This is me, right now, at this very moment. I am bored as hell now in the office. My days in the office are pretty damn sedentary c...



This is me, right now, at this very moment.

I am bored as hell now in the office. My days in the office are pretty damn sedentary coz I'm 98% done with my documentary. Since the elections in Myanmar (i know what's happening in SG too) are coming in Oct/Nov and it's rainy season right now, there aren't many business clients around and so there aren't any projects, and so my days here are literally... just website surfing. I am lepaking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I dunno whether to feel happy or angry coz I expected to learn biz stuff but I actually think I learnt nothing about the biz world hahaha. But I suppose I should be happy that this is sorta me taking a gap off of my life and away from the pressures/stresses of Singapore society. It's like exchange all over again. 

I wanted to tell you guys about something in a post and a revelation I found out about myself. That being fiercely independent can also be a weakness. I was pushing away people who wanted to help me here and I have to admit I pretend I don't have needs sometimes. All in all though, I am learning a lot about myself when I thought I wouldn't.

I have also been hanging out a lot with my friends' friends. I have a circle of Burmese friends here and I feel happier now than 2 months ago. Doing things and living it up the way locals do haha. Christian + Buddhist friends~ I realise people and relationships make me happy... Although I had planned to travel every weekend to places of interest like Kyaiktiyo and hike Zwe Ga Bin mountain at Hpa-an, I also like being around my friends who take me to places that they themselves frequent.

Last Sunday, I was invited to volunteer at an old folks' home. At first, I was a little in disbelief when I found out that there are old folks' homes here? I thought it was a first world syndrome that people these days don't care for their parents. I thought Myanmar was still pretty conservative and traditional and neglecting parents would be a huge no-no. Turns out, the place that I went to had 2,000 old folks. That's a lotttt.

We set off at 8am and reached at around 10am (it was located in the outskirts of Yangon). The first half of the day I did data collection of the people who stayed there because nobody actually knows the personal details of these old folks. After that, I realised that the volunteer group I was with didn't want me to do tough physical work because I was a foreigner and they didn't want me to suffer haha. And I told them, "It's ok, I'm here to work!! Give it to me!" Seriously man, I was armed and ready to go. I mean, Laos and Thailand OCIP, I was totally trained for this yo.

And one of the guys said, "Really? Even washing toilet? You can?" And I hesitated for a moment but said with much gusto, "YES! OF COZ. If you do it with me, of coz I can!" He smiled and said ok!

Damn, at the back of my head I was like, what did you just agree to do? Because never in anybody's name would I ever EVER EVERRRR WANT TO WASH A TOILET. Ya know, I hate dirty toilets coz they're filthy as hell. It's one of the reasons why I hate using public toilets and if I had to do dirty things, I sure as hell would do anything BUT wash toilets. I can be a rubbish collector for life, but not a toilet cleaner.... 

But I challenged him, and that challenge was accepted. Integrity is a virtue I uphold and I shall not back down.

The toilets here in Myanmar aren't very dirty but... wahlau eh, the wet rubbish inside is the WORST. Like I can scrub the grime and shit off the toilet bowl but picking up the damn wet rubbish can make me puke. Just thinking about it right now is making me gag. But the dudes who were doing it with me just laughed when I screamed. Luckily we had face masks and hand gloves of course, otherwise... oh my lord. Seriously I respect cleaners way more now. PEOPLE, PLEASE BE CIVILISED WITH YOUR RUBBISH AND WHERE YOU SQUIRT. Someone is literally cleaning up your shit. 

After we were done with the toilets, I rested. But some of them weren't done with washing clothes so I joined them after. Again, just the dudes were showering the old men because well, they didn't want me to see their privies and stuff. And the girls were scrubbing the clothes.

I would say I conquered the toilets. And thought clothes washing would be way easier. 

I was wrong. 

Coz I forgot... these old people have weak bowels and so. Yes. There was excrement. on. their. clothes. I am ashamed to say that I didn't dare to touch them. I was actually SCARED. I couldn't believe it. and I was disappointed with myself. Thought I was tougher than this but no. I am still a pampered baby who hasn't cared for the sick and aged. Nevermind about me though because what was amazing was the fact that these Burmese girls whom I had made friends with.... they weren't afraid. They just got down on their knees, off to business and washed those clothes with their bare hands like a boss. Washing away the shit and soaking the urine-stenched clothes in soap suds. I didn't want to be useless and since I was taller than all of them and had longer hands, I played the part of reaching into the well and scooping plus pouring water for them. I really salute these girls. 

