Truck Full of Monks
Posted February 21, 2013
Most days, we're up early and going hard until around four or five, when we crash. We get back to our hotel room, wash our feet, which are always horribly dirty, partly as a result of all of the walking around temples (or up 1800 concrete stairs - I'm looking at you, Mandalay Hill) barefoot, and fight to stay awake until 8 or 9. Maybe we eat dinner, if it's not too much hassle. Which has left me with very little brain power to write you anything. Or even come up with a specific topic. But I've got the time and the wifi, so I thought I'd just start with a few of my favorite pictures so far and see what comes out. I took a couple of these, but mostly they're taken by Raj.
In Mandalay, we walked a couple of miles first thing to get to Mandalay Hill since we were unenthused about riding on the back of motorbike taxis. And we were so glad we did. The whole way there, people smiled, said hello, and seemed genuinely happy to see us. These girls looked like they were having such a good time on these swings that we tried them out for ourselves. Super fun and also very amusing to an old man biking by to see Raj on one.
U Bein Bridge, a teak bridge about half an hour outside Mandalay. It's one of the most photographed places in Myanmar, much to the chagrin, we think, of the people who actually use it to commute. We went at sunrise and joined a flock of photographers with their tripods already set up.
Not too far from the bridge, you get to Inwa, where the transportation to ruined temples and an old, but still working, teak monastery is by horse cart. And let me tell you, if you sort of have to pee before you get in this, then friend, you've got Problems. Because it will be bumpy and there will be no toilets at any of your stops. Sure, there are plenty of bushes, but maybe you read in Lonely Planet about how Burma has 52 species of venomous snakes, the most in the world, and also the highest incidence of death from snakebites. You may decide that you'd rather play the odds of getting a UTI than chance having "fatal snakebite to the ass" listed as your cause of death.
So there you have a few of my favorite pictures through a few days ago when I actually started this post, before the wifi there stopped working and I didn't have any for a couple of days. Not pictured: truck full of monks. Not only is it very fun to say (Try it! Truck full of monks!) it's also a common occurrence here, but one we haven't managed to photograph. People commonly travel in shared taxis, which are pick up trucks with seats along both sides of the back. These are free for monks to ride in, so we get plenty of chances to say, "Hey, look. Truck full of monks." We'll try our hardest to get a picture for you.
Tomorrow we're off to Bagan for a couple full days of temples before flying to the coast to spend our last few days here relaxing on the beach. I'll keep you posted as wifi and mental energy allow...