In this edition: 1 badly projected shit fart, 26 sex offenders, the most significant innovation in toilet design since 1873, a brush with Thai police, and some self-gratulatory updates about &PROUD. Oh yeah… and then we took some acid and it changed everything.
So I should be writing a blog about &PROUD – the organisation I work for in Yangon. Because since returning to Yangon early October we have moved to a new, larger community centre, we’ve grown from 3 staff to a team of 10 (though most of the team are only there until after Pride) and we’ve initiated a weekly drop in centre for the LGBTIQ community every Sunday afternoon. We’ve re-established the LGBT choir, have started our first Trans&PROUD event last Saturday, and will be welcoming the trans community twice a month from now to meet and relax, but also to talk about things like health and hormones.
And we hired a full time psychologist to work on our brand new mental health programme. We now have over 10 volunteer counsellors who we’re training and who are providing a weekly group counselling session as well as counselling over Facebook messenger. And during Pride in January we will be launching our hotline for phone line counselling, but also for questions around sexuality, gender and sexual health.
And then I haven’t even talked about our ‘Love is Not a Crime’ campaign. Next year is election year in Myanmar, and after six editions of &PROUD festival we feel confident enough to raise our voice and start demanding for decriminalisation of same sex relations.
In Myanmar when you vote in the elections you dip your pink in purple ink, to ensure you can’t vote twice. So we’re starting a Pink Pinky campaign. Showing your pink pinky means you are in favour of legal change and support the LGBTIQ community. We want the campaign to go viral by flooding Facebook with (celebrity) selfies around Yangon Pride, which starts on January 18th this year and will have 3 weekends packed with events over 8 locations in Yangon and where we hope to have 15,000 visitors.
To pay for all this we’ve received a very sizeable grant from the Dutch government, for which we are forever grateful, as well as a few other smaller grants. On top of that, we have finally registered officially and I may now call myself Managing Director of &PROUD Inc.
Pretty much all of this has happened in the 76 days since I’ve returned to Myanmar and it’s happened thanks to the most amazing team of people we have in Myanmar and abroad who are all as passionate about &PROUD as I am. But it’s also happened because I’ve been working my ass off in the last months and I’m both elated and fucking proud at everything we’re achieving.
The responsibility is pretty damn stressful and takes a toll and I never thought I would be lying awake at night worrying about liquidity. But I also never imagined to be só passionate about something and I often find myself with a big smile on my face while biking home, realising how lucky and honoured I am to be working my absolute dream job with a team I love and adore.
I know I sometimes say I have doubts about staying in Myanmar when I’m in the Netherlands, but everything’s aligned this year in Myanmar and that feels pretty good.
It also helps that I painted my apartment in a cozy purple and installed mosquito and rat screens and now don’t live in a constant state of fear of Dengue anymore or with rats running through the living room at night. And not having to move house every 3 weeks like in Amsterdam definitely helps too.
But enough about Yangon.
I went to Wonderfruit Festival in Thailand. I’d been hearing about this festival for a few years now but never gave it a lot of attention because I thought it was just some expensive festival for white people to get wasted. But last year a few of my friends from Yangon went and came back with raving reviews.
So last week I flew to Bangkok and took a bus to Pattaya straight from the airport. I was thinking I’d meet some people going to the festival in the bus but it was a disgusting old public bus that reeked of stale piss and was filled with registered sex offenders. Pattaya is the sex capital of Asia and the bus was full of old men who had flown in from Europe and went directly from the plane to Pattaya. I was the youngest person on the bus by a wide margin – save for a few toyboys who did not look like they were on the bus out of their free will.
Out of 29 seats on the bus, 3 were taken by women.
Not quite the Lowlands festival bus vibe I was hoping for, but for the last 15 years I had been wanting to go to Pattaya, see it, throw up, and leave again – and I did just that.
The 15 minutes of driving through Pattaya on the bus were enough to know what its about: every place was a cheap-looking bar, and at 2 in the afternoon every bar had a couple of old men sitting on plastic chairs with a beer on their plastic table, as well as some young women hanging out in the shade in the corner.
