I met this lovely man in Mawlaik. In his (probably) 80s, U Thant Zin still found passion for sharing. He was a retired teacher and felt kind of isolated in the small town. I hardly found there anybody else who could easily communicate in English. And U Thant Zin was a very curious and stories hungry man. He loved listening to what is going on in the world, outside of Myanmar. I was the first pole he met, so learning about my country was something really new to him. He found a few similarities about the history of our countries as well.
Why is U Thant Zin still in my mind?
It was just a week ago that the richest Polish man died. He was 65. He just had a ming surgery nobody could expect one might die as a result of. It was a very reflective day for me. Somehow my mind and thoughts wander to Asia and U Thant Zin. Probbaly by contrast as – as I can imagine – Jan Kulczyk was pretty busy with his life and occupied in making best out of where he was. U Thant Zin, as Myanmar in 2013 when I met him, was still ‘a slow motion country’, had time for himself and he loved sharing it with people.
His main focus, beside tourists, who were his window to the world, were children. His energy didn’t let him retire. He wanted to be active and share as much if himself with other as possible. He had an open house. No possesions didn’t make him take too much care of it. He arranged a simple classroom in the house. He didn’t make arrangements with his pupils. They were always welcome and could rely on his English language knowledge and his life wisdom.
We went once biking. He expected children to come to him at 3 pm. We didn’t manage on time. There was a letter though saying that they were waiting for him and would come the day after. There was so much charm in it.
…I miss time when sent letters, met more often and paid unarranged visits.