“The Visitors” and A Vistior in NYC

As I would like to attend a media conference in New York, my spring break, which already seems quite short, ended up two days shorter. I wrapped things up to take my trip to NYC. Having a hard time during each of my previous trips, I have a terrific feeling to visit New York City again. I always run into troubles there – in some way – it was not because my luggage was heavy and wheels got broken, but because of heavy rains flooded on subway lines, subway schedule changes, I ended up taking several wrong trains, or my friend I would stay with was late to come back from her vacation, me ending up waiting outside in the snow or rain, and so on. After making sure to make my trip smooth and to ease my stay there; in terms of finance, contacts, and light luggage, I left for NYC this morning. After taking five and a half hour train ride, I arrived at New York’s Penn Station safely.

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However, I still had some concerns, but I did not even know for what I was having.

As soon as I got off the train, I encountered what I was concerning for. I forgot to bring an umbrella again, and as usual, New York was welcoming me with a heavy rain.

But this time, I was fortunate, C train, I was supposed to take, stops at the Penn Station too. After walking around in that such huge complex building up and down, I found the C subway station. After waiting for a good half an hour, every train came but not C trains. I made sure with other people who are standing next to me if C trains actually stopped at the station, even though I clearly read the station’s sign, C trains stop here. They responded that they are also waiting for C train.

After several more trains arrived, we still could not see any trains with the letter, ‘C’. And since the weather was not good and it was my first time to Brooklyn, I could not wait longer and needed to figure it out where those C trains had been gone.

I checked the subway map again. And at a corner of the station, I saw a six-inch paper which reads “In order to upgrade the stations, ‘C’ trains will not be operated during this weekend.” Gosh, AGAIN. But hold on, my luck was still with me. I can take ‘A’ trains instead. The ‘A’ trains stopped there too.

Finally, I arrived at my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn in the rain. And while watching the movie, ‘the Visitors’ on my friend’s computer, the movie was about the painful inhumanity of the U.S. post 9/11 immigration policies and security measures, faced by an unmarried Syrian Muslim couple staying illegally in New York, and finally ended up the guy being deported back to his country without getting any notice in advance. As the movie was streamed from Netflix over the internet, the internet connection got slow and the movie was interrupted very often but it did not bother me a bit because I am writing this post at the same time.

Actually, unlike many people in the world, I saw New York as a very depressing city, since the first day I was there about three years ago. One reason possibly I can think of why is, during those days, I was staying at one of my Burmese friends’ house (I usually visit her during my school breaks). I enjoy visiting there – eating Burmese foods, enjoying Burmese music and movies, and talking in Burmese for the whole time. It is the fun side of my experience in New York. The other side which is really annoying me is the visits of renowned Burmese activists/ politicians living in New York. While holding their beer mugs, they were toasting “for the long-live revolution” during their Friday evening visits.

However, they lived by the status quo of once acclaimed politicians back in Burma, and now exiled leaders. They were very sensitive to any criticism against their campaigns, and their followers usually response to any critics aggressively, but I found myself really hard to keep my mouth shut. Being me as a guest in the house– even though I was deadly annoyed by their hypocrisy I could not be openly irrigated to them.

I was saying loud in my mind, “Start do something. Your proclaimed long-live revolution has already been killing people over there.”

I feel depressed in New York seeing them– while thinking about the people back in home who still holding high expectation in them and as well for the future of my country – there is no way we can go well under the leadership of these half-baked hypocrites to fight against mighty, abusive, repressive military regime.

There is also another reason I feel depressed in New York –sharing the hardship of many migrant Burmese, faced at their jobs.

However, at least, out of the movie, the Visitors, I can find some positive aspects – there are many people out there who have to go along with worse situations. And at least and at last, exploring life and finding meaning in a challenging world itself is a beauty, isn’t it?

From now on, (If I can keep that in my mind), I think, whenever I visit New York again or anywhere else, nothing might not disturb to enjoy challenges/differences in New York as much as I do enjoy variety of Asian foods available in New York.

(In my next blogs, I will write about my experience at the convention and presentation session there. If the hotel has free internet service, and if my computer also works, I will try to post them on daily basic.)

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About Wai Phyo Myint

Wai Phyo Myint is a senior at Green Mountain College, majoring in Political Journalism. She is now in Cambodia doing her senior studies and volunteering as an Communications/Advocacy strategy intern with International Labour Organiations in Phnom Penh.
This entry was posted in Blog posts, Burma/Myanmar, Global Issues, Movie Reivew, Trip and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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