|Great Myanmar Trip -Part4-|
I came back from Bagan to Yangon and went to Bago, which was famous for Lyaungdawmu Pagoda. I was used to getting up early in the morning since the day when I arrived Myanmar. It was one of ways of living, which were very suitable for health. In the same way, on that day, I got up at 5 o'clock, took a bath, and started a day looking peacefully at the people who were crossing Ayeyarwady River. My mind became fresh and clean because I had watched the day before both sunrise and sunset of a day until I was satisfied. I felt that the imparities of my life had been washed. "Ah! Thirty years impurities!" Although there were 365 days in a year, it was very few to watch sunrise and sunset by ones own eyes. With the mind awaken by the lovable persons and beautiful Nature, I washed the sneaker and sock which were covered by sand, dirty legs and opening of the nose, making the noise 'Jig, Jig, Jig'.
It took 20 minutes to go from Old Bagan Hotel to Nyaung Oo airport by taxi. There were large shops in the type of Kiosk in the airport. However it would be better to finish shopping at the village. At this time, too, the flight from Air Mandalay departed 15 minutes earlier than the schedule in which departure time was 8:55. The plane was flying early in the air. (I urge you to go early to the airport because you can take the seat you like freely). I came back to Yangon looking at the dry Land, Ayeyarwady River that was flowing continuously, and twinkling pagodas. At the exit of Yangon Airport, Mr. Kyi Maung Htwe, who was able to speak Japanese skill fully, was waiting. At first we could not decide whether we should go to Bago or not.
A visit to Myanmar took only 6 days including all of our route and the time taken by ANA air way. Among those six days, the first day was to take the flight, which departed at 14:25 from kansai Airport in Japan and arrived Yangon at 18:40 hours. I wanted to stay in Yangon. Therefore I added 2 days to my schedule. Thus the third day was consumed inYangon. If I came back from Bagan to Yangon at fourth day, the rest would be free days. But only if I left Yangon at 19:45 in the evening of the fifth day, I would arrive Japan at 6 o'clock in the morning. I would have to go to Japan at that day without fail.
In Yangon, there were many famous pagodas. Besides we could go shopping. I wanted to see the train driven by steam engine and to ride the train, which took three hours to circle Yangon. I also wanted to visit simple villages going out of the town. Moreover I wanted to go ShwetharLyaung in Bago. Holding this enormous greed in my boson, I had to feel disappointed.
When I discussed about the way to go Bago with Mr. Nishigaki by E-mail, I knew that schedule of the train was not reliable as I thought. I made Mr. Nishigaki go to the station again and again to inquire the time table of Bago train. But return journey was not reliable. The condition was like that going ahead was peaceful and coming was dreadful.
As if I were not a student, I was not afraid to spend these 6 holidays, which I got in the hard way. Because I was overwhelmed by an idea to visit ShwetharLyaung Pagoda in Bago. I managed to go from the airport to Bago by a private car for both terms of the journey. I got a great help from a driver guide, Mr. Kyi Maung, who was skilful in Japanese. I could catch our conversation on the journey to Bago, which took 1:30 hours.
Ninety five per cent of the cars, which were driven on the roads in Yangon, were the used cars from Japan. The words on those cars which were the names of the shops, transportation company and food industry, were not be rubbed. I asked, "Why don't you paint again?" He replied that it was the only evidence, which realized that those were imported from Japan.
It was cheerful that the fact, which the Japanese cars were good, was recognized. It was joyful that the used cars from Japan were useful in a country such as Myanmar. Japanese used car was a status symbol in this country. In Japan, Japanese were wasting the things themselves. It was also an evidence to show the difference of two conditions. I felt ashamed.
Now, we were riding Mr. Kyi Maung Htwe's car, which was 92 modle Toyota Carina. But, in Japan, used cars were not imported in a large amount. Even a car, which was 1,000,000, was too expensive for a vehicle. Cellular phones were very expensive and worth 500,000.
