Koom-Sa: Palaung for ‘hello’
My-Son-Ka: Shan for ‘hello’
After spewing out my guts and all the rest from the night before I was finally ready to eat something but devoid of green: roasted, oily peanuts, egg omelet, and rice. After we exited the perimeter of the village Kate called it quits as her illness had gotten to be too much. After Tun Tun arranged a motorcycle to ride her back to Hsipaw, we continued on through more barren land that is not worthy of lofty description. During one particular break we tried to figure out the business of Buddhism, more specifically what came before Buddha. Sure, Buddhists live their lives in pursuit of gaining favor and merit through their deeds and worship but what came before their prophet; how do they see the world in its creation. We never quite got a legitimate answer from Tun Tun but it is still a fascinating question that I would love to discover. After three hours of trekking we reached another Shan village for bowls of Shan noodles before a motorcycle tuk-tuk took us back to town. After all the time in the wilderness amongst the dust and ash, I was quite dirty and might as well had a cloud hovering around me like the kid from the Charlie Brown cartoons. The shower was a blissful relief but ended with a muddy pool of water on the floor before getting washed away. After that refreshment, I needed a refresher of another kind. I joined the Italian woman and Max from fruit shakes at the apparently famous Mr. Shake. For a buck a piece, I had a strawberry, coconut, banana, and pineapple shake and then an avocado, banana, and lemon shake. The avocado shake was to die for, an absolute necessity in my kitchen once I get my hands on some good avocados. After a nap in the dorm room, I booked a cheap 5:30 am bus out of Hsipaw to Mandalay. Why would I buy such an absurdly early bus ticket you might ask? First, it was by far the cheapest one available; secondly, it allowed to me to not have to walk all the way to the bus station. More so than anything else, the price usually wins out (I have become that thrifty, more necessity than genuine desire since who chooses to be a cheapskate without a higher purpose). After the ticket had been purchased I headed across the street to the stadium to watch some football as I was too tired to play. Later on I met again with Adam and Max for a chat on the balcony before going to sleep. Hopefully I will see them again as they were joy to trek with, mostly due to the absurdly random and sometimes obscene conversations we had while on the old dusty road.