Student monks gathered, massage the legs of one of the three monks at the monastry. Sitting on his throne, kindly reigning, with eyes glooming, his face as itself reminding me to the mainactor of IP MAN, but more blooming. Joking about my beard, “You shave and look handsome. You could stay here as a monk, because of bold head. But no beard.” Played a board game, called Ze, smiliar to air hockey, a remix of air hockey and billard. James, my guide, a very friendly but also sometimes stressfull companion, reminding me again and again that it´s up to me what i want to do, but we always reached the place on his schedule. – Explaining that i am vegetarian, don´t wanna watch animals in cages, even if it´s seafood, arriving a couple of bumpy roads later at a crab farm. Whatever, maybe it´s because he likes more increase his english and german language skills, instead of listening. I am not sure about provisons, more he is manifasting his position as the only proper english speaking (non-official) guide in Myeik. Beside that, he is a pretty nice one, named by german tourists 007. How many guides around the world named 007 are existing? They should arrange a 007 guide meeting.
The most weird stop of the half-day trip, which ended up as a day-trip caused by rainy hours, was a second monastry. Serious sick people, like suffering cancer or even HIV, were most of the time treated there. I had to study the whole history of patience treatment. With pictures, cruel one. Fifty-nine cases. Afterwards they wanted to show me how they get treated. At the monastry, widespreaded wooden construction sites around with paces, mostly consisting and more grown by buffalo shit, bridges made of planks and bamboo, crossing channels filled with crap and whatever that could be… so, at that, and still, beautiful place out of nowhere, two patience were treated. Kind of accupancture, the monk uses like a about a meter long bronzy stick, calibre maybe 5 mm, at the top ending like a blunt quartered stamp. The sticks are spotted on the body, which part of depends on what kind of sickness, for example breast cancer directly at the center of the spread, with pressure, not sticking inside, just pressed on. Every day during their stay, about 1 month, after that, they are fuckin cured! Surprise! “Sometimes the patient come too late, it´s just too late, they waited too long to come here, so they die.” A young girl, staying at the monastry, was filming my visit, and took pictures as i was leaving. With no donation. It didn`t occur to me why. Honestly, i didn´t felt very comfortable at that ungolden, meaning kind of imitating, monastry. Maybe caused by prejudice, maybe because of reminding me to my father´s cancer treatment. The trip to the monastry passing small villages was pretty worth anyway.
At the first monastry, near a ship construction harbour (building a fishermen`s ship in 1 month and reparing takes about 7 days), James, 007, the guide, after lunch, i ate there a three-in-one-fuckin-huge banana, never seen that kind of natural grown mutation – “No chemicals.”, was documenting, again, by off-orders of the monk, as i was passing my donation, in an envelope, presented by him, on my knees, in a 45 degree position towards the throne, with both hands. After that he showed me two posters with pictures of altogether three german tourist having done the same trip. I felt pissed in a way, but in the other, they provide an orphanage at the monastry, with kids even far back from home, like Thailand, lost parents, bumming around, crossing borders. “They stay there for free, get free education, a place to stay” – and to be. Children from the villages around also can join the class. Teachers are six women. Tried to chat with one teaching english, she couldn´t understand one word. Whatever. Education is and will ever be a power, the power to survive, reaching criticism and sort of independence, especially for females n countries like Myanmar. The monk was approving with “If you come back, whenever that is, in the future, you are always welcome, we will remember you.” I am sure he is acting that script to everyone leaving the monastry, or maybe that words caused by the donation. But i felt quite pretty well up there, on the hilltop, with an amazing view over paddy fields and the mountain area at the horizon. And they still service a very important work. Taking care of the lost and forgotten. Sometimes they get money from the military, “but only when a general is visiting and then as a gift”. Kind of like that image of autonomy, even if this is for sure not the whole truth, the truth about religion, or the lies about.
I was glad to reached the hotel at the evening. Just because of the worst motorbike (adorned with a swastika and an iron-cross patch on the front – “Yes, it`s about Hitler.”) trip until today, i had to drive, James don´t like to, he is more in cycling, exercising. Hippie agent.
Myeik has the potential to develop a hotspot, for trekking, diving or just relaxing in the new Venice of Southeast Asia, with it´s marvelous surrounding and islands, resting like an excess breasted mermaid near the coast. I don´t know what i am hoping for. For the locals tourism is the exit of poverty, but not for all of them, mainly not for the poor. It´s possible to book a diving trip today, from Thailand, crossing the border for the trip. Money sinks in the suits of the military gouvernment, to keep them floating on the top.
Nobody asks you in Myanmar about the issue of your travel, of course you are a tourist, modern colonialism has just begun and so hasn´t reached the rural areas yet.