The number of tourist from Taiwan was greatest. Those of Japan were 30,000 per a year. Those facts above were included in our conversation. In our talking, the following were also included. They are about closing the Yangon Universities, the condition of state high school, History, Economy, the aid of ODA and style of food and living. Getting together for a chat, we arrived Bago.
Mr. Kyi was a person who was learning Japanese from NHK radio and on the other hand he read books. So he was good at Japanese speaking. At the half way to Bago, he filled petrol at a shop in which a driver filled his car himself. It was in the afternoon when we arrived Bago. After visiting great Kyikepon Pagoda, we had lunch.
There had been four restaurants living up in Bago. On an advice of my friend, we entered Kyaw Swa restaurant, which was situated beside 'Panda' restaurant. While we were having our excellent Lunch, Mr. Kyi was studying Japanese. The food we ate in the restaurant was fried noodle. I thought it was O.K. But I had made a mistake because I ordered it without reasoning depending on only Kanji menu. A heap of noodle on the plate was poured with cream of coconut fruit. When the food was laid in front of us, we could guess that it would be very sweet through our eyes without touching it. Shwemawdaw,
I paid homage to the Buddha image at the corner of my birth day walking along on the alabaster with modesty. I though that I had often written. It was impossible to walk on the platform of pagoda without taking off the shoes and socks. Especially, under the mid day sun, the alabaster was too hot to walk. Sandy stone plate, black stone plate and colour stone plates possessed the heat of the Hell so that you exclaimed 'Alas!' In Bagan, most of the pagoda platforms were made of sandy stone. So you could burn making a sound 'Kyut, Kyut' under your sole. (Becoming dark under the sole was not only because of dust). However it was delightful that the white alabasters were laid on the platforms of this pagoda and famous pagodas in Yangon. Those whit alabaster plates were not hot under the hot sun. It was so cold that I wanted to touch it with my cheek. I could not estimate that it would be cold like this. I was to choose something. Would I shun the sun at the mid day? Or, would I walk seeking the white alabaster stone?
At Hintharkone, we watched a religious ceremony in which the spiritual media of all over the country were dancing with the cigarette in their mouths. Then we saw suddenly a bright colourful thing. That was the foot-print of Shwethalyaung image. We encountered the cleaning time of that pagoda. They were removing the dust on the image by a huge broom. The dust among the fingers and breast was removed carefully by sweeping up and down with a big broom tied to a long rope.
On the midway to Maharzaydi, we met a ceremonial round of visits with the noveic-to-be in a large amount. The novice-to-be was called 'Shinlaung' in Myanmar. They were well dressed with the bright coloured clothes. They were wearing the shining golden headgears. The make-up on their face was so thick that it would almost peel off form the cheeks. Their appearance revealed that they did not want to do so.
However Mr. Khin said, "It is lucky to see this scarce sconce". Holding this luck in my bosom, we came back to Yangon. We went to a shop of fortune teller and consulted. The shop was situated in the compound of a pagoda. Then we went to a ship, which had been a hotel. On the ship, we were gazing at the sun setting in the west. In the evening, the Yangon River was crowded with small boats, which were rowing from here to there. They were important feet for the people who wanted to pass the part of Yangon River where there was no bridge. We saw the ferry, which was displaying the social life of the society and the mouth of a deep channel. We could breathe the smell of Yangon River, which was full of social characters. We were watching the panorama till the darkness fell.
We checked in at Central Hotel, which was situated near Yangon station and visited Botahtaung Pagoda near Yangon river bank. It was likely dangerous because it was built at the center of the city. The inner part of the pagoda was awfully decorated with shiny gold leaves. It was like a labyrinth. There we met on old man who sang for us a Japanese song. Probably, we would be dull if we didn't meet him.
When we arrived the hotel, we went to bed early because a rather young friend felt stomach ache.
She had a felling of surfeit. "Sorry, Sorry". It was me who ordered the food. Besides the fried food, which we had eaten till now, had much oil although they were Chinese food. After eating them, a lot of cooking oil was left over the plates. Indian food was not the spicy food, which we had met in India. However they were not good for stomach. Here I concluded the day without having dinner by the reason to take a rest.