Isle of Man part 1

Past two weeks has been overwhelming with preparation, traveling and coping with new environment.

For readers who don’t follow me before, I migrated to Malaysia from Burma in 2004 and decided to come back to Myanmar in 2016. It was really a painful decision as I really like Malaysia and already have many friends there. I settled in a cozy house which is owned by a lovely extended family and they looked after me like a real family member. The house I rented was only 15 minutes walk from a beautiful warm beach with a forest nearby. I had everything I need there. However, I had to move back as a hospital owner offered me a job in Myanmar where I bought a new flat. The move had lots of tears and regrets as I didn’t enjoy working back in Burma at all because of very unfavorable working environment and a totally different system. I was misunderstood by a lot of local doctors for doing different things.  So I applied for a job in UK and I got a job in Isle of Man. I had never thought that I would need to move to another place after only a year of a major move.  Moving from one place to another place is exhausting even in the same country, you can imagine moving from one continent to another continent.

I have mixed feeling of excitement about the new place and anxiety to face difficulties. I was born in a tropical country, Burma and lived in the same place for twenty nine years. I moved out to my second home in Kuantan , Malaysia at the age of 29 and learned new language and new working environment. It was love at first sight with Malaysia.I always told my junior colleagues that I only had 500 USD in my pocket when I migrated. I was naive, never been to any other countries and decided to leave my country with a luggage and a good attitude. Without my uncle’s help, it might had been a nightmare to start a new life with very little money in hand. But I was well accepted by warm Malaysian people and integrated into their culture easily. I can still say the quote that ” there is no place like Malaysia”. I left Malaysia as I know there are more local doctors every year and we would have less job market in the future as expats. And it was really difficult to leave after 12 years as I love beaches and wild life in Kuantan.

Anyhow I found a place in England which might suit my taste for nature. So, I finally am ready to work at an island owned by Queen Elizabeth. My cousin booked for me business class flight to fly from London to Isle of Man . But when I got on the plane, I realized the plane was a small one and managed by only one flight attendant. There was not even overhead luggage space. So, I shoved my hand carry under my seat and after less than one hour, the plane landed at airport. It was also a small airport and no security check. Mind you, the island is one of the safest place in the world.  You can walk on the street at night and nobody would bother you. At airport, people were a bit curious as I was the only Asian among arrival. I asked an airport staff where the taxi stand was. He said there was only one gate and I needed to get out and stand at exit / entrance to wait the taxis which usually pass by. Luckily,  my friend came and pick me up. I was smitten by the calmness of island. The weather is wet, windy and cloudy. There are lots of mountains.

The next day, the weather was clear with blue sky. I observed mountains where the sheep graze. I walked near the bushes with the aim of picking up berries. Suddenly the bushes shook violently and big rabbits jumped out of bushes. I was in awe.

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Then when I was eating at a cafe, I heard the noises of big sea gulls. Although I am fond of them, I have a feeling that they can easily snatch food from your hands.

It was 12 C even in late summer. Last weekend, I braced myself to walk at the beach and observed some plants tangling at the beach. The water was icy cool and could not imagine to swim.

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There was a tram carried by a horse at the seaside and the horses not allowed to work in other seasons apart from summer. The health of horses are well looked after and when they get sick, the tram business close down until they become well.

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I have not been in other parts of islands where Vikings lived ten thousand years ago. Some legend said the island is linked to dragons. And I keep on imagining these legends in my mind.

Two days ago, I walked across the quiet roads and I felt very strong feeling of connection to the trees. I could sense they talk to each other ” look, there is a new person in this island. Lets greet her”. I also felt they were sharing information to each other. I had the strong sense of being watched and I could feel I am so liked by them and suddenly I became quite flirtatious. My my. I know I am crazy. So, I literally stopped walking, looked up at the trees and said aloud ” thank you for liking me”. No wonder Alice in Wonder Land might have felt the same thing

This morning, I was rushing and saw an elderly lady standing outside the building. I smiled at her and asked her whether she was alright. The weather was cool and it was drizzling. She smiled and said ” oh, I am enjoying. After a few days, fall is coming and we won’t be able to stand outside like that”. She continued ” I was born in island and still like this place after sixty years. Some people like it but they also hate the island for being too remote. It seems there is no mid way. But when I go to London, I cannot see beautiful stars and sky like here”.

