So I'll be heading to Myanmar in exactly 2 weeks' time on the 29th of June for 4 months for an internship. If you ask me how I'...

Myanmar - Burma - Yangon


So I'll be heading to Myanmar in exactly 2 weeks' time on the 29th of June for 4 months for an internship. If you ask me how I'm feeling right now, I'd say I'm nonchalant about visiting the country. But... but I'm stressed about what I will need to do for the internship.

A lot of people have asked me what I'm going to do at Myanmar and they've always assumed that it's for broadcast/journalism. When I tell them it's for the business sector, their eyes widen with wonder. "Why Business?" Coz I've wanted to do something unrelated to comms for a while and explore other possibilities. Then they'd probe further as to what kind of business stuff I'd be doing. In all honesty, I'm not too sure myself. Maybe that's where lies the uncertainty and perhaps that is why I have the jitters about it coz I really don't know. What I do know is that I'm going to produce a video for them about the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Myanmar. A Communication student can never escape Comms haha. And another fact that I'm clueless about is what the company actually does. I know it's a consultancy firm that helps other businesses set up in Myanmar. That's all that I know. But of course it's not dubious coz ya know where I searched it up from? NTU's Career Hub portal. So there must lie some credibility eh? ; ) What's comforting at least, is knowing that the company is a Singapore-based company and run by Singaporeans so that's nice. The other interns employed aren't necessarily Singaporeans though. That's good, I'll get to meet people from all over the worldddd! (I'm told a New Zealander intern will be there too. Yippeeeee)

When I scrolled through NTU's Career Hub email, it was actually my first time scrolling it through. NTU emails us every damn week about these career stuff and I ALWAYS ignore them. For some reason, that day, I just happened to wanna have a peek at it. I was like, well, I never know. I knew I wanted to do an internship overseas so I looked at the internship section. And the only country that really stood out to me was... MYANMAR. So the next thing I knew, I sent in my application, got a reply from my boss, had an interview with him, wrote an essay about Greece in the EU and that was it - I got offered a place at the company. I was happy, but somehow.. I knew I'd get it!??!! I was telling Sianpei, confirm can one. I just knew. Maybe it was luck or a sign from the heavens above or whatever lah. But yeah, I just knew I'd get it. Didn't think too much into it, and accepted the offer.

Another question tons of people have asked me was, Why Myanmar? The answer to me is very obvious and I always thought it's quite a duh thing, but I realise why people are surprised by my choice of destination and that is because they're actually asking........ Why do you want to suffer and go to a (as-everyone-calls-it) third world nation!??!?!! That's like suicide?!? Yes, it's supposedly third-world and I may not be able to enjoy the comforts of city life. But that's not suffering to me! And I'm looking at the bigger picture... Myanmar's coming up! It's like the next China! I've been drawn to the idea of a country that's about to boom into the next big thing. So exciting!!!! And to be a part of it... wow. And I've always been drawn to the SEA region~ rich in so many aspects and I've yet explored all of it. Also, I've always been an Aung San Suu Kyi fan lah.. I watched this documentary about her struggle and I was inspired by her sacrifices for her nation. Come to think of it, maybe it's that documentary that has sparked that whole crazy interest about Myanmar.

And there's one more thing about Myanmar... I can't quite put a finger to it. It's just different from the other SEA countries. It's like the best kept secret.... A gem. And this whole mysterious aura about it that brings out the adventurer in me. I'm not gonna term it 'exotic'. I think angmohs who call Asia exotic are plain stupid. I shall not use labels and words like that sparingly hahaha. But yeah, there's this thing about it that makes me wanna find out more about it.

YET AT THE SAME TIME, it's also the one thing that's giving me a dilemma about visiting places like that. My friend just sent me a video to watch about Myanmar,

Sure, it looks beautiful. And I'd love to create my own memories and mental images of untouched Burma.

But it's because of that - its untainted culture that has yet been marred by the onslaught of tourism - that's pulling me away from wanting to visit it. I think tourism brings with it its disadvantages as well. I don't want to strip Myanmar of its authenticity by being part of the soon-to-be throngs of people visiting this untouched nation. I feel like I'm colonising the country with my so-called civilised way of living and thinking. I don't want Myanmar to be commercialised into the likes of Thailand and Vietnam. Especially Bangkok.. that's the epitome of commercialisation. And look at Cambodia and its sex trade industry. I don't want to corrupt their people and their children..... I don't want to assert on a country my ideals when it is a beautiful one in its own right, as it is.

