and finally, in Yangon today

 

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Where were we?  Oh yes, in the market, when Sanda, our guide was feeling peckish as we passed this snack stall.  What she bought, we have no idea, but it was tasty and just that right balance between savoury and sweet.

 

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Maybe you know what it is?

 

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The way out was through the shoe department. No, not really our place today but we know of several who would have been interested…

 

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There was plenty of choice, to match any outfit!

 

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The next stall put diamonds on the soles of my shoes!  The whole floor was glittering with sparkles.

 

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A giggle came from the pretty young woman who was decanting sequins into smaller packages and spilling them onto the floor.  Clearly she’d been doing this for a while!

 

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There was also the unmistakeable buzz of a sewing machine coming from next door.  Good old trustworthy Singers going at full speed, creating matching tops to those longyi the ladies had been buying.

 

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Of interest to me too was the little red machine, because I couldn’t quite work out what it was until I spotted the blue waste there underneath it.  It’s an industrial serger/overlocker.

 

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Out onto the pavement then, to meet Dan somewhere along here, past the vegetable stalls

 

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another one selling those kinds of things that blokes buy.

 

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And three puppies for sale in a basket.

 

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Oh, and the inevitable cafe, too.

We jumped in the car and sped off into the next traffic jam just yards away and made our very slow way to the National museum.  Difficult to blog about that because no photos were allowed – no cameras or cellphones allowed anywhere near the place, actually, but suffice to say that considering it’s a new structure the inside is pretty dull and dusty.  And since we’ll see many of the exhibits for real in the next few days, we didn’t stay long.  What we did see though, is the regalia worn by the 19th century queen – wow.  Rather like those puppets we saw earlier, the costumes were created from small articulated pieces, each edged and trimmed with bright sequins in spite of the age.  Beautiful, original and totally unlike anything I’ve seen before, at some point I’ll find a photograph to share – for my own records actually, because although I tried to draw them I didn’t really do them justice.

 

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After an hour back at the hotel, were we waited for the heat to go, we met Sanda and Dan again and made the last visit of the day to the Shwedagon Pagoda as the sun was setting.

No shoes, no spaghetti blouses…

 

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Thankfully, cool tiles to walk upon.

 

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The first greeting was the “Tuesday people”, volunteers, born on a Tuesday who took turns to clean the grounds.  Tomorrow, it’ll be the Wednesday team and so on.

 

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This enormous pagoda is the highlight of Yangon’s temples.  It contains three relics, though we saw none.  What we did see – and photograph – is the most glorious golden structure imaginable, set off by the fading light as the sun set.

 

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Magical.

 

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We took picture after picture, wanting to treasure those lovely shapes forever.

 

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Eventually, it was time to go.

 

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Oh go on then…just one more Winking smile

 

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Dinner at the hotel was an all Burmese affair.  Absolutely delicious but bearing in mind we have to be ready at 4.30am tomorrow morning for a 6am flight, we didn’t linger.

Travelling like this is not for cissies, that’s for certain!

Up before dawn

The second Burmese word is…