Monday, May 7, 2007

Myanmar Wins

Found a picturesque lake with a little wooden village. Wandered through a vegetable market. Strolled down a dirt road and came across an enormous temple with thousands of people worshiping. Some teenage laborers directed me to some pagoda and the people there saw I was thirsty and gave me water. Met a gang of children, took dozens of pictures, and was the honored guest of their impoverished shantytown. Stopped to rest at another lazy lake with electricityless wooden shacks. And that was just the first 3 hours of my 13km stroll from the airport to downtown.

Street stalls sell various pig gut delicacies. Saw a film at an old school one screen movie house where the rich people sit in the balcony and the poor folks sit below. There are monks everywhere: every kid has a shaved head and there are lots of teenage Natalie Portman bald girls too. Our bus broke down and while we waited for them to repair it, some guys invited me to share their whiskey. Lemme tell you, whiskey inspired broken down bus friends harassing the pretty girl selling grapes is priceless.

Made friends with a crazy monk and hung out with him all day. He invited me to stay in his monastery, but as I had already paid for a hotel that night we agreed to meet up the next day. I was late though, and he prolly thought I blew him off. Spent a few hours looking for him, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

After politely declining to see his paintings and traditional handicrafts dude checked over his shoulder, slid up beside me and whispered "I elso have de rhoobie." What do I look like, a jewel smuggler? What am I going to do with a ruby? Still though, it was quite flattering. I've had shady guys offer to get me women and drugs, but I feed honored to have moved up to gemstones. Thanks Myanmar, bonus points for classing me up a notch on the contraband goods hierarchy.

The friendliest people, the best looking women, the most cultural stuff, and more weird/gross food than you can imagine. Myanmar (not Burma) ranks #2 right behind the El Dorado of Paraguay

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