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Yangon River Tales

Updated on July 16, 2011
THE MAP OF BURMA (now MYANMAR or UNION of MYANMAR)
THE MAP OF BURMA (now MYANMAR or UNION of MYANMAR)
BUDDHIST TEMPLES
BUDDHIST TEMPLES
A YOUNG GIRL AFTER THE TROPICAL CYCLONE THAT DEVASTATED MYANMAR in 2007
A YOUNG GIRL AFTER THE TROPICAL CYCLONE THAT DEVASTATED MYANMAR in 2007
MYANMAR GIRLS WORKING AS GUEST RELATIONS OFFICERS (GRO)
MYANMAR GIRLS WORKING AS GUEST RELATIONS OFFICERS (GRO)
SUPPORTERS (From Monks to Ordinary Citizens) of HOUSE ARReSTED LADY PRESIDENT AUNG SAN SUU KYI
SUPPORTERS (From Monks to Ordinary Citizens) of HOUSE ARReSTED LADY PRESIDENT AUNG SAN SUU KYI

Where a river meets the sea

Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) River in Myanmar (otherwise called as Burma) have many woven tales that are waiting to be heard. The military rule literally killed the tourism industry in the country. The house arrest of former lady president Aung San Suu Kyi enraged her followers and supporters and caused the disarray and apathy of the public. The displacement caused by military junta crowded the river with boat people seeking temporary comfort onboard commercial vessels. Most Burmese women nowadays are engaging in sex trade and the prospective customers are usually sailors.(Please buy the book about Myanmar (Burma) at Amazon.)

Flashback

The April of 2001 saw our ship anchored to the delta formation at the mouth of Yangon river. More than ten members of customs and marine authorities of the military junta of Myanmar (now the union of Myanmar) boarded our panamax-type of tanker vessel (more than 39,000 gross tonnage deadweight). After signing important papers, some proceeded to the provision room and got some items ranging from meat to dairy products like milk and cheese). Their backpacks were full when they left the ship.

We were about to load bunker fuel from their port but were not allowed to go ashore. Instead Myanmar girls boarded our vessel for ten days. Different stories of their lives were retold in a staccato English and how they thrive as boat people embarking from ship to ship.

Boat People

Military rule displaced many innocent people in Myanmar, especially those who support their lady president all the way.

Our captain gave us the go signal to have a girl partner for the next ten days. I didn’t want to because I was afraid to contract a STD (sexually transmitted disease), but he persuaded me to have one. He had chosen the most beautiful from them, but, my co-Filipino sailors like the girl that captain gave me. Well, as a good subordinate, I said to the girl to go with my friend who has more money to spend for rest of their stay. I had to settle to other girl who’s more matured than me. My captain explained that those scenes were typical to all seafarers. It’s up to me to control my urge whenever women lure sailors to indulge in paid sex.’

True to captain’s advise, I nearly had an STD when the condom failed to fit in my organ because my girl immediately inserted my organ to hers’. The good thing was it resulted only to UTI (urinary tract infection) Girls are more prone to UTI than boys. Other sailors who didn’t use protection contracted STD, like syphilis because others have already the virus in their bodies. They explained that once you use a girl with an infection, like HPV (human papilloma virus) it will trigger your old disease to come out.

Sex encounters lasted only for three days. Even the garbage of our captain had many used condoms, relayed by our steward. Next days were spent by girls helping chores in the galley, doing karaoke and having night cap at the ship’s saloon.

You will pity these Myanmar girls because they’re not brave enough to raise their voices for the change they’re wishing for their government system. They have to stay in the waters of Yangon in order to be safe, for a while.

My new woman-friend told me that she lost her husband during the attacks of military men in their village. She had nowhere else to run because his only child (a boy) was captured by those abusive men. She had to save money as much as she can in order to escape (again) the brothel she’d been in. Their mama-san or pimp (an old lady) always get all their money. She cannot even buy new undies, showing her worn out ones to me.

I told her that what they’re experiencing also happened in my country, Philippines. Many activists were put into jail and oftentimes kill or declared missing during the time of Marcos regime. I consoled her that hope is as near as the rays of the sun. As long as the day still exists, it will replace the darkest nights in their lives.

Note: One Filipino oiler suffered a ruptured appendics during our stay in Myanmar. He had to be operated in the local hospital for appendectomy. Although, medical practitioners said that they lack modern medical equipment, they tried their best to give comfort to their newfound patient at bay.


Senator Wins Release of US Prisoner in Myanmar by Associated Press

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    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thanks, Sir hafeezrm!

      Now that the lady president is already catapulted to power again, I am sure, Myanmar will open its door to the world.

      Our ship was never been there. It's just an intermission to our regular contract to Japan.

      Yes, the management also allow special passengers, as long as they have proper documents, passport and all.

      Sure, Sir! Why not make it a week? I'm sure we'll find entertainer for you (LOL!)

    • hafeezrm profile image

      hafeezrm 

      7 years ago from Pakistan

      Nice hub, frank and candid. I had been to Myanmar in 2010 but hardly saw any girl approaching me. Dig and you would find but I am a chicken-hearted.

      Since I kept moving, I did not have an intensive view of the society. On the whole, I found people very honest and peaceful and that relieved me from a stress which is inescapable for any one walking in the streets on an unknown place.

      Where next are you anchoring? Is it possible to join your ship just for two days (not three). Lol

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thanks, twobmad. I really respect your people; those who went on board our vessel while were there at Yangon River.Yes, we have similar culture and the close-knit relations among family and friends. We value friendship so much.

    • twobmad profile image

      Ruatte 

      7 years ago from Myanmar(Burma)

      @thesailor... I like what you said "no difference between my country and yours". It is evidently true. Similar cultures as well as looking alike. I have never been thought out as if I am a Burmese in the Philippines unless I tell them about my nationality. Maraming Salamat po!

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      Thanks, twobmad. There's no difference between my country and yours; things are getting better these days in your country since the release of your Lady President Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.

    • twobmad profile image

      Ruatte 

      7 years ago from Myanmar(Burma)

      Nice hub.@ thesailor. Keep on writing about my country. I am also as my best discovering things which are good in Burma. Whatever it is, I still love my country.That is where I was born.

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      8 years ago from Seven Seas

      Good for you, hafeezrm. My experience dated back April, 2001 when these boat people frequent commercial ships for quick sex in exchange of money and others sell local goods.

    • hafeezrm profile image

      hafeezrm 

      8 years ago from Pakistan

      I traveled for about 15 days in Myanmar. It was totally safe country and people were very honest and friendly. Once I got a bundle of money and was hesitant to leave the money-changer. He assured me that no one would bother me. Thereafter, I never had any fear in walking in the market with fist full of currency notes.

      On the other hand, my experience in Vietnam was not good.

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      8 years ago from Seven Seas

      Babyching, it's nice having you here in my site. Hope to hear more of you through your nice hubs. I'm your fan now.

    • thesailor profile imageAUTHOR

      thesailor 

      8 years ago from Seven Seas

      I hope so, travel_man1971. Let's pray that sufferings of Myanmar people will be over, soon.

    • babyching profile image

      babyching 

      8 years ago from Beijing, China

      Great hub. I didn't know much about the country before, but I would like to visit there someday if the conflicts settle down.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I hope democracy to be restored in Myanmar soon. People had suffered enough under the military rule for the past decades. They should enjoy what is the essence of freedom by conducting a presidential elections this year 2010. Many nations who are freedom-loving are closely watching Myanmar's situation.

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