The road to Mandalay

Rudyard Kipling never was in Mandalay, but I am. It’s a long drive from Bagan. I saw more pagodas (of course) and a number of villages. Only old people and children were there, everyone else was out working in the fields. The villages are built from bamboo and wood, there are animal pens, and large tarps on the ground where beans dry in the sun while men churn them with their feet. Young men climb palm trees to get their sap, which is used to make flavored sugar and to run a distillery. Buffalo pull grindstones around and around. All extremely rural.

Also climbed some 800 steps to a mountaintop monastery. It will make a brilliant lair if I ever accept the job as evil  overlord. I haven’t seen much of Mandalay; I was walking the shore of the Ayeyarwady river that runs the length of Myanmar (the British call it Irrawaddy) and saw primitive bamboo huts lining the muddy beach and lots of boats and rafts unloading wood. A very primitive life. Across the street, my hotel room is so big that I can use a telephoto lens to take a picture of it.

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