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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Welcome to Myanmar

[I don't know that Alan intended this as a post, exactly, but here are his first impressions of Myanmar.--ed.]

The border crossing was as smooth as could be. I started in Lashio, then went to Hsipaw, and now Pwin U Lin. The diversity in this area is stunning, with Indian, Nepalese, Chinese, Burmese and Shan, and other minorities as well. The landscape has been nice: waterfalls, an abundance of yellow flowers, those big water buffalo you see on National Geographic specials on Asia, and here in Pwin U Lin, a lot of old colonial architecture, these Wells Fargo-style horse-pulled wagons for taxis, and a few cars that look like the ones they used in the old west to transport money.

At night it gets dark early, and you can see all the stars, and at sunset it has that dusty orange quality, the air, that never fails to please. In the countryside, it is quiet beyond quiet..just your footsteps and the breeze, and maybe immense stalks of grass swaying, and if there is a stream, water burbling. And if there are birds, say a flock of pigeons, their wings fluttering. Or if there is wildlife hidden in the brush, rustling.

So I guess it isn't really that quiet.

And everybody who passes waves, smiles, or says hello, or where are you going
or where do you come from, or they do all of this. I already want to come back to this region...I will get to Mandaly tomorrow, and that will be the beginning of the more touristed sites and bigger cities.

Three weeks to go. A little sad today about the Bengals, but at least Steelers lost. The hotel I'm staying at (8 USD for a nice room, a bit of a splurge) has satellite so I saw the first half of the Chiefs game on ESPN, and thus saw highlights.

What else? I think that will have to suffice. I should say more about the greeness or the splashes of red or fields of yellow or massive old trees or shacks in the fields or beautiful young girls and boys with this yellow chalky looking paste decorating their faces, protecting it from the sun...


Anonymous shawn said...

Where are you?????

6:37 AM  

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