El primer dia en Mandalay, Myanmar

Nos bajamos de un autos viejo en frente a nuestro hotel en Mandalay. Desde el momento en que entramos a la cuidad pude ver la manera digna en que la gente se maneja en medio de la pobreza creada por la represion del gobierno.

Hombres viejos manejando camiones el doble de su edad. El poder humano no ha sido reemplazado con maquinaria. Una camiseta delgada y un saron suelto permiten lidiar con el calor agobiante. La revolucion industrial nunca llego a Myanmar.
Lunares de desarrollo se ven a traves de la ciudad en forma de edificios que datan de los anios cincuenta. Sucios, ventanas rotas, ascensores inservibles y sin luz electrica en la mayori­a de casos. Las construcciones en mejor estado son los hoteles y resorts. La mayoria de resorts fueron construidos con mano de obra forzada por el gobierno. Lunares que marcan y te recuerdan el estancamiento y la represion. Los caminos o calles son una complicada y continua coleccion de zanjas y huecos inmemoriales.

Mi mayor recuerdo de Mandalay son dos personas que nos ayudaron mucho. Gigi, la recepcionista del Royal City Hotel y el conductor del trishaw. Gigi nos ayudo a salir de Mandalay hacia Bagan. Gigi con la ti­pica bondad ingenua de Myanmar nos mostro el camino hacia el bote que nos llevara a Bagan. Rebecca preguntaba algo en ingles y Gigi muy laboriosamente repetia cada una de las oraciones. Un eco gracioso en su voz.

Al salir del hotel empezamos a caminar a la oficina donde podamos comprar tickets a Bagan pero Gigi nos recomendo usar un trishaw. Este hombre anciano llevo a Rebecca en su bicicleta y otro a mi. El hombre anciano hablaba algo de ingles – supongo que es herencia de la ocupacion Inglesa decadas atras. Su sonrisa franca. Sus dientes destrozados por masticar toda su vida en una mezcla de “bettlenut” y tabaco.

La compra del ticket tomo dos horas aun siendo los unicos clientes presentes. Salimos hacia Bagan el siguiente dia. Cinco de la madrugada – en el bote rapido.
Royal City Hotel . Mandalay, Myanmar- recomendado. El staff es muy amable y te ayuda mucho.

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