Up again to witness the Sunrise. The mesmerizing moment the world awakens and light once again is brought to our side of the world.
We rented electric bikes today. With her Bali experience on the motorcycle, Katja was a bit anxious before setting out. The fact that they call it a bike and put pedals on it (useless by the way) made her feel safer and she was strutting like a peacock when we stopped to take some pictures.
We went to the pagoda we visited last on yesterday’s tour. It has a good angel towards the Sunrise and you can get pretty high up.
As we sat and enjoyed the colors shifting on the sky we started talking to a German girl sitting next to me. Her boyfriend was taking pictures in a very dedicated manner, so I think she enjoyed a little company. Turns out she’s been living three weeks in Lillestrøm just outside of Oslo. That’s three weeks more than anyone should have to, but she was working on the seismic measure station there. Turns out the listening conditions for that kind of measuring is optimal in Norway and it’s so fine tuned that if North Korea launched a nuclear blast that’s the place it will be picked up.
She and her boyfriend have been doing a lot of traveling and we exchanged tips and tricks for various countries and places. And thats when it happened. As Katja stands up to get a good shot of something her phone falls off her lap and stay bouncing down the twenty something brick stairs. The crowd all get what’s happening and fall absolutely silent.
Bump, bump, bump…
The silence is overwhelming.
Bump, bump, bump
Finally it falls to rest and less there with the front down. All eyes are on Katja and expressions of sympathy for the deceased are given.
The situation normalizes and we all go back to taking photos again. When the magic had passed people are walking down the stairs to go back to their respective hotels to get breakfast. They all take care not to step on the iPhone cadaver lying on the stairs until an easterly gentleman picks it up. He fumbled with it and Katja ask if he needs the code. Screw security, Katja shouts the pin code down to him and he takes a photo of us, and then a couple of the last balloons flying away. The time off miracles is certainly now, ’cause the phone is un-scratched. “I want a cover like that!”, exclaimed one of the remaining girls.
The balloons have once again passed over us in a graceful flight. It’s really cool to see them take off and then go where the winds take ’em.
Back to the hotel for breakfast, and there we find the Swedes who went to another pagoda this morning. Like us they’re well into their coffee to shake out the early morning. Katja receives compliments on her Bali scarf from two strangers during breakfast. She twists my arm until I promise to put it in the blog.
We move out again, this time to Old Bagan where there are several big Pagodas and temples. As we pass one on the way to another they’re is a lot of chanting going on, and it’s amplified really loud. There are several speakers in use and the volume is second to none. We visit the one we aimed for, but it’s mainly closed of to the general public.
We therefore move over to the chanting pagoda and walk inside. Here we find a group off monks sitting in a corner eating and chatting, yes chatting not chanting. In another corner is a sole monk chanting into a microphone that are hooked up to the amplifiers. And by the way, the wiring in this country leaves something to be wanted, and the wiring of the amplification it’s not random.
We go up in the second story and enjoy the view and when we come down another monk has taken the chanting position. They keep it up by taking turns at the chanting station. As I said, it’s loud, so we move away and plot a course for the museum of archaeology.
The museum was good, not great. It had some nice Buddah’s that are almost a thousand years old, but it lacks information in English on as lot of stuff. It’s worth visiting though, we spent almost two hours there, butt it has a total photo ban and we had to place bags, phones and cameras in lockers outside. So there is really not much to show from there.
Then we wanted lunch. We moved toward a resort inside of Old Bagan when we were hailed by as little boy. Turns out he’s eleven years old and sell fuel for a living. He’s better at English than a lot of others we’ve met, but it’s a shame he stand on the side of the road instead of being in school.
We enter the resort and have a decent lunch, and great internet coverage compared to anywhere else around here. We make a little video for Katja’s colleagues who have a Christmas party today and get to upload it to YouTube. Basically the only video or picture coming out so far from Myanmar. As we move back towards the hotel we do some fun stuff, but wet can’t disclose that just yet.
As earlier described is the level of personal hygiene in constant decline. It’s still important not to smell to bad so we put in some laundry for an express handling at the hotel and that means we’ll leave from here with mostly clean clothes.
Suddenly it’s time to go if we shall make it to the pagoda in time for sunset. We move back to the same place as this morning, but at the pagoda next to it facing the sunset. It’s a lot of people there as well, but we get another colorful sunset and met the Swedes here as well. There are a few designated places to watch the sunset, and only a handful of Pagodas to climb to get the better view. This makes for reunion of anyone up for the Sunrise when we meet at sunset.
We do Indian for dinner at Two Aromas. A place boasting about No good – No pay. They even hand you a pamphlet with the bill where the slogan is translated into fifty something languages. We ate a good meal off palm leaves. Easy to clean up with no dishes to be made. Good enough to pay for.
Back at the hotel we packed most of our stuff, kept awake until the laundry arrived and passed out. Tomorrow we leave Bagan and move on to Inle lake and the town of Nyaungshwe.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
– Rabindranath Tagore