Giampy and I ended up together in the same bus to Mandalay. We spent the morning stuck in the bus, but our arrival to Mandalay I could not wait to do something and make the most of what it was left of the day.
I thought it would be brilliant to make our way walking to Mandalay Hill and also pass by the palace and see a bit more of the city despite the long walk and I urged him to move out of the hostel. I had lots of energies to use after a few hours in a bus and felt quite active. So we did as planned and enjoyed some nice views of the palace, surrounded by water until we got to the hill we climbed up while passing through temples and pagodas. The views of the sunset at the top were rewarding and the sun was huge and bright.
We were chatting away all the way up and down and it feels great to have somebody to talk about everything. We can be talking about meditation, happiness, life experiences, travelling, plans, desires for the future and some more deep stuff but at the same time we like to just laugh together. He is shown some interest in making his way to Vietnam, where I will be going in a week or so and I felt surprised about that thought at the same time than a bit scared. I know myself and I have been some time travelling alone so now it feels great to have someone to share experiences, but I also know that I will end up feeling a bit tired or overwhelmed by the situation and will need some time for me, alone. Of course, I have made my point here and everything is clear but I wonder how long can this be. Everything is ephimere while travelling and feelings usually never stay too long with me. What it feels good today it may be boring tomorrow. And I would like to make it last at least for a while.
I had a nice surprise on my way back to the hostel and I saw again the guys I was with in Kalaw-Inle Lake. This world is too small and this hostel was too busy. So it felt in the dormitory, where there was not much privacy, but I slept quite well anyways because there had been a guy snoring waking me up lots of time the night before.
The next day started well and although I had in my head to rent a bike and go to see the longest wooden bridge and it got too late, we wandered looking for markets for a couple of hours, until our bus was due. Giampy was again coming with me, it seemed that he was meant to follow as he asked to go to the beach and he was sent to the same destination I was going to. So we got together to the bus station to share a 17 hours bus, the longest he would have taken ever (so far). Everything takes so much time here, the transportation is slow and the buses take forever. But it was nice for a change to share a long journey, besides the usual strange music in the bus, the typical person vomiting, the funny or dramatic soap operas and the frequent betel nut spitting. We chatted all the afternoon and after stopping for dinner we tried hard to get some sleep. And I say we tried hard because the roads were awful, we got stopped at least twice to check the passports and by the time I thought I was getting some sleep the bus assistant woke me up for breakfast. But we eventually got to the next destination: Mrauk U. A place that, despite its weird pronunciation and that I didn’t know much about, I had great expectations for. And that’s something I don’t like to do, as low expectations are key for getting impressed with, but the place was promising.