falls and falls and the night lights are reflected on the asphalt and in the puddles.
Recognition number 57: If the drinking water bottle is frozen next to the bed, it was cold at night.
The little II unlocks a barred door and together we climb up narrow steps, I have to stoop, and then we are on the roof of the pagoda. In front of us extends an unforgettable panorama. The first rays of light hit the steppe of Bagan, the wind is the only sound, and I see hundreds of weathered brick temples whose golden tips are shining.
We approach the straw hut next to the temple. A small fire is blazing there, a family warms up. When the family sees us, a person jumps up, comes up to us, shouts "Mingalaba"!
Those who travel modestly feel the onslaught of a thousand flowers. In the fluctuating third-class train, I understood that traveling is a sweet-salty affair. I drove to the highlands of Burma, had no plan and no home, just a 10-kilo backpack.
Out of the corner of my eye I see a young monk approaching me. The camera casually on hips I press the trigger. The monk comes closer, I try to keep the camera steady and stressed to look in the other direction. "Where are you from?" In fright, I almost let the camera fall. "Uh, er, HI".
I walk away, even into the run-down descents in New Bagan and Nyauung U and slowly lose hope: "Sorry, fully booked!". If the next hour is not, it is already 15 clock, then only the monastery to stay. They always pick you up.