|Three bonzes looking cool with icecreams at Maymyo botanical gardens|
When a thick wall is blocking your way, trying to demolish it by hitting it with your head is not a very good idea. Better climbing it, get around it, digging a tunnel under it or making a hole with a sharp object. I decide to try an old trick. The place is perfect: few vehicles, a couple of little restaurants, shops, people walking around, others looking out of their windows. I let two or three passersby know what I am looking for. I'm talking loudly, making ample and slow gestures, moving gracefully, like an emperor might do. I'm standing on the sidewalk, looking at something faraway, chest out, chin high up. What matters to me is that they see me, hear me, even smell me if necessary.
It works: a waiter comes and tells me to follow him at another customer's table. This guy lets me know that he can get us two seats on a shared taxi. It will cost us few dollars and they will pick us up here, in a short while. He makes a phone call and a few minutes later the usual run down white sedan, with the wheel on the wrong side, stops in front of the teahouse. We pay the driver that slips a dollar note in the hand of our "agent" on the sly. What's this furtiveness about? Do they think we're two fools? We knew it from the beginning that there would have been a commission to pay. And that the fee is higher than what a Burmese would pay. We let them do it their way.
We travel with two young monks who get off at a nice monastery, brand new, a few miles out of town. We ask the driver if we can go to the toilet and the two bonzes let us use the one in their room. Which is nicer and cleaner than the ones the Burmese spiders ask 30 dollars for.
The air is fresh, everything around us is a different shade of green, we can already savor the beautiful walks we'll take. Unfortunately in the evening the fresh air becomes freezing and our nice walks will get us a cold, but who cares...