As you make your way outside Yangon you note the numerous riot trucks. There are walls on either side of the street behind which lay seas of green. You note how there seems to be an odd amount of walls in Myanmar. After dozing off for the whole car ride you arrive at a pagadoa that looks a lot like the Shwedagon. Shouts great you instantly as you notice two ladies in a fight. Awkwardness needs no translation as people avoid the ladies, parting ways like pigeons when a child runs through them. A lady at the counter sees my obviously not so sly stare at the arguing ladies and smiles while putting her finger to her lips.
Hiding from only one rain storm you make your way to another temple with painted depictions of holy actions and stories. You could easily replace the characters with any Christian saint and get the same feeling of the message without any translation.
Back in the car the driver asks where to go, you just say “snake” and he gets excited and nods. After asking about twelve people for directions you drive past fields of garbage on dirt roads. One pagoda rises out of the fields, the path that leads to it providing one foot of space without trash. As you arrive at the snake temple the driver jumps out to go in with you. Inside is a 111 year old, 18ft long Burmese python curled up without any barrier with money spread over him. A monk talks to you for the first time saying “strong.”
Driving between another few fields of trash of you find yourself at a laying Buddha, whose big toe is easily larger than you. The driver comes in again, this time to pray. Youth linger around a snake statue near by playing guitar.
Myanmar is in a transition. The strength of its religious past caught between the fields of the global world that manifest in trash as youth serenade each-other in the distance whilst a snake lays.