I had written an especially long missive detailing our recent
adventures but the internet went down here in Yungshwe (the power goes
down pretty often too) so it was lost.
I'm not sure I can recreate the brilliance of that work, but I will
touch on the salient points.
We are now in the "Inle Lake Area". Technically we are in Yungshwe
(the town) on a canal that goes to Inle lake (the lake) which is the
only reason people come here. It features floating gardens, a
floating temple, strangely dressed indigenies (is that still a word?)
and other 3rd world lake culture coolness.
All to be ideally seen from a very long narrow boat with a super
thumpy single cylinder diesel engine (have I mentioned that this is
considered an ecological disaster in the making by the UN).
So tomorrow we're off to burn some diesel and see the lake.
Today we laid low due to me feeling a bit under the weather
(apparently those noodles bought out the window of the train prepared
literally by hand by the old lady weren't such a good idea).
Yesterday the train up and over the mountains from Thazi was super
pretty. En route we met a lovely gentleman who used to be a Major in
the army and was the area commander over this part of Myanmar. For
those of you not used to, um...developing nations in SE asia, I
recommend you do some googling about "mountainous eastern myanmar" and
"military commander". Note...we aren't actually _in_ the "Golden
Triangle". But its right over there. He was super nice and showed us
the book he wrote in the Myanmar Language about his trip to Belgium in
the 90s. His entourage looked a bit worried about his chatting with
us but all sat around glumly smoking.
At a later stop a buddy of his got on who looked like the bad guy in a
Chinese mob movie with expensive italian sunglasses and a nice suit.
He too was super nice and when they got off made sure we knew how many
stops till ours.