I met a wonderful girl today. Kathryn was with me so it was OK. She was spunky, smart, and a bit sassy too. She spoke just enough English to communicate with us. I took a picture of her, a quick head and shoulders shot. When I showed it to her, all she could say was, “I am beautiful!” Yes you are. She is the voice of her tiny village, Min Nan Dhu, in the region of Bagan here in Myanmar. Her name is Htwe Htwe (pronounced Twee Twee). She has always lived in this tiny remote village and always will. It is their way.
We were invited into one of their homes. I’m not sure how many people lived there, but I am sure there are quite a few. They treated us like royalty, inviting me to smoke a home-grown cigar filled with hay, wrapped in a corn husk. The fact that I smoked it with two village women mattered not to anyone, especially me. I asked Twee Twee if the two women lived in this house. She responded, “the old one yes, but not the fat one.” Quite sassy indeed.
The women of the house brought me a beer and very tasty nuts that were home-roasted with salt and garlic. We sat around smoking, drinking and laughing, not at all worrying that they did not speak any English and that I spoke nothing of their language. But we formed a bond, I think. As much of a bond an American can have with a poor villager. Maybe they treat all their visitors in this way? I kind of hope I was a bit special to them. They were certainly special to me.
At the end of our visit, which was all too short, I left with an appreciation of their culture and way of life. I also left with a sadness that this is all they would ever be. They all seemed OK with this notion. Maybe I should be too.
And remember, its all about the light!