First days in Myanmar

I've always been the last-minute decision making kind. Impulsive trips, changes of plans and spontaneously saying YES to pretty much anything that comes my way, they happen on a daily basis. Which is nice because one moment you're dreaming of doing a yoga retreat on a Thai island and two minutes later you're booking a flight to Myanmar. The disadvantage of the forever last-minute state of mind, is the cost price. You pay a lot more for impulsivity than for well prepared, pre-organised travels. I'm as good at organising trips as a dysfunctional poodle, so I'm happy to pay the extra bucks.

Myanmar it is. A country I knew nothing about (I consider research part of the organising process, plus I love to arrive somewhere with no expectations, ready to fill up the blank page). Arriving on the second day of monsoon season is of course all part of the non-existing plan. It is pouring down in Yangon, but I don't mind. The day before, Jessica messages me saying she moved to Yangon, so we should meet up. This makes my heart dance, because I met Jess in Kathmandu six years ago, where we lived together in the house of the loveliest Nepalese family. So Yangon is all about catching up over delicious food. Two of my favourite things in life!

When the sun comes out, we wander around the Sunday morning city streets. Red betelnut spit colours the pavement. Men smoking, chewing, giving us a black toothed smile. Small shops specialise in one item, selling a hundred pieces of the very same thing. Fried crickets, a goldfish in a plastic bag, a single cigarette, remote controls, padlocks, pigeon food, anything you can think of. I like it and so do the pigeons, happily sitting on the wires keeping Yangon in and out of electricity.

The hostel I stay at, doesn't have electricity or running water at the time. It does have two of the most fabulous women I've ever met. A couple of awesome chicks who travel under the name 'Those Bucket Girls'. Within the first ten minutes, stories of shame are shared. Before I know it, we spend ten days together, driving through Myanmar on bicycles, scooters, boats, tuktuks and taxis. And the finest kind of night bus I have ever laid eyes on. The one where you look around and realise you're actually on a business class plane - but then a bus! Hostess in beautiful purple outfit serving coffee, tea, crazy green spongecake and all. The real deal. So we leave Yangon in style. Smelling like dirty backpackers due to the lack of showers, but in style.

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