thus far during my time in london i have been repeatedly struck by my vast amount of good fortune. this is not to say that i have not worked to get where i am, as i certainly feel that i have earned this situation, but the luxuries that comprise my current life certainly have not gone unnoticed and unappreciated. i am surrounded by friends and colleagues with whom i am able to share thoughts, experiences and feelings. i suppose this luxury is difficult to appreciate unless you have been without it for longer periods of time. i can now call family on a whim, i have internet 24 hours a day (if i so wish), i can communicate with anyone i wish and i am now just a regular person, not a spectacle or the subject of relentless staring, whispering and joking. i am incredibly fortunate to reside in a lovely home with heat and free of vermin and other pests. i even have quite a nice view (though i doubt i will ever have such a view as was mine in mindat). good conversation, an endless variety of food and drink, and transport to anywhere in the world are all at my doorstep. i can buy good chocolate. i can eat a fresh salad every day. i can ride my bike anywhere i like without telling anyone. i can go anywhere i like without telling anyone (though with CCTV i can still be assured that my movements are recorded). quality books, art, theatre and music are making a reappearance in my life. i am myself again.
but i do miss myanmar. i miss my friends and colleagues who taught me what it is to be strong and what reality often means under the surface. i miss the fresh air and the stifling humidity. i miss the values that permeate everyday lives that seem to be so far from everyday life here in london. life just 'is' in myanmar. it's not simple or easy, but it is life and everyone is in touch with what that means. i know that i have experienced a myanmar that is rarely seen or heard, and this is the side of it that i miss the most.
i am grateful to be enjoying my current incarnation here in london and look forward to reconnecting with the golden land soon enough. i know that myanmar will remain a part of my personal and academic life though all the ebbs and flows that are to come my way.