alhea houtman

Myanmar!

Myanmar!

“Myanmar is the country we expected the least but received the most.” - Sha Houtman, a quote made by my big sister and yes! It’s true. Throughout all the countries that we’ve been through, Myanmar is the country we expected the least from them but instead received the most. Myanmar is a very astonishing country, filled with kindness and unforgettable experiences. Therefore, we couldn’t be able to cross Myanmar without our lovely friends… Mr. Soe and his brother. They are our Tour Guides throughout our presence in Myanmar, it is mandatory for tourists to have a Tour Guide and we have to be with them at all times. Most of the time, we are thankful that we have Tour Guides… it is easier to communicate with others and easier to get through things :) 

 

There are a lot of issues and an accident happened. We were on our way from Gangaw to Tamu, on our way there… Soe and his brother were in front of us, they always lead the way. But as we were on the road, we were on this hill and we saw a man with a motorcycle lying on the ground. Then, my dad noticed something on his left side of his face… there was blood all over his left side of his face, in fact, his left side was perforated. He was trying to wipe the blood from gushing down his face with his shirt. As my dad decided to pull over, “get the first aid kit!”  he said. As my mom took the first aid kit and went out of the car (so as my dad did). The second both my parents stepped down from the car, the person was suddenly worshiping them. He kept on bowing and bowing the whole time. We couldn’t understand him, but from what we’ve suspected… there was a crash that happened with a… (definitely not a motorcycle) a big vehicle we could say. 

 

He wouldn’t stop bowing towards my parents as my mom tries to stop the blood from running. We definitely couldn’t fix it, but we could make it stop for now. There was just one other person there, that was there before we were there to help him. But not long after, as we look around… there was a gigantic amount of people! It was very crowded as Gemma, my sister and my little brother Zach decided to step down and see. I decided to stay in the car, that is because I can be very traumatic in seeing this type of incident but I was very curious at the same time. Therefore, I also chose to stay inside because the car was still on and I have no idea how to turn it off. I am also there to look around, most of the time they also need to go back and forth to get the water, tissue and more stuff. 

 

As soon as we finally finished, everyone thinks that we caused him into this accident but there is that one person that was there the whole time we were there, as the witness. Also, the victim or the person that we’ve been trying to help this whole time knows. They don’t understand English and we also don’t understand Burmese. As we’re finally done with him, we told him to go to the hospital right away and let’s just hope that he understands. When we already got into that car again, he kept on bowing and bowing to us. As we finally got into the car, we forgot about Soe and his brother! They were definitely ahead of us, but they haven’t called us or anything. Meaning, I don’t think he realized. 

 

But we’ve decided to call him and he pulled over while waiting for us. The second we’re finally able to catch up with Soe, he said that the differences between those that use motorcycles and those that use cars are very different. In Myanmar, the majority of people that have cars are rich or wealthy. Meaning, cars that will stop for people that use motorcycles or car users that would help those below them… they can’t be any grateful to have them there. That is why the second my mom hopped out of the car he started blowing towards us.

 

So those who are injured or got into an accident… they should call the ambulance first and get them to come there. Then, you’re able to touch them because if we touched them first and they’re not able to survive, the charges are on us… which we don’t want that. In my opinion, I think that it was quite a silly term for me. But thankfully, it was our lucky day. But we’re actually very grateful that we’re able to help him. From all these little things that happened throughout the whole trip, these are the little things that I love. I love socializing and helping others too because by the end of the day we’re able to create some new friends! 

 

Skin, Myanmar is also popular for its beauty standards or their skincare products. One of the products that I would like to recommend is this beauty product called, Thanaka. (Click here, if you want to know more about it). I love their beauty standards and their products too! I think that their skincare products are very natural and reasonable. I’d like to share a story too, way before we started the trip from Gangaw to Tamu, the same day that person got injured. Earlier that morning, we sat in the lobby…  the receptionist was smiling towards us (me and my sister) and he was talking to Soe. Not long after, Soe laughed all a sudden. “She said both of you are very beautiful,”  Soe said, we both laughed and said Thank You. 

 

In Myanmar, Soe said, “people here love those people who have rich skin and you have a rich skin!”. I wasn’t that surprised people said that I have a very humid, exotic or rich skin tone, I have dark skin which makes me who I am as an Indonesian. I used to hate having dark skin, I always wanted to have a lighter skin tone because all my family members mostly have a light skin tone, meaning my sister has a way lighter skin than mines and also my friends. But as I grow older, I tend to understand or I began to love and accept who I am! I am actually very proud of having a dark skin :) Myanmar people are very humble and kind, they have a very diverse culture! While my family and Soe were looking around the market, there were multiple monks there. Some of the monks were old and most of them were young. They are still very young and I bet they’re younger than me… about 8 or 9 years old. The monks are using a red maroon fabric wrapped around their body as their clothes and I thought monks are just men/boys only. But I have suspected those who were wearing a pink fabric that is wrapped around their body. 

 

Myanmar is one of the best countries I have been to and Myanmar is also known for its famous city, Bagan. Bagan is basically the Cappadocia of Myanmar, known for its Hot Air Balloon. They are not only famous for their Hot Air Balloon but they're also famous for their famous Pagodas! They have hundreds and thousands of Pagodas, they are filled with numerous and fascinating stories! We get to see all the Buddhas and some of the Pagodas that the building got attacked by the earthquake, this one Pagoda has 4 Buddhas in each side, therefore 2 survived and 2 didn’t so we can tell that the other two is a replica. 

 

 

By the sound of it, it sounds quite terrifying or very different. But it turns out, they’re walking around the market and bringing this gigantic bowl. They don’t bargain and they don’t beg either, they’re just there ready to receive what other people are going to give to them. I saw a person giving them rice, food, money and many more. We were walking around the market looking for the Thanaka, but we saw the monks everywhere we go, knowing and seeing all these things that are happening is really interesting :) I’m glad to see it with my both eyes.

New content will hopefully be uploaded once a week or could be twice a week! Stay Tune every Mondays!

- Alhea Houtman