Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Day 287 - Bago (No repeal)

What would I give to be out of this place?

Things change by the day at the moment, hardly surprising. Myakto arrived last night, we have been meeting a couple of times a day, but it is risky for him as he is being watched by the authorities. He showed me a letter from the International Red Cross that I had asked to see that comfirmed his imprisonment for 6 years as a political prisoner. Myakto is the one person I feel I can trust in all of this as he provides evidence when I ask for it and when I have asked him to find out legal information it has always been the same answers as I have had from the embassy. He also had bad news for me, that if I repeal the 2 men will remain in prison under investigation as crimes against foreigners are taken seriously, probably because the Police have more leverage for bribery and corruption. He also told me that Kyeemaung had told him this on the way in. That pissed me off as I had asked Kyeemaung, the Night Manager here, to keep me informed, so I asked him to come in on the discussion, though he couldn't say much more about it. He is still trying to convince me that the theft was carried out by 2 men from room 309 who checked in at 13:30 and mysteriously departed at 17:30. I asked if he had evidence of this and he showed me the hotel register and sure enough for 2nd March 2 names were the first in the book and in room 309, then they were crossed out. My name was 8th on the list. I asked if they were added sequentially as people arrived, he said they were. In that case I told him, they left before I arrived as whilst they are listed as 1 & 2 and crossed out, the next entries start again from 1, not from 3 as you might expect. Something not quite right there in my opinion. He then also told me that the hotel owner who lives in Yangon is concerned that I am still there and as yet have not paid anything. I told him I had no intention of paying anything as the only reason I was still there is because my money has been stolen from the hotel, probably by a member of staff.

Today I asked Kyeemaung if I could change $20, I still have 60 thankfully, but he said they had no Kyat and proceeded to show me the till with less than 50p worth in there. Great, a hotel with no money, probably because they don't keep it there as the staff nick it! I managed to change some at a teashop over the road. I made another call from the hotel to the embassy in Yangon as I have now written off any chance of getting any money back and need to get some sent to the embassy. When I got off the phone he said I needed to pay for the calls to Yangon at 1000 Kyat each, well overpriced I am sure as you can get there by bus for 900. I once again told him I was not paying for anything whilst I am at this hotel and that I am not making phone calls for fun. He insisted the owner wanted me to pay, but I said I will not be and he would have to call the police. He then told me he would have to pay out of his own pocket. I suspect my room and phone calls have already been written off and any money I give him will go straight into his pocket.

So now I have to sit and wait and hope the money arrives before the weekend as I just want to be out of this place as soon as possible. As things stand I will not repeal as I think the police have arrested the most likely person, though I still really feel for them both especially Sawtun, who I suspect is innocent. He was arrested as he was the manager and had overall responsibilty at the time. I was a fool to leave my money in the room, over time I think I have become a bit complacent and too trustworthy of people, but I think Sawtun is a fool to let motorcycle taxi riders to have access to the keys of the hotel. I still feel that the vast majority of people in this world are good people, but just now I can trust nobody and I feel corruption is rife here.

Surprisingly I still feel pretty good in myself. I am annoyed with myself for my actions and that emotion is stronger than I feel for the loss of money. I have plenty of time to think things over, probably too much. I am sure that once I am on the move again I will get over this pretty quickly, though I am dreading carry so much cash around with me everywhere, I will probably get mugged instead.

Thanks for your comments and emails of support, they are greatly appreciated at this time, I can assure you.

1 comment:

Caff said...

Had intended to send you a longer email with other words of comfort, wisdom etc but cannot get logged onto my email system today, so I will try again tomorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with you. My Hindu and Islamic friends are also praying for you. May God be with you. :-)