Although I was in rush, I stood still beside her and enjoyed her definition of good weather, shivering. I looked up and saw the trees were shaking off leaves.  At least, I am glad some people feel the same like me.

I will write more about island. Thanks for reading.

Hninn

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My conversation with the London taxi driver

I think London is a place where you can see many friendly taxi drivers who are driving nice cars. They also try to talk to you during your trip as they are curious to know about other people.

 

I am a budget traveller and usually, I avoid private transport to save money except I need to carry lots of luggages. This morning, I am supposed to fly somewhere from London and I have two luggages with me, each nearly 30 kg.

So, my cousin arranged a taxi in advance. He arrived in time, but not so happy when he saw three luggages. I asked him whether he can give me receipt so that I can claim back. He said he has no idea about that. So, I called his office and he refused to talk to office as he was driving. It was a reasonable excuse but I could see he was upset for me having three luggages. I talked to my friend and she assured me that information about luggage was given to the office. The driver insisted that the office did not convey the message. Anyway, the small luggage was with me in the car and there was not a big issue.

To break the ice, I just said I am sorry and will keep in mind about number of luggage so that I can aware I need a bigger car with more than two luggage. He suddenly realized he was behaving not so nice and said ” its ok”.

 

May be I can guess people. He doe not sound like a bad person, he just seem disturbed. His thick accent gives me the fact that he is from Middle East. I was afraid he would ask me origin. So, I just said I am from Asia and not familiar with rules of taxi in London. He quickly replied with happier tone that  “Oh, you are from Asia? I am also from Asia and I am from Iraq”. I was bewildered and asked back ” are you sure? I thought its from Middle East”. He then said ” Middle East but it also near to Asia”. So, I told him about my previous boss who is a very gentle physician. We used to think Males in Middle East dorminate Females unless you have seen my ex boss. He is such a darling and totally under the spell of his wife. He even told me he wants to buy Burmese Ruby for his wife. I complimented that Iraq is such a rich and beautiful country. A few years ago, I had met some Iraq cardiologists and they showed me pictures of Iraq which are green, mountainous and beautiful.

 

After my compliment about his country, his expression changed. He became melancholic and wailed that ” but you know our oil has been stolen all the time”. He then asked me ” do you know who are Daesh?”. I said ” you mean ISIS?”. He nodded and asked me ” do you know who created them?” He answered his question himself and said ” its created by Americans and Israel”. After a pause, I told him ” but the ISIS fighters are not American nor Israel”.He said ” oh yes, but they are controlled by Americans who follow Israel. You know people are stupid sometimes whatever religion are and these people join ISIS. Israel has to do unstable environment near his country so that Arab will not bother fighting for Palestine. But you know we are not giving up. Do you know what happened to Palestine right?'”

I told him I know a bit about Palestine struggle and how their land is confesticated by Israel. I assured him a lot of people now know that Palestinians are suffering. I told him some Jews do not like what Israel is doing to Palestine. He said.” oh. I know . Not all Israeli agree with their government. but remember the biggest terrorists in the world are Americans and so are the Saudi Arabia. Do you know why US and Saudi flocked together. Its because both are terrorists. Big terrorists”.

Suddenly I kind of agree with him and we both started to laugh . He said how Bush has planned to get into Iraq by planning on 9/11 . Previously, his plan to invade Iraq was not agreeded until the twin tower event.

 

He said ” do you think US care about Sadam Hussein and Iraq people? no. they don’t. They only care about oil and for that, they destroyed our country. We all know that. But our government cannot do anything now. I know Sadam Hussein is a prick. But he would never involve in terrorism.He was just a foolish dictator”.

 

My driver told me he came to London 20 years ago. Before that, he was a wealthy successful business man in Iraq. His extended family remain in Iraq. I told him that one day, I wana visit Iraq. He assured me there is not even a gunshot in common areas and I am safe to go there. I can  hear his pride in his motherland and willingness to invite foreigners to Iraq. At the end of journey, he was wishing me well for my flight and smiling.

 

I thanked him for the lovely ride and he helped me with my luggage. I should have asked his name . I hope that one day, his pain about his country will be healed and so will be mine.

I just wish because’right now, I am still feeling the pain.

Hninn