The festival was 20 km outside Pattaya and on the minibus there I met Z from Israel. He was used to going to Burning Man-style festivals and therefore a blessing to be around. Firstly because at burning man you share everything (I could learn a lesson or two there) and secondly because you build all your own shit. So he came prepared with a tarpaulin for shade, fairy lights for decoration and a chair.
I was just happy to be owning a tent for the first time in my life (Fresh&Black – thank you Bangkok Decathlon).
Arriving at the festival was pretty special. It’s in a tropical setting with palm trees and there was exactly 1 person in line in front of me at the bamboo entrance booth. I got my festival bracelet which included an RFID chip that you load money on to pay for things at the festival. It also knows my name and every time I walked onto the festival site they scan the bracelet and I had to show my ID, which definitely felt like a privacy invasion. But it was also pretty sweet not to carry anything around at the festival and to pay with your bracelet.
Z, the Burning Man man, and me decided to team up and set out to find a good shady spot for our small encampment. Having found one and calculated where the sun would rise, Z immediately got to work with his tarpaulin – worrying more about the shade for my tent than about his own. He then got a locker where he stored his passport, credit cards and money and promptly gave me a spare key trusting me with every valuable in his backpacker life.
The lockers, I should mention, were handmade of bamboo and you could peek through the cracks to see what’s inside. You could also pretty easily crack through the cracks and take everything we own.
So the festival was basically utterly beautiful and unlike any festival I’ve been before. The area was huge – nearly as big as lowlands, but I think there were a maximum 10,000 people over the 4 festival days. And in fact, the site felt pretty devoid of people at times. On the first Thursday night it was very quiet. Friday was okay, and then on Saturday it finally got busy, while on Sunday it was really quiet again.
Some of the pics are mine, some of the photos are from C, and some came from google.
The lack of crowds made things very friendly: everybody was cleaning up their shit and would take other people’s garbage. People were smiley and chatty and very easygoing. And then when things finally got busy on Saturday night it kind of felt like people were invading our serene festival setting, and it was quite interesting to see that once things get a bit messy nobody cleans their own shit anymore and lives differently. Like you see this beautiful society changing.
But I was also happy to have more crowds on Saturday – especially because it finally started to feel more Thai. Up until then there were lots of white people, as well as plenty of Asians coming from elsewhere – and it didn’t feel super okay to be at a festival in Thailand where the majority of people just flew in for the weekend. Myself included.
Of course, it’s not like Southeast Asia has a different festival every weekend, so it’s not so strange that people would travel further and need to take a plane to come to a festival. But it still felt awkwardly privileged.
I should also mention that this was by far the most expensive festival I’ve ever been to. $260 for the regular entrance (my early bird was 160) and $1,000 for the cheapest glamping tent for 4 people (my general camp site ticket was $20). A beer was $6, and cocktails and meals were all over 10 dollar).
You also had to come with your own cup, as there was not a single plastic cup at the festival (you use your own cup for coffee, cocktails and everything else – quite cool). I didn’t bring one and paid all of 26 dollar for a stainless steel festival cup with a strap to put it around my neck.
But for all the expenses there was also an utterly beautiful festival experience. The site was filled with amazing artwork – most of it from natural materials – and dotted with palm trees, a small lake and some forested hills in the background. There were at least 10 stages (many built with natural materials again), there was yoga and meditation and talks and paddle boarding and breathing lessons, and performance art and there was a fine dining restaurant for which you had to make a reservation a week in advance (ridiculous). There were small towels to dry your hands with at the bathrooms, the showers were made of bamboo and the dixi rent-a-toilets had a bum gun (OMG GAME CHANGER).
And of course there was techno techno techno until 10 am and then some.
So I basically had an amazing festival experience there. Dancing at night and then relaxing during the day. I was afraid the camping would be terrible in a tropical climate and with a vodka hangover, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had been afraid of – also because there were quite a lot of trees on the camp site.
And that’s going to be my last bit of festival reviewing before we finally get to the fun stuff: hardly anybody was camping and most people were staying in villas or resorts around Pattaya, 20km away. So in the middle of the night they had to get shuttles back to their hotel – being wasted and in a traffic jam just as the sun is coming up.
