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Archive for the ‘Burmese days’ Category

burma2013 335Snacks to go on the train…. the smallest stop in the middle of nowhere and a veritable army of sellers with loaded trayful of munchies leap on and their market cries echo through the train as they ply their wares ….cripy parings so awfully chilli hot the fear and the craving to eat them work in a strange harmony of doom …… ….

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packets and packets of strangely unappetising crunchy stuff ….feeling hungry ? how about a crispy bat wing or delicious crunchy locust ?you bet ! lost your appetite ? funny that….

burma2013 474The Burmese must have a very sweet tooth as the achingly sticky sweetmeats you see piled like glutinous mountains of tooth decay are neverending and numerous wherever you are .. cloying coconut, unctious unknown unfurling circles of doom for dental care….

bagfuls of crunchy nibbles are tantalisingly hung like lianas across all shop fronts leading to the inevitable trail of swirling crisp packets across the countryside..and during the course of our travels we sampled a beguiling array of poppadoms cooked in raging oils to fine super heated sand . Snack attack gone mad…

But up high in the orange groves the citrical heaps of oranges are like jewels strewn on the ground. The Ladies picking them choose wellingtons as their preferred choice of footwear as they toil up  steep embankments with baskets of oranges the size of rubbish bins carried by their head straps. The men choose their tasks with assured ease and laid back indolence.

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Coconuts fresh from the tree are wonderful and surpisingly full of sweet milk….burma2013 299

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George Orwell was there ( in the Indian Imperial Police a long time ago , and went a bit native… never did find out what those strange blue tattoos meant on his knuckles !) and we have just come back from there (without the tattoos ): Burma or should I say Myanmar..

… an oriental 3D jigsaw of a place , layered and laquered like an intricate tiffin box . A positive riot of smells,and sounds assaulting the senses and catching you unawares, like the lethal pavements where you could plunge up to your oxters in raw sewage as soon as wrick your ankle on the vertiginous extreme levels and gradients.

burma2013 123It’s a tricky one crossing roads in Yangon where the traffic never stills and the utterly laughable zebra crossings are there to decorate the highway rather than offer any semblance of safety.Far better to cling to the shadow of a local and launch midstream into the swirling morass of bicycles , scooters and cars adopting a haphazard weaving technique and selective blindness to the moving hardware bearing down upon you.

Humidity being well up in the uncomfortable levels ,a cup of tea so fits the bill(after cocktails at the Strand Hotel of course)  . On arrival we tentatively sampled an unknown box of leaves found in our hotel room and made a brew. Why did we assume it was a box of tea leaves rather than say , an enema , or viagra supplement ? A mouthful of sticks,leaves and twiggy slithers would have suited George O right down to the ground but for the more discerning palette it was a little on the ascetic side of pleasurable . Later , drying piles of herbage seen on the streets explained everything and that gritty , road planings aroma told the tale.

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