Monday, February 15, 2010


spiritual defining moments: pt 1

this first one and half months of 2010 had been one crazy time for me. and probably it's one of defining spiritual moments of my life . first off early january went to singapore...nothing there. a sterile and souless place with gleaming modern generic architecture. nothing but clinical efficient boring place...but then probably not quite. my old classmate from younger days who is now a singapore PR and pilots SIA 747 aircraft came with his spanking new mercedes to my hotel and tried to prove to me that singapore also has some color and spirit and proceeded to give me a quick tour of the underbelly of singapore. not bad. not bad. orchard tower is chock a block full with ugly filipino and thai whores and even uglier old fat western perverts. but if you know where to look you can have heartbreakingly young and beautiful russian girls too... not bad not bad . and elsewhwere you can pick the rest of the usual suspects, Batam rejects, vietnamese and loads of mainland chinese girls...not bad not bad not bad.

but as if god wants me to see more of the world underbelly i had to go to bangkok yet again and this time around finally managed to have a quick visit to the male paradise of pattaya. a place full of thai girls trying to make some money to send home to poor relations in the villages back in chiang mai or chieng rai or whatever the hell these girls come from. not bad not bad not bad. and then on a spur of moment i just tore away my SIA return air ticket and bought a first class bangkok sungai kolok rail ticket and had a 20 hr train journey from hua lamphung bangkok railway station to the southern border town and playground to local malaysian perverts. lonely planet mentioned there are well over 30 hotels in this crappy cowboy town but there are only at most two or three barely three stars affair. the rest are just crappy ten or twenty room set up that you can rent by the hour for may be 5 USD /hour and bring your choice of girl or two or three for a quick bongking or the whole night or weeks if you so desire. and i say a choice because this is a place where they 'break' the girls and you can have your pick of thai, myanma hill tribe girls or laotians. some are barely legal or even under age...bad bad bad... but fun fun fun for those who like that sort of things.

and along the way on the train journey i observed and it warmed my heart to see that the southern provinces are very much like home with muslim men wearing white skullcaps and ladies with tudungs everywhere. mosques are everywhere with onion domes and tall minarets raising above crappy two story buildings in smalltowns like so many mushrooms after rain. and i've been told countless of times everywhere and not only in thailand but southern phillipines and india that if not for 'politics' people of different faith can and do live happily with each other.

which brings me to my next point. a week before bangkok trip i visited yangon and as i promised to myself after reading the first chapter or two of william dalrymple's the last moghul quite a while back the first thing i did after checking in at the trader's hotel was to go straight to the shah bahadur dargah. this is the final resting place of the last moghul king of india. thanks to the british 'magnaminity' this last king of moghul india who was also a sufi and poet of some repute was deposed to yangon and this was where he died . and with typical british humor, these bloody bastards kicked the last king of burma the opposite direction to india and where he passed his remaining days. there was some talk about bringing the remains of the burma king back from india and sending that of the last moghul king home from burma but nothing fell through. in any case the resting place of shah bahadur now is transformed into a little 'dargah' with a resident imam who is supposed to be a renowned sufi. i had maghrib prayers there with him as the imam. and this dargah is just about fifteen minutes walking distance from the grandest buddhist monument of myanma, the shwedagon pagoda. while hundreds and may be thousands of people visit shwedagon everyday not more than two or three people ever visited this little dargah. i was told that each day only one or two well read westerners or may be sufis ever come here. but at certain time each year there will be a band of quwalli singers from india come and sing the sad quawalli songs in memory of this last king.

but as if to counterbalance the sadness of visiting this last mughal king resting place i decided to pay a visit to the underbelly of yangon next. and so the night after i paid a quick visit to tyingyi market. this place by day is a bustling murket where locals come for cheap clothing and stuff but when the sun sets the neon signs light up and you'll see rows of karaoke bars and dance clubs. these dance clubs are nothing more than pick up joints full of young and old myanma girls hoping to hook up with foreigners for the night. and if you're obviously foreigner looking like say, koreans, the moment you come in the usher will sit you down and corall a gaggle of girls towards you and these will be smiling prancing and showing their best pose to you and hoping you to pick one or two or three to sit down with you. and if you decide to pick one or two or three to your hotel , there will be a group of young boys shoving their hands into the taxi and fighting with each other to sell pack of condoms to you. it was a very funny and sad sight at the same time. but this is nothing compared to g.b road of delhi india.

pics of hua lamphung-sungai kolok train journey here

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