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Nyaungshwe and Inle Lake

March 29, 2012

Wednesday 28th March Nyaungshwe

We had all agreed to come all of us dressed with longyis to the wedding, the traditional skirt really comfortable that men as women are wearing in Burma every day. With Michael, we went for some shopping at the market and bought each one longyi. Then we met at the restaurant with the others to “repeat”. Renate and Luit had printed the lyrics for each of us as well as for the groom and bride, wrapped beautifully and brought also some flowers. We were all in longyis.

Some women were waiting for people at the entrance. People arrive and give a gift they pile up there, and get a plastic fan, great idea as the weather was quite hot.

entry to the wedding

The groom and bride arrived, beautiful. They did a series of formal photos with the family and close friends first.

bride and groom

Then we sang our song, and they liked it. Mario was very happy and apparently, the guests liked it too. Rosa and Tobias left for Yangoon, while the rest of us stayed all afternoon chilling out there. I went then for some internet, and then we went for a massage again. I had passed the puppet show and the woman there had told me there was no show that evening, as the puppets were in Bagan. I asked if we could come later to make it ourselves. She laughed and said yes, but when we turned up, the puppet theatre was closed so we couldn’t do it, sadly. That would have been fun too! We had pizzas and capirinhas again for another cool evening at Mario’s place.

Thursday 29th March Inle Lake

We had decided the day before to go for a day on the Inle Lake. Renate was sick, so Luit took care of her, while with Michiel and Anna, the four of us went for a day on the Inle Lake with a boat driver for the day in one of these boats.

boats

We did see from very close one of these unique boatmen of Inle Lake who are driving with their feet. But that one looks a bit suspicious though..There are some rumours that some of them are paid to just stay around for tourists, and I believe he is one of them. He really doesn’t look like being fishing but rather posing for the photo.

boatman

We went to a market which was beautiful and really huge, having different lines for each speciality, fish, meat, spices, vegetables, etc. I can’t remember the name of that place though. (You win a postcard if you find it.)

market

Women from various ethnies were there selling their products. You can recognise them by the scarf they wear on their head.

scarf

After that, we went to visit a factory where women make scarves with lotus ropes! It is a really long work, taking hours to make just one scarf. The first step is to open the lotus trunk and pull out the white inside string which will be tighed to other ones to form a strong string to make the scarf.

lotus scarf

The final result is scarves life this one, which cost each 50 dollars.

lotus scarf

After that, we visited the hand-made cigars factory, where some cigars are made with a taste of Pernaud when smoked.

Pernaud cigarettes

We went for some lunch, and while chatting, Michial told us he was a professional poker player, making a living out of it, one of the best in the world. One thing I really like while travelling is to meet so many people who have different lifestyles, different jobs, different cultures. It gives you a great peak on so many ways of living your life, and the incredible diversity of the world. It is inspiring.

After lunch, the boatdriver took us around the village on pilotis.

pilotis

Then we visited the monastery of the “jumping cat”, where mostly in the morning the monks apparently organise some shows were cats jump in circles. In the afternoon though, it is more the monastery of the sleeping cats! It must be nice to be a jumping cat, you get feeded well and given time off, compared to all the skinny cats of most Asia who are in search of food to survive at all time.

sleeping cat

It was time to head back, as we had to get ready to go for the night bus back to Yangoon! On the way to the bus station, we passed a truck of women possibly coming back from work in the fields. A lot of locals travel in groups in these huge trucks.

truck

And off we were for the night bus of 6pm going back to Yangoon!

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