maandag 2 november 2009

Last days in Burma

The last addition* to the blog about Myanmar (Burma).
Driving or walking around in Burma is like really being in another world. A multitude of traditions, flawless hospitality, redstone and golden pagoda’s in green landscapes and genuine friendly people.
All visitors are invited to view the sun set from the top of one of the bigger pagoda’s. The atmosphere is beautiful when looking around to the other pagoda’s you can see everywhere in the fading light.
Something totally else.
In Burma workforce is very cheap. So everywhere you see lots of people doing chores which we in Holland do only with one of a few. In the restaurant next to our hotel in Yangon I counted no less than 13 people doing the waiting, cleaning the tables, taking orders. The restaurant has some 10 tables and not more. And….. I couldn’t look in the kitchen.
In the restaurant in Bagan, where we ate every night, there was at least one waiter or waitress per table. The laundry – a shirt and one pair of trousers – was brought by three men!
One more example of this phenomena (I hope I spelled this right). One morning we heard a lot of shouting and when we looked 19 man were measuring a long piece of land along the river. A cleaner of our bungalow explained that those guys were measuring pieces of land to grow peanuts. Apparently the rows of peanuts have to be so many yards apart from each other and this had to be pointed out. 19 man with poles, to stick in the ground (after measuring). It was really a sight.
What else is there to tell about our adventures in Burma?
Villages like ours but than 200 years ago or so (pigs, dogs, chickens, people living all together in a one room house of wooden structure with walls of woven bamboo and roofs with the leafs of the palm-trees). To keep the feet dry during the rainy season every house has a floor about one meter above the ground……and the roofs (I asked) don’t leak!!.
Trucks so old you are really surprised they still run.
Goats and cows on the highway on which you drive mostly not faster than 40 or 50 Km’s per hour because of the potholes in the road, the people (with animals) on the road on bikes or just walking.
The devotion to “The Lord Buddha” seems somehow unreal to us. But almost all the people we met and talked to were Buddhist and believed in reincarnation. If you try to do your best, be nice, do chores for others, take care of elders, the family, the monks, etc. the Buddha will make sure that you live a better next life than this one. Or something like that.
* apart from some pictures I still am not able to load up (no time or no internet or no electricity or the plugs don’t fit in the sockets or there are no sockets or there is no wifi or whatever).

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