Myanmar On A Map

Three hours’ sleep later I staggered out to wash. The water from my new room’s sink flowed down over my feet to exit via a convenient hole in the floor. Easier than mending the break in the pipe, but where else would you have to strip to your knickers to wash your hands?

Treating the sandfly bites I had received that morning from the resident population that live in the trees outside Motherland, I discovered a great scratch five inches long on the back of my arm. I rushed to look at the shirt I had just discarded, realising that a cut like this had to have been made on a bare arm. It was. The shirt had a large three-cornered tear down the sleeve. This must have happened when I fell over. Do not read on if you are eating I fell over in the toilet on the train. A pongy, wet, squat toilet. The train had been shaking from side to side like a dog with a rat when a sudden more violent lurch rocked me over sideways, and down I went, bashing the side wall with my arm I had hung on to a pipe, desperate not to descend totally to the mess on the floor. When the train straightened, I clawed myself upright. Thankfully I had managed to keep my clothes off the floor. I filled the plastic dipper from the tap that was used for flushing you didn’t expect a push-button toilet here, did you? to wash my feet and shoes. Fortunately this toilet was not in the appalling condition that some were, but I disinfected my cut anyway.

Myanmar On A Map Photo Gallery




It had rained heavily during the morning and now it was damp and muggy, humid and grey. I borrowed a brolly from the receptionist and walked to the Ocean supermarket to buy a replacement for my lost one. Now I have Pink Umbrella Mark 10 or something near that number. Due to an ingrained superstition that it is bad luck to open an umbrella inside, I did not know until I opened my previous umbrella outside the shop that it sported a big picture of Snoopy dog, which I then had to live with for years. Opening the latest one in the street, I discovered that it had a picture of Barbie, as well as My favourite doll’ written on it. At least I like Snoopy. I loathe stick-insect Barbie.

Happily ensconced at Motherland, I slept for another ten hours. At breakfast the next morning the waiter said to me, You always smiling’. I replied, I am always happy to be here’. Why not, it was true. I had finally learned to say, yesu ting ba be (thank you) and it was received with delight.

I took a taxi to see the glass factory I had seen on a TV programme in Australia. It was a long way, at first on a highway, then on an unmarked dirt road that turned into a tiny rutted lane where thick jungle crowded the car each side. Finally we arrived at a wreck of a place. The factory had closed. Behind it in an old open-sided shed, a jumble of heavily dust-covered glassware cluttered a couple of large wooden tables. What remained of the stock was pretty ordinary looking stuff, but apparently in the past this small factory had produced some very fine glass.

An elderly gentleman told me that the TV programme had been done several years ago and that they had had to close because natural gas for the kiln had gone up to thirty times its original price. He said that glass makers from the famous Italian Murano company as well as from Australia had called there when they were operating. He showed me samples of the sand and potash he had used in his process. The sand certainly was very fine and white. I bought two pieces, more as an act of charity than because they were any good. They are both pale green, a frog and a paperweight.

Leave a Reply

+ seventy four = seventy eight