I’ve been meaning to write this post for the past week or so, but each time I sit in front of my computer I suddenly loose all motivation and I end up watching another korean drama or vegan recipes videos. Since coming back from Malaysia and Myanmar, I haven’t been feeling my best, and if you’re following me on YouTube you’ll know that my social anxiety has been acting up, and that I haven’t been feeling my best. Especially after being back from the south where I could see my friends and family every day and now being lonely as f* in Paris.
I therefore spend a lot of my time indoor, being slightly nostalgic about my trip. There is one city I especially miss : Mandalay. I did love Yangon, and I did like every city, every place we visited during our trip to Myanmar, but Mandalay ended up being my favourite town. It’s not as dirty as Yangon, not as crowded, no big building or avenue, but many motorbikes, temples and pagodas. Also many many very friendly people. Unfortunately, it also turned out to be the city in which I heard the bad news about my grandmother having a stroke.
I remember it perfectly well. I was sitting on my bed, in the spacious hotel room, looking at the workers painting the building accross the street without any safety, on those fragile bamboo sticks when my friend told me I should call my mother. ” It’s odd she tried to contact you and that your sister left you a message. Maybe something has happened.”. I didn’t really take it seriously, after all what could have happened? Nobody, and especially not my grandmother came to mind. No one was sick, had any health issues and my grandmother wasn’t even drinking, driving or working. I had called her before flying from Paris and she was just fine. But when my sister answered my phone I suddenly felt very cold. She was crying and I still didn’t get it. Perhaps one of the cats? The dog? ” Grandma had an accident”. I felt colder and bloodless. My eyes laid on the edge of the bed and couldn’t move anymore. As informations came out of my sister’s mouth I tried to console her and hold back the tears. I could feel my friend staring at me, and I had to run to the bathroom after hanging up.
I believe no one is ever truly prepared for that sort of news. I really wasn’t. My grandmother had had her fair share of back luck, which makes the situation even more difficult to accept, but she was healthy. She isn’t even that old, she was active, she ate healthy too, she exercised more than me, she would write me texts everyday, call me on skype and always there for us. Why and how? Why mostly. But you don’t get answers to this. I still can’t really believe this is real. There is no harsher lesson in life than to loose, in a way or another, someone you love.
After this, I would cry randomly throughout the trip, have panic attacks at night, miss her and read the texts she sent me over and over again. I decided to go back to France to earlier, to feel closer to her, to be able to call my mom and because I couldn’t stand being alone. It was just odd to be enjoying the country, visiting beautiful places, smiling to people while my grandmother was struggling, battling death in the early stage. The people of Myanmar however, with their kindness and warmth made me feel a lot better. Going out and being talked to, cared for and laughing with strangers was soothing.
A few hours after learning about my grandmother, we decided to go out to see Mandalay hill. I had a terrible headache and felt dizzy from crying too much, and I have nothing positive to add. I can’t tell you it felt good to be out, nor that it made things alright or easier. Mandalay hill is a beautiful place, as I breathed in the cool air, looking down on the city I tried to send love and positive energy out there, hoping it would somehow reach my grandmother where she was. Hoping that faith and trust in God would make a difference. My grandmother didn’t die, she did woke up from the coma she was in. She recognizes us, but her right side is paralyzed and she cannot talk nor walk. Communication is very difficult, and her mind has been altered. It’s very painful and very difficult to deal with this situation. I am very much affected by it, but I want to be hopeful and support her.
This isn’t really travel related, as most of my posts on here and I wasn’t planning on writing at length about it… I guess I needed to share it with you. I know I’m not the only one in that situation, I know it’s not the worst situation and that many people have it way harder, and I cannot help but think that most people in Myanmar, living in villages and such would probably die after a stroke, not able to reach the hospital in time. Life’s a constant flux, a constant movement in which you put things in perspective and try to be a decent human being, you weigh your luck and your misfortune trying to balance it all and keep going. That’s what I’m trying to, and maybe what my grandmother is trying to do as well.