But, I tell myself that I'm going there without such interests and ideas. I am there to learn. From its culture and people. I will count myself lucky to be able to have such an opportunity and always uphold my principles. (and not strip naked on a mountain hahahahahahaha)

Anyway, back to my internship. My boss just sent me my work visa and instructions for me to follow for admin and stuff. Somebody will be picking me up at the airport and whisking me away on the 29th of June. So cool hurr, have always wanted to be one of the biz people whose name is held up at the airport upon arrival BAHAHAHA.

The upside is that my accommodation is provided for by the company. Accommodation is freaking expensive over there because the construction industry isn't very much established yet so living spaces can cost a lot. Even though the middle class is expanding rapidly, standard of living is still low. Which means I can get by quite all right with my intern salary of USD 300. It's quite measly lah, but I think I can get by. And I'm pretty damn frugal so I'm cool with it.

Everything else? I'm just going to wait and see once I arrive. I dunno what to expect siah. Maybe that's why I'm nervous coz I always have expectations about something. But this time, my expectations are an empty slate. I can't even IMAGINE it. It's really a big gaping hole waiting to fill with my awesomeness. Alright that didn't sound right. But ya know what I mean ; ) I'm quite confident though, that I'd be able to do my job well eventually. It's 2015 anyways, SG 50 and all good things to come BAHAHAHA.

Speaking of SG50, what's sad is that I'll be missing out on the nation's biggest birthday. I told myself I'll be here for SG100 celebrations, when I'm like 73 and still young and beautiful. Good Lord, I hope I'm not on some respiratory machine by then. Still want to see fireworks ok. I'll also be missing out on friends' birthdays and my own birthday with my momma. She's turning 60 this year - another big birthday I'll be missing out on. She's sad lah, but we'll celebrate it together when I come home : ) Also, missing out on sessions with my 12 y/o friend. He'll be a big sec one boy when I come back!! Siao leh, big transition from pri to sec sch and I won't be around for his PSLE. Feeling as if I ditched him when he may be needing me the most. Or maybe actually he doesn't care but I care lah haha.

As for graduation convocation, no fear, I'll be flying back for it on the 29th of July 2015!!!! I've asked my boss if the timing is alright and he says that it's fine, and added in his email, "but remember to bring back some Bengawan Solo goodies after your graduation". HAHAHAHA WAHLAU I laugh leh.

Filament 2015 - the annual wkwsci broadcast film showcase that I'm currently planning for with my friends is slated for 1st of August. I don't know if I'll be missing it or not, but I just might be able to extend my stay in Singapore from the 29th of July to 1st of August. I'd really want to attend it... I mean planning and not attending it eventually is quite strange so hopefully I don't antagonise my boss over at Myanmar so he'll let me!!! Maybe I should buy one WHOLE LOAD OF BENGAWAN SOLO STUFF to give a good impression hahahahahahhaa shen jing bing.

So that is that. I'm definitely not fully prepared for Myanmar yet. But my heart and head is set to go. Maybe more of my head, less so for my heart. Because of my solo trips to New Zealand for exchange and short trip to Spain, I think I'm pretty damn mentally prepared for such overseas trips. But what's different from my trip to New Zealand and Myanmar is that.... I think over the years I've grown attached to my family? You know, when I went to NZ for 5 months, I couldn't give a flying saucepan about the people around me. It's like YEAH I'M GONNA HAVE FUN AND I'M LEAVING YOU GUYS, SO LONG SUCKERSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This time I'm more of like, oh nuuu... I'm gonna miss you guys. Stay safe while I'm away. Don't let anything happen to you. Updates, love, kisses. Hahaha ok not that gross but ya know... I've grown more sentimental over time and I've learnt to really appreciate my family a whole lot more. I've also grown closer to each of them over the years, especially after I came home from NZ. I think the time spent away helped me reflect and grow and understand my family a whole lot more. AND MY MOMMA'S COOKINGGGG. Argh, food is everything.

Well, sacrifices have to be made for one to grow. I know some of you have followed me for quite a bit... even while I was away in New Zealand. Are you ready to stick with me for another adventure??? I think it's going to be exciting and I want you to stay with me and come along! It's always heartwarming to know that people are growing and learning with me and friends are updating themselves through this little blog of mine.

Thank you, and come with me on my next phase of lyfe~*~*~*~*~* sprinkles and fairy dust ~*~*~*~*~~*~

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