Myanmar, without a doubt, was one of the most interesting places I have visited. Apart from the beauty of the countryside and omnipresent temples, the wonderful people make this place unforgettable. In this series of articles, I share five short stories of small acts of kindness to give an insight into the heart of the Burmese people.
Don’t Worry, I Will Help You
As I stumbled out of my room at 7:30am, having spent more time than I would have liked in the bathroom the previous night purging from both ends, I found the strength to speak to the owner of my guest house.
“I’m not going to be able to make it to Mount Papo today. I’m very sick.” I gave him my ticket and told him if another foreigner wanted to go that morning, they could take my ticket.
I think my demeanor, the strained voice that showed how little energy I had, and the fact that I was supporting so much of my weight on the desk despite being seated, demonstrated just how crappy I felt.
Don’t worry, I will help you.
They were only six words, and I’m no stranger to fending for myself while being deathly ill, but those six words were more comforting than you can imagine. Being 10,000 miles away from the loving care of my mom, this was the next best thing. I believe your mind/attitude plays a big role in your health. Those six words kind of marked hitting bottom with being sick and the hope it generated was probably the best medicine of all.
He told me the doctor was in at about 8:30am and he’d take me there when I was ready. I told him I’d go back to sleep and we’d go in a little bit.
At 9:30am I told him I was ready and he drove me to the doctor’s office. I thought he’d just drop me off since I didn’t know where the doctor’s office was. Now I knew – it was about half a mile down the same road as the guest house. He could have gone back, but he stayed there.
I saw the doctor and then he drove me back to the guest house. I asked him if I could change my room. The room I had was perfect if I wasn’t sick ($8/night with bathroom outside and no hot water), but since I was sick I was willing to pay the $25 for a room with a private bathroom, hot water, and air conditioning. He made the arrangements even though the hotel is perpetually full.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture with my angel in Bagan. I planned to later in the day or the following morning before leaving, but I never saw him again. I didn’t get his name either. It’s a pity, really.
But I’ll never forget him and I’m happy that his act of kindness will live on here.