Definition: longyi - a wrap worn by men on the lower body... kind of like a skirt
Managed to make it through two days without sleeping in a bed. Took a 16-hour overnight trip from Inle to Yangon, spent the day there, then hopped another night bus for 12 hours to Mawlamyine. Had to sit at a bridge crossing in the middle of nowhere for a few hours as they close the bridge at night. It's been this way for years... but for some odd reason, rather than the bus leaving a few hours later and just going right through, they leave early and day after day after day and they arrive in the night when it's still closed and have to wait at the side of the road. I try to be open-minded, but they really seem quit simple-minded from any way you look sometimes... it's like they don't think... why not just leave 2 hours later? Perhaps it's as simple as that they get commissions from the large teashops lining the road and doing brisk business during those few hours.
On arriving I went on a bit of an adventure day trip out to Nwa La Bo which is a pagoda on a mountaintop which had 3 rocks naturally stacked on top of one another. They have covered them on gold and added a stupa on top. We took a large flat bed truck up to the summit. There were 28 of us. Naturally, a girl right on the middle of the crowd barfed on the way back down as the road was really windy. She blew all over the back of a burmese guy's longyi who was standing in front of her. Ha! What entertainment! What fun! Felt pretty bad for her as none of the burmese did anything for her. We finally gave her some tissue.
Food is pretty tough in these parts. Almost no restaurants... Did end up eating from a guy's stall on the street next to the river as there was not really much else. Thankfully it was surprisingly awesome one of the best meals in Myanmar! Much better than a lot of restaurants I've eaten at here in Myanmar... shame on the restaurants.
For breakfast here there is a place with tissue all over the floor, mixed in with dirt grime and flies... dirtier than a mechanics shop. The guy making the tea in front just blows his nose on the street without any tissue and then goes on making tea. But the tea is steaming hot and they have these chicken dumplings that are really great... I'm thankful.
I'm traveling this last leg of the trip with an Israeli girl. Unfortunately she also ended up getting sick in the nighttime. Hopefully something short term from what she ate.
Today I saw one of the strangest things of my life... about an hour out of town they are making one of the largest reclining Buddhas in the world. I figured it would be fun to check it out as you can go inside of it since it's still in the construction stage. When I first saw it I was shocked. It's much bigger than I imagined. About 5-stories high! You can climb inside and look back out through windows in the buddha down to the ground. As I was there it really turned from amazement to a bit of sadness. I really lost a lost of sympathy and compassion for the Burmese there. They have s*** roads, live in squalor, are damn close to eating rats heads for food, but yet are spending millions on this crazy bit of nonsense. I saw just as many guys working on it as I did working the roads or anything else. It's really too bad.
Anyhow, off tomorrow on a 4-hour boat ride up to Hpa-an.