After hearing all of the opinions from every source of media, he decided to go Myanmar to see with his own eyes and to hear with his ears. So when a holiday season started, he searched until he found a way how to get there. He was George Taylor, a positive thinker who made up his mind to start the adventure, and was now on his way to the former capital city of Myanmar, Yangon. He came to Yangon not only for pleasure, but also to seek the truth.
It was raining heavily in Yangon when I was supposed to meet Mr. Taylor on his arrival. One of my friends, Chris, asked me to help with George’s expedition. Oh, there he is! He has to be the man with the blue shirt coming out, waving his hand with a cheerful smile for his very first friend in Myanmar. It was half past seven in the evening when we left airport. I can see that the raindrops welcomed him with a big hug since his hair was a bit wet. Well what kind of scenes will he find interesting? Pagoda? Yes! No! Maybe!
George decided that he would go for Shwedagone as the very first thing. He was understandably impressed as it is the finest in Yangon and perhaps the most spectacular religious structure in the world. It was under gray skies and a firm rain when we walked around later on that day.
After spending three days in Yangon, George took a flight to Mandalay where the last Burmese Empire lies in the middle of Myanmar. It is a charming city with mixed cultures from the east and central. Mandalay is a delight for sightseeing. We spent the whole evening at U Bein Bridge and the fascinating area around the 1.2 km long wooden bridge that is over 200 years old.
U Ba was the man who served the sweet tea at the teashop. He was a quality person, 62 years old from Mandalay. That morning he was preparing for something. He was going to Taung Byone Spirit Festival which is 10km from Mandalay. It’s the site of a very unusual festival that you can see nowhere else in this world. George and I decided to join. The intention of the festival is to delight the spirits. The worshipers believe that the spirits can fulfill their wishes and protect them from danger. George had a great time with U Ba and some local villagers from Mawlamying, an important trading town in the South region that is also the starting point of the Deadly Railway. It connects Myanmar and Thailand, and was built by the Japanese during the World War II.
On the way back to Yangon, which we were fortunately able to do by car, George admired the landscape and agricultural beauty of Myanmar.
Even with the unchangeable rain at its peak, hundreds of workers could be found in the rice fields. So here they were farming, crowded collectively and happily together. The serenity of the colorful plane of green and people working together while singing the song of rain was unforgettable.
Finally, it was the time for George to travel back home and again a rainy day. The wind blew gently as expected on the day of his departure flight. He had already shown his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all the people he met during his expedition. He genuinely seemed to regret leaving all the friendly people that he had just met. By the time you read this, my friend George will be busy with his trip photos and telling his friends all about Myanmar and the loveliest people in the world according to his definition. He had found the truth!