Back to School

A week has passed since I started attending my master degree in English course at YUFL. Among the 44 exam takers, 22 has passed the exam including 5 classmates from my Diploma in English course. I am glad to see them again, but I feel sad that none of my close friends are among them. Since our class is small, I’ve already become acquainted with some of the students. Even so, I still feel like I’m among a sea of people who each have someone else to talk to. This fact is more proven when I walk to the bus stop after school. I kept telling myself that I should really be used to this since this is not the first time for me.

My class is located on the fourth floor so everyday I have to climb the stairs, panting while attempting to make it on time. It’s far from the school canteen so I haven’t’ even been to the canteen ever since the first day. The school canteen has also changed so the waiting line is longer than before. I rarely exercise so I’m getting all the exercise by climbing the stairs and walking to Hledan. There are language labs on our building, but we have to go to another building twice a week instead. But, compared to Hall 1, our room Is way better as the room receives more sunlight than before.

There are only four subjects in our course, but that doesn’t mean my backpack is lighter. Most subjects require us to take at least two textbooks so carrying them with the exercise books, my shoulder is drooping as I walk. I am using the method of putting half of them into a plastic folder to lift the weights off my shoulder. Carrying a bag on my right shoulder while holding an umbrella in the right hand and the plastic folder and the lunch bag in the other hand, I am a mess compared to other students who walk as if their bags are light as feathers. I really envy them.

Well, the best thing about attending the MA course is that the first period starts at 10 o’clock so I don’t have to get up early. I only have to leave the house around 9 o’clock and wait for the bus. Of course, when it rains, I would have to leave home earlier to ride the bus to the No.107 bus gate in Kyaikkasan, and then changed bus to ride to school. It wastes a lot of my time, but I’ll be able to get a seat since nobody is willing to offer me any seat when it’s raining. You see, 107 bus is unlike your typical bus, It is a public car (a type of car) which has two wooden seats in the back, seating 6 people on each sides. There are usually five or six small plastic chairs or overturned plastic battery covers for the passengers to sit in the middle row. The bus conductor hangs outside the iron hinges of the car along with several men who had only a wooden plank to rest as they hang on the bus.

Personally, I used to think that such kind of thrill riding is dangerous, but in the end I have to resort to the same technique when I couldn’t get a seat. I could only pray for the passengers to get off on the next bus stop or some helpful guy would get up to offer me his seat. When I was attending the diploma course, life was much simpler because I can get on the 42 BM bus or walk a few minutes to the No.3 bus gate. Now, the 42 buses have moved on another line and the 3 bus gate has moved to Baeli Bridge. I have no choice, but to rely on 107 whenever I want to go to Hledan. The bus is only crowded in the mornings and evenings, but it’s mostly empty in the afternoons. That’s why the other buses moved to different lines or went by different roads. I don’t only have difficulties in the mornings. Every weekday, I have to walk to Hledan or Kayung Shae bus stop because the 107 bus is always full when it arrived at Kyaung Lan bus stop. I used to be able to get home immediately after school, but now I always arrived an hour after school hours.

Another best thing is that we get to leave early on Fridays after 2:20 since there’s no classes scheduled afterward. During the school hours, we are confined inside the university and we have to seek permission slips to leave early.

Staring this Friday, I will be wearing my uniform. Ladies from the M.A class are obliged to wear the blue longyis with a black line around the ankle lengths on Mondays and Fridays. For the blouses or shirts, most ladies wear white or baby blue colors. My mother had to go to Yangon University to buy the longyis because it’s the only place when the longyis are sold at their original prices, Kyat 2800 per longyi. At other markets, the prices are higher while the fabric and the black line patterns are different from the original. As for now, I’ll wear my uniform longyis with my old blue shirt uniform from my previous jobs. I don’t like the shirts, but I’ll have them refitted in time. I want to have some bloused tailored made with beautiful handmade sequin designs, but I would have to wait a while to buy the fabric and see the tailor.

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