And then when you wake up with a hangover and you have a pool next to your room, you’re not going to come to the beautiful festival site packed with chill out corners, but you’re going to hang by the pool with your friends and start drinking. Which is a such a shame because it changes the festival experience quite a lot when you leave the site and sleep in a resort 20km away (as tempting as the airconditioning sounds).
But back to the partying. There were a bunch of people from Yangon, including Italian BFF C whom I had previously been interned with at meditation camp. We had a few super fun nights and spent a lot of time at the queer stage. Go Grrrls – 3 world famous queer DJs from Bangkok – were playing and C and me instantly fell in love and down on our knees to beg them to come to Yangon Pride. I think some of our enthusiasm rubbed off because all 3 of them will be flying in to play some of the best music Yangon has ever heard.
And then it was our last night. The parties would go on until Monday morning and I had a flight back to Yangon on Monday afternoon, so I had already decided to take it easy on Sunday. I had a busy work week looming ahead that would start with back to back meetings at the American and German embassies trying to raise funds for Pride so I had good reason to try and get a bit of sleep before.
And like all nights that start with good intentions – they have the tendency degenerate rapidly at the mention of stimulants. In this instance, I overheard a conversation in our group about LSD, and having been incredibly curious about it for many years, my head automatically turned to align my ears with the conversation behind me.
Not much later, phone calls were made, money exchanged hands (again – not cheap).
I quickly asked for a 101 about acid from some people who had done it before, to have some kind of preparation of what was to come, and then I took half a paper.
LSD comes on a tiny tiny piece of paper, maybe half a centimeter in size. There’s 1 drop of LSD dried into the paper, and you tear that piece in half to get half a dose to start with.
So there we were, sitting and chilling by the lake waiting for things to kick in. Nothing really happened yet, so we decided to head for a dance floor first. I still had a bottle of vodka left that I smuggled in, but knowing it would be useless I gave it away.
Nothing happened still and I took the other half. We went to another dance floor where nothing again proceeded to happen. So naturally, we decided to get more. The lockers were aaaaaaall the way on the other side of the festival, so we went to get money. But when finally back we couldn’t find the guy who had the phone number.
By then it was hours later and nobody was feeling anything, and it seemed pretty clear that someone had sold us a very expensive square centimeter of phone book paper.
I scolded myself for giving away the vodka and started to resign myself to have an early night. And actually: we’d had 3 super fun nights already and that was enough. I should be content, enjoy the music for half an hour more and then go to bed at midnight.
WHAT. DE. FUCK.
That. just. changed. everything.
So I was at the polygon stage. It’s partly run by someone who lives in Yangon, and it’s the coolest stage I’ve ever seen. It’s a round/polygon shape with 10 corners and sound coming from 10 corners. They fly their DJs to London before the festival because it’s such a special setup that DJs need to try it out in a test setting to learn how to play with sound coming from 10 directions. It also had the most amazing LED show I’ve ever seen, like a spider.
This was my opinion about the stage WITHOUT acid, but here I was tripping the shit out of things standing right in the middle of the polygon. There was sound coming from all directions and the DJ made the sound come in circles. I’ve never heard music like this before – the most beautiful music I heard in my life. This music was clearly made for LSD. This entire stage was made for LSD. There were so many layers to the music, and in fact there were so many layers in life that I suddenly saw.
I was standing there alone in the middle of Polygon with my eyes closed with the music crashing in. I couldn’t move my legs. I didn’t have a clue how to move my feet. I was glued to the ground. Like genuinely, I really didn’t know how to move my feet.
But at the same time I was quite certain that if I had to move I would remember how to. So I wasn’t scared.
There were a million thoughts and I wish I could remember them, but they left as quickly as they came. But what I do remember was thinking “let it go jw, let it go”. “Laat het gaan jw, laat het gaan”. And I remembered I had the same with Ayahuasca. I had to tell myself to let go of trying to control things – I always want to keep control of things. And where I got a bit stuck on it during Ayahuasca, on this current LSD trip I let go and my god what a ride it was.
