Day 4 - Oh My God Day

Yangon Travel Blog

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Still in the car, I woke up around 6 AM. The first thing that I wanted to know was if we were already in Yangon. I was hungry, feeling dirty and anxious that we may not make it to our 10:30 flight out of Yangon. During this time, the sky was a bit dark; trees were dancing due to the wind brought by the cyclone. I grew up in a place where typhoon is not something we get scared of. And from experience, if the typhoon happens in the afternoon, by morning the following day everything would be okay. This time, I think I was wrong. At 6 AM, the cyclone was just about to intensify.

Minutes after minutes, I would see century old trees downed by the wind, electrical wires dangling on the highway.

I got more scared minutes after minutes of this ordeal. Are we going to make it to our 1030 flight? Or are we going to be alive by then..? I was still hoping. We reached Yangon around 830 AM. Man, the green city of Yangon has transformed into a wet pandemonium - Iron roofing flying, people were walking around soaked, trees uprooted, wires all over and wind got stronger as if heavens put all its wrath to Yangon. It was a sight of chaos. Something I have not experienced in my whole life. All I can do was cover my face to temporarily escape that reality. I was seated next to our driver and he had nothing else to say but - Oh My God.

Once we reached the road leading to the airport, uprooted trees were blocking our path. Regardless of the reality served in front of us, we still pushed our luck to reach the airport.

All we wanted was to go out of Yangon, and escape from this place. I asked our driver to take the sidewalk where there was a small opening. Unknown to us, it was a muddy path. And yes, our van got stuck in the mud. This is the last straw I got that time before I accept the fact that we will not make it to the airport. Lest it occured to me that our flight would be cancelled.

It took us some precious minutes to finally pull up the van from that mud. One has to think that we did all this with 120 mph wind slapping our faces, strong rain and losing hope. The whole process was made possible with the help of some angels - local Burmese who just pass by and there was this feisty Singaporean who organized the whole operation and he also was the one who told us that airport was close, no plane flying out or in of Yangon for that day.

He had to walk for 30 minutes just to confirm this. He was our angel.

After the muddy ordeal, we went to our travel agent in Yangon, and then they advised us to go back to our hotel. That time we were all wet and with low morale. When we were at the hotel, we were informed that rooms were limited but they will try to give us one room for the 6 of us. We were fine with it as long as we were dry and warm. After settling in our room, we discussed about our financial status, and how are we going to survive a country where credit cards are not accepted. That time, I still have some USDs and SGDs. We had a quick brunch in the hotel for 6 USD. Not bad, I said. There was nothing to do after lunch, we decided to sleep. Then when we went down for dinner, ala carte is not an option, they only have buffet for 11 USD. I said no. I still have money but I was not sure that time if how many days I would be staying in Yangon, given the things I saw when we were on the road that morning.

I was thinking of 3 to 4 days - 11 USD for a dinner was not an option.

Quite hungry, I went back to the room, chatted, had my future read. One of us had brought some sort of tarot card with goddess on it. My card said I need to face my past, undergo healing and learn the gift of receiving. I said, it was a good one... but first, let me go out of Yangon or Rangoon or whatever...

I slept hungry that night. I felt like a polar bear who was forced to go to hibernation because food was scarce.

coffeefairy says:
i still remember those days...
we are really very lucky to have survived it.
Posted on: May 23, 2008
postaltiburon says:
Thanks for sharing your experience in Myanmar. What a tragedy...
Posted on: May 10, 2008
sylviandavid says:
You did a wonderful job of capturing this desolate day
Posted on: May 09, 2008
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