Sometimes while traveling you will meet with special souls. People with extraordinary inspirational stories, that need to be shared with the world. Since I love to spread positive messages, I am very happy to share this one with you all.
A meeting with Mr. Books from Hsipaw
I am in Hsipaw right now. A small village in the Northern Shan state of Myanmar. It is 11 O clock in the morning and the sun is shining bright against our big foreheads. I’ve got sweat dripping in my eyeballs already. All of the sudden we come up with the greatest plan ever: rent a bicycle. A typical touristy thing to do: be active while it is the hottest time of the day. Oh hell, we just go for it. Time for a meeting with Mr. Books. When we arrive at his little bookshop all we see is one big organised chaos. A lot of political photos are hanging proudly on the walls. I’ve learned not to talk about politics in Myanmar, since the army is still oppressing the people, so this surprised me.
We take a look in the store and almost decide to leave. I am a little bit bummed out because I really want to talk to the man behind the books. I don’t really know what is up with me right now, I’m shy. I have to find the right moment to talk to him.
All of the sudden Mr Book came out of his chair with his huge Samsung telephone in his hands. He points out to my travelbuddy Adam. No wonder since Addy is a extraordinary phenomenon with his length. Mr Books is amazed by his appearance and wants to take a photo with him.
So you get all these books from tourists? I also saw a couple of dutch books lying around?
Mr Books: “Yes I’ve got many books from people from all over the world. With this books I earn money. I donate all the money to poor Shan Villages around Hsipaw. I buy food and school materials for example. my daughters are teachers. In about three weeks, when Ramadan is finished I will bring the supplies.”
On the background we hear Buddhist reciting special scriptures. Mr. Book mutters, but keeps on laughing. “I can’t really sleep at night this will go on for 5 days. I wonder if they actually know what they are saying.
I buy 4 postcards and tell him he can donate the rest of the money to the children. He rejects; I have enough to give right now.
We say goodbye to Mr. Books in Hsipaw. The day has just began, but I am very inspired by this special man. You can change the world if you want to. It’s the act of giving that makes our lives worth while.