I was just standing there with my eyes closed for what felt like hours. I could see all the layers of the world, of my ego, of my being. Suddenly everything was so clear. How could I have been so blind all my life. But then a fraction of a second later I realised what a load of bullocks it all was and that I knew nothing – absolutely nothing at all. And I had to laugh. I had to laugh so much. One second I understood the entire world. The next second I didn’t even know what left or right was.
I didn’t have my ear plugs in and was very conscious of it. The music was so incredibly loud and I thought I would go deaf. But I also wanted to let go for once in my life and fully enjoy the experience without restraints. And here it helped that I had had a conversation before the trip, that I needed to remember that everything would pass.
So I told myself that all my sensations were just heightened and that I wouldn’t be deaf the next day. I had these clear moments where I could tell myself this, and then I had moments where I was waaaaaaaayy out of it.
The festival site was extremely dusty, to the point that it would get hard to breath, there was just so much dust, my entire system was clogged up. And then the next moment there would be this amazing smell of lavender. I was sure someone was burning incense on the dance floor and when I opened my eyes I saw some people passing around a lavender stick they were taking drags from. It was the most beautiful smell I’ve ever smelled in my life.
And then I was still just standing there alone with my eyes closed. My lower body couldn’t move, but with my upper body I was attempting some form of dancing. But then there were so many layers to the music. So many sounds, so many noises, and I could hear them all so clearly. Like it was the first time truly hearing music in all my life.
I was trying to dance to all these amazing new sounds; I wanted to dance to every beat, every dong, every ting, to all the sounds I never heard. Which basically meant my upper body was just shaking weirdly with no relation to the beats of the music whatsoever.
I would realise from time to time how utterly ridiculous I must look to the outside – wildly shaking my body to a non-existent beat. But then I would just laugh out loud again and I didn’t care.
I was super happy to be on my own. Not to be conscious of what the rest of our group was doing, not to worry about anybody else. It felt incredibly good that this was a deeply personal experience.
The group was probably maximum 4 meters away from me and I had a vague understanding that I should probably let them know I was okay, but it felt like they were on another planet. And anyway they were behind me and I didn’t know how to move my feet to turn around.
Every now and then I opened my eyes though and every time I was completely surprised at where I was – not knowing what was left and what was right. And I would see all these beautiful people on the dance floor and could clearly see the other people who were tripping and I would feel so much love for them. There was just so much love.
I associate LSD with peace and love and definitely felt that right there and then on the dance floor. But then every time someone came in my personal space or would accidentally dance against my shoulder I would shout NAZI NAZI NAZI at them in silence.
Which again I thought was hilárious. All this peace and love shit but as soon as someone’s face wasn’t to my liking I would be like NAZI NAZI NAZI.
Since I was just standing there, unmoving and with my eyes closed, it happened fairly often that someone beside me or behind me would be dancing against me. It annoyed me because I really wanted to dive deep inside myself and fully surrender to the music without any distractions. But there were 2 problems.
The first was my lack of ability in my lower legs. But the bigger problem was that I didn’t actually understand which side I had to move to get away from the person that was annoying me.
Every now and then – with a lot of courage and persistence – I would be able to move my feet 5 centimeters or so. This small move would take all the mental capacity I had. But I often moved my feet in the wrong direction, which put me even clóser to the NAZI.
I was also on my toes a lot. I think because I was trying to soak in the moment só só much, that my entire body was constantly lurching upward and forward, into the sky, further and further. Just to take in MORE MORE MORE. But it also meant that I kept ending up standing on my toes and wouldn’t know how to get back down again.
I realised I was super out of balance and constantly on the verge of tipping over.
I also realised that if someone would give me even the slightest push at those moments I would just fall flat forward and land on my chin and it wouldn’t be pretty. Not pretty at all.
Then there was also the sudden realisation that I didn’t know how to talk anymore. The whole thing with mouth movements and sound production seemed entirely alien. But I wasn’t stressed. I knew that if I needed to I would be okay and I would probably be able to say a few words.
