The Spiritual Economist

Date and location of meeting: December 2015, Yangon, Myanmar

What I wore: New Balance black dri-lite t-shirt, black Nike shorts, black Nike feather lite visor, Slazenger trainers

What he wore: White t-shirt, metal chain, shorts, oversized frames

I matched with the Spiritual Economist a few days into my Myanmar trip and seeing as he was staying at a hotel only 3kms away, we quickly made plans to meet up the following day. Originally we had intended to go for a run together around Inya Lake, but I woke up too late so we instead decided to have breakfast together.

I had matched with the Spiritual Economist not looking for a hook-up, but based purely on wanting some company in Myanmar other than my parents and parents’ friends. That day, I walked to Hotel Yankin where Spiritual Economist was staying and met him in the lobby. I found him chatting to an American couple and inviting them to dinner with him that night, which I found admirable. We greeted each other like friends and went to nearby coffee shop and ordered tea. We made a little bit of introductory small talk first as we hadn’t really done this through text.

Spiritual Economist was 28, lived on the Gold Coast but was originally from New Zealand. His accent sounded more Australian than anything, with a slight American twist on the way he pronounced his ‘r’s. He was blonde, with blue eyes and looked about 5”10, 5”11 or so. He wasn’t unattractive, but not attractive enough to make the cut for casual sex. Spiritual Economist said he used to work in IT for an MNC that produces computers but now makes his money by trading on the markets- basically a sole trader. As well as that, he also had a degree in economics and had worked as an economist for some organisation before making the leap to quitting the rat race and solely playing the markets. It was his second time in Myanmar and on this occasion, he had come to Myanmar for his best friend’s wedding, who was Burmese.

Originally, I hadn’t put much thought into what he and I would talk about. I hadn’t thought that we would click. But as the conversation progressed, I found that we really had a lot in common. Spiritual Economist and I shared a lot of the same beliefs, the same ideals, even knew a lot of the same things that many other people didn’t know about.

Spiritual Economist got to talking about how tax is a form of slavery, and that our governments aren’t supposed to be taxing us. This prompted me to agree with him, and say that it was a part of Maritime law. Spiritual Economist’s eyes widened in shock as I said this, and the corners of his mouth turned up pleasantly.

“Girl, you know more than you let on,” he said. It’s true, I owe this to my ex-boyfriend though. Many a time have my Tinder dates commented on my intellect, but this is something I owe either to my ex-boyfriend or other Tinder dates (“no part of me is original, I am the combined effort of everyone I have ever known”- Chuck Palahniuk).

I discovered that Spiritual Economist was a bit of a conspiracy theorist and also extremely spiritual (obvs). Although he didn’t really identify with any one religion, he said that the religion whose ideals he believed in the most, was Hinduism. He talked a lot about reincarnation, morals, and other general spiritual things. I never thought that I would enjoy meeting someone like this, but there you go- you surprise yourself every day.

As we kept chatting, I found that he had plenty in common with my ex-boyfriend, and that he knew about probably everything that my ex also knew. As such, we clicked. Because I ask such probing questions of people that I click with, Spiritual Economist opened up to me about things he usually didn’t tell people about (especially people he had just met). I felt touched that he shared these extremely personal things with me and was glad that I had met him by chance.

Due to being in Myanmar, and none of us being able to speak Burmese, it took a much longer time than normal to get our tea and food, with some mishaps occurring. After breakfast, he invited me back to his hotel room to look up some activities for us to do (it was completely innocent and we did not hook up).

After that, we caught a taxi to a temple down town, were escorted around by a Burmese man, and then walked around down town in search of fresh coconuts.

While we were drinking fresh coconuts and lime juice at a street food stall, Spiritual Economist talked about his business idea of selling colloidal silver in third world countries that are ravaged by disease. We discussed the prices of commodities such as silver and gold, and I talked about the price of silver has been predicted to rise higher than gold. Spiritual Economist raised his eyebrows in shock and said: “Girl, you keep your cards close to your chest.”

We chatted a bit more after this, and then I said it was probably time for me to go home because my parents would be angry (I snuck out for this date, said I was going for a run, hence the workout gear).

SE said that he wanted to use the toilet, so we walked a few streets over to look for one, and ended up stumbling upon a bar that the owner had invited us to earlier in the day. We went inside and got two beers. SE picked up the bill, like he had been all day, apart from the cab ride, which I paid for, because he didn’t have the right change. While in the bar, we began chatting about our likes and interests, which we hadn’t really done all day. SE said that he was a big whisky drinker, and particularly loved Japanese whiskies, but couldn’t remember the names of the ones he liked. I then began rattling off the names of the Japanese whiskies I knew and liked, which prompted SE to say “girl, you’re ticking all the boxes.” Despite not being attracted to him, this was heart-warming; I felt like we could have been really great friends.

I would have loved to spend the whole day with him, but I was worried about angering my parents further (4-5 hours had already passed, so it was safe to say they knew I hadn’t “gone for a run”). We left the bar and got in a cab together. While on the way home, SE and I chatted about our past relationships and I described my last long term relationship that had been fraught with serious issues, and SE then patted my knee in a reassuring way, and said “girl, that must have been hard, I feel for you.”

SE had been intending to drop me back at my place in the cab, and then go home as his hotel was so close, but as the traffic is so bad in Yangon, we were in the cab for ages and he began to feel an urge to use the bathroom again. He hopped out while we were stopped somewhere and handed me 2400 kyats for the fare. We continued texting later that night and week, but didn’t get to meet up again. However SE said that we were “fated to meet” and that he’d hit me up next time he’s in Sydney.

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