A move in the right direction, and to Yangon, Myanmar
Now, this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the princess of a town called Yangon…
Don’t you just love the Fresh Prince? This song just came to me when I was wondering how to start off this post. It reflects my mood at this moment… 😀
You may have noticed my absence of blog posts in recent months, and having promised to keep up with it I’ve not done so well! I have really good excuses though!
Since I took a career break in September 2014, I’ve been travelling and then working to save up for more travelling! I started off waitressing full time in my aunt’s Cantonese restaurant in the Peak District, then I took on some casual freelance work with Cracking Good Food. When I no longer needed to work full time at the restaurant, I carried on working weekends then took on a temporary office admin role. This meant that for a couple of months I was working 6 or 7 days a week and rushing from one job to another. It was all worth it though, for these reasons:
- I discovered that I much prefer working in the hospitality industry than in a 9-5 office job
- I reconnected with people around me, work was social. Watching people enjoy a meal and socialise with friends and family was a joy!
- I was more active and felt like I had so much more energy and control over my own life
Now 6 months into my career break, I’m inching closer to realising what the next step is. I’ve moved to Yangon in Myanmar (Burma) to volunteer for a couple of months with a Burmese cooking school and travel around some new areas of South East Asia.
It’s been a bit of a trial for me to get to Yangon, despite booking my flight months in advance, I forgot to apply for my visa! This meant re-booking the flights and wasting a lot of money and time all because of my absent mindedness… you live and learn! 🙂
Now that I’m here, I know it was the right step to take. I feel at home here, even though I’ve hardly spent any time in this country. I found it hard to put into words why it felt so natural to be in Myanmar. Then I met a Scottish guy, Don, who knew exactly how I felt. This is how he explained it…
Most people in Myanmar are migrants. The country is made up of many ethnic minority groups, so nobody really belongs here… everyone is starting from the same position! Tom’s words helped me to put my own feelings into context and I finally understood why it was so easy to while away the hours in this beautiful country!
As a second generation British born Chinese person, I’ve never really felt that I belonged in the UK. Nor did I feel that Hong Kong was my home. The world is such a huge place that I have no idea where it is I belong, but seeing as much of it as possible may lead me in the right direction.
I’ve only been in the country for a few days and already have met a lot of new people through my work and through a ‘Yangon Foodies’ Facebook group. It’s amazing how the expat community come together and freely welcome new arrivals so easily. I guess its because everyone is away from their own families and creating seeking out a new community to ‘survive’ in.
One way I’m planning on bringing a little piece of Britain to Yangon is to set up a new Clandestine Cake Club right here in Yangon! I’ve been part of this cake club back home for a while, getting to meet ups when I can. It just seemed wuite natual that I would start a club up in Yangon so I can continue to eat a lot of cake but also share the love of cake with the lovely people of Myanmar! #bringingcommunitiestogetherthroughfood
So this is the start of a new chapter in my life. Hopefully I’ll get some answers to my currently unknown questions… and maybe I’ll finish this post before the battery on my laptop runs out. The frequent power cuts are not fun!