Which was a good thing, because not much later I felt the vibration of my phone ringing
It was like being dragged out of paradise and thrown to the ground.
WHERE’S THE GROUP
I’VE BEEN AWAY FOR HOURS
WHAT IF THEY’RE WORRIED
WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED
The sheer look of horror must have shown in my eyes, because out of the blue a beautiful blond girl came up to me and gave me the longest, warmest, nicest hug in my entire life. I was immediately in love with this woman and felt intense gratitude.
I managed to shout a thank you over the music, and instantly regretted it. After such a beautiful and personal hug, how could I ruin it with words. This was not a moment to be using words – they were so banal. Ugh. This was a moment to put your hand on your heart.
After that I found the group fairly easily. We didn’t need a lot of words to communicate that we were all completely out of it and that this was something like never before.
We’d probably been less than 4 steps away from each other this entire time, but it felt like I was reunited with them after a year of backpacking on Mars.
I gave C a long long hug and I felt one with her. I loved her more than anybody on the face of the earth, and as we were hugging longer I could feel our bodies morph into one. I was C.
We then spent some time dancing and everybody was just in their own world. C and me would look at each other every now and then, and every time we would use our hands and face to sign to each other that “wow… wtf… There’s no words… how the fuck did this happen…”.
C mostly had her hand on her heart all the time, and I was just laughing, laughing out loud, laughing so much. I don’t really remember why, but I think that by this time the biggest high was off and I saw the absurdity of the situation.
Although that doesn’t mean I regained my senses, and I was still constantly lost. Since the stage was round I kept losing my sense of direction. I’d think the DJs were in front of me, but when I open my eyes they are behind me. I’d think C was to my left, she was on my right. And then the world tilted.
It was súper annoying, but the entire world had tilted to the left, so all my weight was now on my right foot. Or on my left foot, what the hell did I know. But I did know that I was leaning heavily to one side because the world had tilted and I didn’t know how to tilt it back. You can picture me on the crowded dance floor – everybody having a good time, and me just standing there leaning over to one side, stuck. This lasted for a long time.
There would be all these strange, strange characters on the dance floor and your eyes automatically focus on things that are out of the ordinary. It seemed like the dance floor was flooded with strange beings, and then the acid just makes it all more extreme. I kept thinking I saw midgets and elfs. And there was this woman with a leaf from a bush in her hair, but in my head she was the bush lady.
Wonderfruit is a festival where plenty of people will dress up and wear beautiful costumes, but now it suddenly seemed like everybody on the dance floor had put on dresses and make-up especially for all those people on acid. It made me feel bad that I never made more of an effort in my life at festivals – I wish I would have given all this pleasure to other people tripping too. But for myself I just wanted to get rid of things. I couldn’t stand the weight of the beads around my neck, of the straps around my shoulder, of the earring hanging from my ear. So one by one I took them off.
We were on the dance floor for I don’t know how long (time as a concept did not exist anymore. Everything took forever) when finally C and me realised how thirsty we were. Especially with the dust, we could hardly breath and needed water badly, so we went on a quest.
The festival site had water points everywhere and we had been going to the water point next to the Polygon for about 72 hours now. But we couldn’t find a water point even if our life depended on it. And by now our life did depend on it. We were crossing deserts, we were about to die of thirst.
In the back of my mind I knew that we could buy water at the bar, but it didn’t feel right. Here we were having this incredibly deep experience, being connected to the earth and all its beings. How could we then use a monetary transaction for something as basic and vital as water, the most natural of nature.
We kept running into people from our group though and would ask them where the water point was, and every time they would say ‘just buy a water and come back to the dance floor’.
And we’d say: “it doesn’t feel right. We want real water”.
– “just get it at the bar”
“Nooooo we just want to go to the water point. Please where’s the water point, we’ve never been this thirsty in our entire life.”
– “fine, I’ll buy you a water, just come”
And then we’d leave, continuing our quest.
We were somehow found again, dragged back onto the dance floor, given commercial water – drinking it reluctantly. But still needing to find real water.
So we left. Again.
I was mostly speaking Italian by now I should mention. I was surprisingly fluent.
