I made it back to pack in Mandalay and leave for an afternoon flight back to Bagan and the guest house I stayed at before, who were so happy to see me return that I got a free ride wanting at the airport. It was all beginning to be seamless unlike Mandalay. I felt it would all be a breeze, took a deep breath and I grabbed a bike to find my friend.
He was not at his friend’s bike stands, and so I rode to his house long the dirt road shortcut. I am pretty good with directions, guessing the road into his village, but off by one street. I know small villages, everyone knows each other and when I saw a young boy asked where his house was, and he lead me there. His mother was shocked to see me, ran to a neighbors house to get another boy to bike to get her son while I had tea she made. My friend arrived 40 minutes later and I said. “Guess what you asked about that I have?” He replied, “I forgot.” It was more a matter of things don't matter, but people do and he was just glad to see me again. I put an envelope in his hand and told him why I returned. With it, I bought 5 washable facemasks to wear while riding bikes in the dust to help save their lungs. It was great to see the ring on his brother’s hand, as he shared it with him because he wanted to wear it. That was something unheard of in USA. We made plans for the following day while mom cooked dinner again.
It was then that I decided to buy her a rice cooker, since they did have power and with 7 people it would make life easier. Early morning, we planned to meet at the village ordination ceremony called Shinbyu, where the boys are dressed as Buddha princes and shown off on horses. I found out this visit allowed me to see this once a year ceremony that happens after Full Moon festival. It has been happening yearly since the 11th century.
After that we planned we would bicycle to buy Mom’s rice cooker and take it by. And with the end of the day we planned to see his father’s ordination temple nearer my guest house. Continued...
- This 5 part story starts with "Unexpected Kindness In Bagan" below