Saturday, April 20, 2019

Global Scavenger Hunt 2019: Musings from Myanmar

We just ended a SPECTACULAR 4-day leg in Myanmar.  Rainey and I are running on fumes.  We have been up early ... and late, late to bed (if we ended up in a bed) ... every day. I'm exhausted… and I have approximately 1,439 photos to go through to select the very best shots of this incredible country to share. So, for tonight, I will just give you some observations and thoughts.  The rest will soon follow…

We were here in Myanmar six years ago.  I was nervous to come back. I was worried that maybe it had changed or become too touristy, too progressive, too something.  But, no worries, Myanmar is still as special as I remembered.  This has been an extraordinary leg.

Burma sunscreen:  I’ve never seen this anywhere else in the world… but there is a cultural infatuation in Myanmar with smearing thick cream-colored mud all over your face (in decorative patterns).  It acts as sunscreen and is considered highly fashionable.

For kids

Even the young men get in on the action:

Monks:  The Buddhist monks - with their brightly colored robes – so touch my heart.  In the early morning, they stream out of the monasteries and onto the streets holding deep lacquered“begging bowls.”  Whatever people put into that bowl, is what the monk will eat that day. No more … no less.   Plain white rice seemed to be the most popular donation.  If I lived here, I might whip up a batch of gravy to scoop into each bowl ...just to add some flavor to their meals.

This group of hip monks were rocking the tattoos.... even here, even in the monasteries...

Band of baby monks praying at a Temple... don't you just want to pinch every cheek??

We did some volunteer work at a monastery one morning and ate lunch there with this child monk. No matter what I did… he would not smile for the photo.  But he did eat everything on his plate!!!

“Boys will be boys”… fighting amongst themselves with sticks as swords… even if they are also monks.

Buddhas: We may have gone a little overboard this leg on visiting temples, pagodas and stupas.  I think I have seen every rendition of Buddha that is possible.. and Gold is definitely a favorite color scheme.

Seated Buddha (with a little bit of a smirk??)

Lounging Buddha

"Wearing a gold-plated armored fancy dress"Buddha 

Dancing Buddha

Outdoor Buddha ... under a Bodi tree

Not sure about this one... Maybe "wrapped up in a warm blanket for the winter" Buddha??

Stern-faced Buddha (definitely not someone you want to have a beer with)

"Really should have stopped wearing the heavy earrings before my ear lobes drooped" Buddha

Star Wars Buddha (with cape)

And a truly terrifying statue from a Hindu Temple ... crazy eyes and all

"Religion doesn’t pay," said no religious leader, EVER.  This is an incredibly poor country.  Yet these people get up early each day to visit their Temple before they start work… to pray and put some of their meager earnings into these boxes.  Each box is for a different problem: “For Fertility”; “For Good Health,” … so I watched families put money into different boxes .. just to fully cover their bases as to all of their woes.

We leave tomorrow morning for a one-day scavenge leg (during a long layover) in Bangkok and then on to Abu Dhabi.  

1 comment:

Beverly said...

we loved the photos and so pleased you still found Myanmar special.
bet you can find another Buddha or two in Bangkok... think you can use a good massage after your busy 4 days


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