People kept trying to buy us water, where-ever we went people were trying to buy us water.
But by now the water at the bars had run out and it was at this moment that the prospect of death by dehydration seemed to become more and more likely.
I asked C to tell my parents that it was worth it.
“Siiiiiii I agree”, C confirmed. “Please tell my parents too naw. Definitely worth it”
All this time we both had a bottle of water in our bag, and every now and then – by pure chance – we realised that we had water in our bag and would drink from it. But just as easily we would forget again and would continue our quest.
By now we had crossed deserts, split oceans, survived sand storms and ran from nazis, but water there was not.
And then…. As if by magic. A water point appeared.
We will make it out alive.
There were hugs, there were tears of joy.
But alas. The universe was not with us. As we approached the tap there was another guy there and with a look of distress he said: “There’s something wrong with the water. DON’T DRINK IT!”
He peered into his dark, non-transparent bottle and repeated “I can see it – there’s something in the water”, and then he ran away.
So we were like caaaaazzoooooooooo what the fuck is the world trying to tell us. For once we are one with the world, with nature, with the universe. And the universe is telling us to die of thirst.
I looked up to see C staring in her (completely dark) bottle of water, and she confirmed: Siiii Siiiii, there’s something in the water. Caazzzzzo JW. What do we do.
Luckily I had a moment of clarity and realised that the other guy was tripping worse than we were and that there was nothing wrong with the water.
So I finally filled my bottle. It took 14 minutes.
C was standing a meter away looking at me in surprise. Finally, she asked me what I was doing.
I mentioned to her that I was filling my bottle.
“Still?” She asked.
“Yes. It’s weird isn’t it? It’s been at least 10 minutes no?”
“Siiii”, she said. “10 minutes at least.”
But still my bottle wasn’t full – I was certain. It wasn’t overflowing.
“Cazzo maybe there ís something wrong with this tap.”
The next part of the trip basically consisted of us looking at our phone screen. In the first hours I had been so focussed on the music with my eyes closed that the trip wasn’t visual at all. It was all about the sounds.
Then during the water quest I was in my leader mode again. I kept checking my phone to make sure the group wasn’t missing us or was in problems. I wished I didn’t have the phone or felt responsible about the group, but at the same time knew it was important, so I made peace with it.
And I was leading us through the desert in search of water. (a pretty bad leader, I should say. Over the course of 3 hours I managed to not run into any one of the 25 water points at the site).
But now we had finally clenched our thirst. C did so reluctantly, she kept looking inside her dark bottle and then accidentally tipping it too far and getting water all over her face.
This gave us the brain capacity for other experiences. We were looking at my whatsapp to see if there were messages from the group when C asked if the chat bubbles were moving. I had been aware of no such thing, but suddenly I saw it too. The chat screen was super 3D, like looking through VR glasses.
We were debating whether there had been an update of the app in the previous hours which would explain the 3D visuals. That seemed the most likely scenario and we were quite pleased with ourselves that we had figured out what had happened.
Just to make sure, we opened the Grab (Uber) app however, and that just blew our minds.
Everything in the app screen was moving. Cars were driving, fumes coming from their exhausts. Chicken wings were sizzling and the bubble tea was bubbling.
We had a long conversation trying to figure out if the icons in the Grab app had always been moving and it slowly started to dawn on us that we were hallucinating the shit out of things.
Basically: any detail that we would look at for more than two seconds became 3D and took on a life of its own. It was amazing. The colours were so vivid, everything looked pretty, and it was all 3D. 5D even.
At the same time we started to talk more and we were comparing our experiences.
Turned out we both kept seeing midgets and elfs and that everybody was like movie characters who kept moving in and out of our world. We had both lost the ability to see gender. Everybody had become androgynous – after years of trying not to focus on gender I had finally entered the post gender world. Felt pretty good.
We kept looking at passersby and would ask each other which gender they were and then laughing at them. Laughing laughing laughing.
Who knew LSD was this funny.
In the end we decided to go and look for food, to see if it tasted differently on acid. I also realised I was quite hungry by now. So we were walking past the many, many food stalls at the festival, and in true Thai style all of these shops had photos of their food displayed outside and we were tripping on all the photos.
