DAY 140: DEJAVU! WE ARE IN INDIA
Bago, Bago region, Myanmar
Merel and I came arrived from Inle lake with a sleeping bus. This time we traveled with a VIP bus, that is their name. We are authentic fans! You get rapidly used to crappy transport, so this experience felt as pure luxury. Even if we had a higher service you couldn’t avoid arriving at 04:00 AM. I still wander why won’t the sleeping bus simply depart later? So dumb…
After waking up after a long after-night-bus-power-nap we decided to begin our day trip in Bago. We are here as I was recommended by a traveler we met in Laos. She told us that if we had time we should stop here to see the snake temple. This temple hosted a 9 meter snake, a majestic python. The story is pretty interesting. A popular monk who always prayed in this temple died once he got old. After some days a big python appeared in the temple. The snake seemed to stay and not want to leave the temple. As Buddhism believes in reincarnation for some reason they agreed that the snake was the monk reincarnation.
The snake is a holy attraction because of that. Many people come around the whole country to pay their respects to the snake. The snake is 75 years old, so it’s activity is low. It’s believed this snake is immortal due to its holy properties. I have no idea what is the lifespan of a python, but it is pretty impressive.
Once arrived to the snake temple I sadly discovered that it’s not what I had pictured. I think I was told or I imagined that the snake was free around the temple and you could see it on the ceiling or simply sliding close by the Buddha. At first the temple from some meters did not seem too impressive. Before going in I asked somebody where was the snake temple. They pointed me to a small plastic tent. I walked in to find myself with a crappy small place with a giant snake in a corner. Ok, the snake was damn impressive, but this is not what I expected. It felt as a low category zoo. The snake was completely free but due its age it was not dangerous at all. We had done hours of bus to see a snake… I was so disappointed. The only thing you can do at that moment is laugh about the situation. I took some time to ask the monk about the snake. I asked several questions but the one that stuck in my head was when I asked what will they do once the snake dies, he answered:
The snake will not die, as its immortal
Oooook, I really don’t want to be there once this old animal dies. Sometimes fate can blind your reason.
For the rest of the day Merel and I enjoyed very much our small bike tour. Even if her bicycle chain would get loose every 15 minutes. Once this happened we would have a bunch of people stoping whatever they were doing to help us place the chain correctly to its place. We could perfectly do it ourselves, but they didn’t want us to do this effort. They would help out, just for the sake of helping. That was admirable! English communication was almost impossible but we could manage with smiles. The city was a dump whole, it really reminded us of India.