I took a selfie with some of them for my memories~
The girl on the far left, she's 24 and has the sweeeeeetest smile. She looks younger than me please and also has a damn traditional typical Burmese girl look. She held my hand and took me around the old folks place. It was her first time there too and she was saying how she's so sad seeing all these old people living in bad conditions in the village. Didn't take any pictures but yeah, it's like a hospital but of course, minimal facilities and sub-par conditions.

I talked to all of them and listened to what they had to say like where their hometown is, what their ambitions are. Most want to be teachers haha quite typical.

This was lunch!
The girl on the left told me she wanted to take a picture so I had to whip out my phone for this lol.
p/s the monks here can eat meat. which was surprising to me because i thought they're all supposed to be vegetarians. apparently they can't refuse what people give to them. convenient eh haahha. oh they gave me bak gua, i can't refuse. oh they gave me bird's nest, i want to say no, but hey, i can't refuse. hahaha.

Lil monks shaving each others' heads.
So cute... I actually said aloud "So cute" and I was told I'm not actually allowed to call monks cute. BUT THEY ARE CUTEEEE :')

Anyway, I told my friend who was leading the volunteer group that he is awesome for starting this charity group and that what they're doing is fantastic. In Myanmar, the young people are always active and involved with helping others like getting donations for flood victims and doing voluntary work at children's homes~ I told him, "In Singapore, we don't have a culture like that" and he said, "It's because you don't have to. Your system takes care of you."

Quite true. Over here in Myanmar, the people have to take care of themselves and each other because there aren't proper infrastructure or facilities available to seek help from. Even this old folks' home isn't a proper home, it's a monastery.

So I am always in awe by the young over here. Always so involved, always taking matters into their own hands otherwise nobody would help them. Definitely not their government.

And what do we have? Proper infrastructure, and top-notch facilites and pretty damn good governance... We don't have to take matters into our own hands because we can rely on our leaders. At least most of the time. Yet, we complain a heck load.

Speaking of Singapore, I have been keeping up with the election rallies hahaha. Wish I were there to soak up the atmosphere. Feels electric from all the pictures I've seen. The turn out is insane, I wanna be part of the action. And yes, I am unable to vote in this year's elections. I'm quite upset lah, first time voter leh, I want to have a say in politics and how my country is run. I heard Chee Soon Juan has been making waves in this year's rallies.

I'll be taken out of the election registrar but have to re-register myself again in the next elections.

It really seems like I'm missing out a lot while I'm here in Myanmar hurr??

But that's alright, I caught a concert by a famous Burmese band hahaha.

It was pretty damn awesome just being amongst the crowd coz I had never seen the Burmese so enthusiastic and crazy. Not a fan of rock but yeah, it was quite fun to be a part of the mood~

Just some daily life shananigans 2 days ago,

Celebrated NZ intern's birthday on Monday so I went to buy a cake at this shop.
Look at those cute cakes!! These are so huge but only cost maybe USD20?
And these bakers were putting on the icing hehe macam oompa loompas.

In the evening,

Caught one of the most mesmerising sunsets at a jetty near my place.
So colourful and... capturing it on my camera wasn't enough at all...
When I looked at my phone screen and the actual thing I was like, eh, not the same leh.
But now when I look at it on my phone I'm just like waaaaah.
Why do sunsets shine differently in different countries?

Also, yesterday, some tauhueyyyy woohoo I"M OBSESSED WITH TAUHUEY HERE ARGH. Plus they're so cheap. Costs only 50 cents for a bowl and I found another which costs even cheaper at 37 cents roundabout. I lovvit so much :') Tauhuey every day for me.

Alrightey, I'mma head to the jetty again. Wanna take a timelapse to complete the video and I should be more or less done with it. Can't wait to finish it. But am not sure either because that would mean I'd have absolutely nothing to do in the office. Womg.

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