Feeling in contact with nature as we were, we wanted something vegetarian (for a sustainable festival there were an awful lot of pork-stick-shops at Wonderfruit). We ended up at a veggie burger place and the two sweet Thai girls behind the counter handed us the menus. They had photos on them and C and me just went into complete tripping mode. We were just staaaaaaaring at these menus forever. Everything was 7D, the lettuce was speaking to us, tomatoes were flying through the sky.
The girls must have thought we were crazy, but eventually I managed to pull myself out of it and asked them to make us two of the best burger money could buy with whatever amount was remaining on our bracelets.
We sat down and proceeded to wait for about 187 minutes for them to finish the burger.
I mean, this was outrageous. What the fuck is wrong with these girls.
I was ready to throw my 26 dollar cup at them to make them work faster – clearly they were doing this on purpose – but C convinced me otherwise and suggested that maybe, just maybe it had been only 3 minutes since we ordered the burgers.
Eventually, in what felt like 2038 AD, they brought us the burgers.
They looked super delicious for about 1 second, and then a second later we just started completely tripping on this burger again. It was moving and growing in size rapidly.
We were kind of freaked out. There was just só much movement.
By now it had gotten too large to hold with just two hands and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to eat it.
I tried touching it, but shied away just before my finger reached it. I was giggling like crazy – mostly out of anxiousness for this giant burger, but also because the situation was just hilarious.
This lasted for a long time.
I managed to touch the burger with my index finger a few times, but for C even that was a step too far.
Eventually I gathered all my courage. I used my two hands to grab the burger, closed my eyes, and just went for it. Had I kept my eyes open I would have probably been scared away, but with my eyes closed I just opened my mouth wide and slammed the burger against my face trying to take as many bites as I could before I would lose the courage again.
This resulted in a complete warzone on the lower half of my face (at some point during the debacle with the burger I had managed to put large amounts of extra sauce on it). I felt like a mayonaise factory had done a shart on my face and I badly needed tissues. But the sun was coming up and I couldn’t bare facing the sweet girls from the burger shop, and they had control over the tissue box.
And just when I thought my life couldn’t get any more embarrassing we noticed the parasol
We spent about a generation tripping on this parasol, which was the most beautiful object we’ve ever seen.
The sun came up, at some point we were reunited with our friends. There was some dancing with all the freaks that were left at the festival and then I managed to find my tent and lay down for an hour.
I shower and recompose myself. Break down my tent (didn’t even try to get it into the tent-bag – there was no way) and made my way straight to the airport.
Suvarnhabhumi airport was in full on peak holiday season mode and it wasn’t pretty. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I still needed to print my visa letter to gain access to Myanmar and after a long quest over many different floors and past all the sex offenders saying their goodbyes to their rented boyfriends and girlfriends I finally found that the only place at the airport with a printing service was the tourist police station.
After a bit of hesitation I straightened my composure and casually walked in and asked for a print.
They asked me ‘colour or black & white?’
I told them black and white was fine.
They refused payment and I resisted the urge to hug the 17 policemen in the room.
PS. So all my Amsterdam idols have visited Yangon in the last month. Jennifer Hopelezz was over with his partner and we were having beers in Sanchaung. And Meneer Krul from Mezrab – another Amsterdam legend – was travelling around Myanmar and we did a storytelling workshop and performance in Yangon. It was a very special day that I should tell you more about in another blog.
J-Ho and Meneer Krul both came to the &PROUD office, and I was só proud to show them all the work we’re doing here.
PPS. WHY. DID. NOBODY. TELL. ME. IT. WOULD. BE. LIKE. THIS. BEFORE.
PPPS. Next stop is Yangon Pride. It’s going to be a crazy month and I’ll be working all through christmas. But it’s going to be great, I can feel it.
PPPPS. Don’t do drugs kids.
PPPPPS. Or I guess what I’m trying to say is: find acid. But use it wisely and educate yourself.
PPPPPPS. Reading this back, I guess what strikes me most is the amount of water that was at our disposal all night long.