A single fluorescent tube illuminates this 11 feet by 8 feet room. I stretch across the bed. I want to see if I could touch one wall with my feet and the opposite with my hands. Yes, just barely. The AC is good and strong except in a room this small, you are either freezing cold or a bit damp and icky. This is not the smallest room I’ve ever stayed in but it ranks in the top 5. I stare up at the ceiling at the tube of light; I have no desire to move.
It’s barely 6am, I leave this tiny room for the first time and watch Yangon yawn and rub the sleep from her eyes. A bowl of noodles, two cups of creamy sugary instant coffee at a teahouse and I return to the tiny room through a series of side streets. All I want is my tiny cocoon and Sherlock Holmes.
What do you mean you are hiding in your room watching TV in Myanmar? Isn’t there anything to do? What about the research? Don’t you want to explore?
I stare up at the light. This must be what its like for those who never want to travel. There is a safe little nest where everything is predictable and you have all your needs meet. There is no need to venture beyond. The thought of straying too far from the nest is …well…unappealing and unnecessary…which is how I feel right now. Except, I take comfort in knowing my own cocoon state is extremely temporary.
It’s happened before.
Cape Town, Barcelona, Salta, London…the exoticism of the locale is irrelevant when you are perpetually on the road. Once in a while, you just need to hide, sleep, binge watch TV or stay up all night and read. When the road is home, you indulge, irrespective to how remote or exotic your current coordinates are. You can’t schedule these impulses and down time, they may prove to be inconvenient. You are not a machine. For a day or three, Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and this tiny room is all I need and all I want. There is something beautiful in the simplicity, once you get over the depressing bits. Screw the temples, the monks, a country that is transitioning out of 50 years of military dictatorship and opening up for the first time. I will get to it when I am good and ready…for now, I need to hide and Benedict’s smooth silky voice is all I want.
Her face says it all.
The best-laid schemes
Aimlessly wandered city center. Then, a local offered conversation, coffee, and an itinerary.
Late night barbecue and beer on 19th street.