They say that second parts were never good. I never believed this but it may be true.
The 24 hours bus, or the bus of death, was not as bad as expected. We jumped in to the bus in the morning, after a bit of delay and I spend all day in it with Giampy. The company for long journeys is always what makes the difference. After so many days talking about so much staff I had my doubts that we could find more things to talk about, but it’s difficult for me to keep it quiet, let’s be honest. So I started asking stupid questions as if we were in some kind of game or quiz. From his favourite colour to anything that could come up to my head. It was necessary to kill some time and we did it well.
The journey was okay and I actually even got some real sleep. By the time I was woken up, you could say I probably was having a dream and everything! But I was woken up to be told that we arrived to Yangon a couple of hours earlier. A bit annoying, considering I could still get a bit more of sleep, but it was alright and all we needed was to find some place to stay the day, do some research to keep travelling, tidy things up, print stuff and chill for the night as I would be flying next day. I was super excited about my next destination, Vietnam and I did a bit of research and got to organise a host to do couchsurfing. It was looking great.
I have to say that I had mixed feelings about leaving Myanmar. I had the feeling that it was a country that had much more to offer me and much more to see and live. At the same time, I would be saying goodbye to who had been my travelling mate for the last week. A week travelling with this guy and looks like we’ve been doing it for a month! But, although he had not a fixed plan, we had different goals and I felt as something necessary the need to split and take our own path. And I was happy about that, despite I hate goodbyes.
The next morning we shared a taxi to the airport, as Giampy was finally taking a flight that was exactly at the same time that mine. We had to say goodbye very soon because we were flying out from different terminals. We hugged for the last time, we didn’t know when we would see each other or if that would be happening. You never know. I keep thinking that at some point or other, I will be meeting all the people that had played an important role during this time.
I was about to do the check in when I started getting nervous about the luggage and the necessity of paying extra for my “hand luggage”. It wasn’t looking good and a Spanish girl right before me was paying extra money. When it was turn, the most unexpected and unforeseen thing happened: my ticket was not for that day. My ticket was to fly a month ago. The flight attendant was clearly pointing at the year 2016. Wait a minute, are we in 2017? It wasn’t even for the current year!!! My head was spinning. My legs started trembling and I was sweating. I wanted to cry because I didn’t know what to do, and all I could do is laugh. I asked if they could check if there was some kind of mistake and I was flying today as I was expecting. But no, of course I was not, I had bought the ticket for the incorrect month and now I WAS A F*CKING MONTH LATE!!!! While laughing I was expecting it to be joke but I actually realised it was not and I was a bloody disaster and that these are the kind of things that when happen to people I always think that that would never happen to me. Until it does and you insist on flying out the same day. There was an hour left for the flight to take off and I asked about the price. My efforts to think of a solution were in vain, the fight was quite expensive and I started checking online because thank God the airport counted with some Wi-Fi that was as terrible as anywhere else. The price for the next day seemed okay and Skyscanner was not returning me any cheap flight to take to go in any other direction. At this point I didn’t really care where to go and I also had to face the problem of the Vietnam visa I organised, where it was stated that I would be entering the country on the 25th, not the following day. I refused the idea of flying like this and started thinking of options for the day. First thing was to find accommodation, cheap and close to the airport since I would be coming back to fly the next day. I also needed Wi-Fi to check options, but Myanmar has unreliable Wi-Fi… Once I checked in the hotel, I realised how I was having Wi-Fi in my phone but not in my laptop. So I just limited myself to book a flight to Vietnam for the next day and stop with any further research to go anywhere else. I had organised a fly out Ho Chi Minh, some couchsurfing and a few more ideas collected in my head about spending the Tet festival here and I was decided to make them come true.
I was left a stupid face for the rest of the day, but also I was quite satisfied with how I managed things despite not having a clue of what to do. I realise how much I have grown up and how the problems that before were huge to me they are nothing now, they just show up and you sort them out the best you can.
I hung out around a market close to the airport hotel and had fun finding that nobody could understand me. I was hungry and it was almost impossible to get some food! It is funny how whenever you arrive to a place where they don’t speak English, they immediately start calling other people to see if they can help, although they can’t. And then, a huge amount of people is circling you, looking at you as if you were an alien and trying to help you out with very little results. But, sometimes, somehow, it is ok that nobody can understand you. It doesn’t matter at all and you end up getting something to sort out your situation. I think the fact of having people around you trying to help you is enough to realise that although they don’t understand you, the human being can be marvellous.
This is the closure for the Myanmar chapter. My adventure here is finished and it’s been brilliant. Expected things and feelings had mixed up with the unexpected. The country has shown to me as it is, all its authenticity, all its little villages and towns, all those faces with the yellow paste that make it impossible not to smile at them, all the ‘mingalaba’ exchanged with people I don’t know… I like to think I will be back here in a few years just to access to those areas so restricted to tourists right now. Also, to compare how things have developed and changed. Hopefully the country is not spoiled by tourism and remains authentic, with the yellow pasted faces, their love for tea shops and music and guitars, the markets and the villages and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets setting the pace of life every single day.