Myanmar – Mandalay

We got to Myanmar on Thursday. Whilst Phoebe sailed through passport control blowing a kiss at the security guards, yours truly was held up for about ten minutes as each individual guard took it in turns shouting out my passport number to anyone who would listen. We went to a Chinese that night. We went for Lemon Chicken from a suspicious looking roadside restaurant. I can confirm it was chicken, a welcome reprieve from the common intestines and hearts seen on other roadside attractions. We sat with Monsieur Claude (not his actual name) and his high maintenance wife Marie (not her actual name). We occasionally made eye contact about the size of the prawns he’d ordered but that summed up the contact.

This was the “world’s largest book”
Phoebe being adorned with warpaint ready for the upcoming war against Burmese taxi drivers everywhere.
Saw Claude again the following day, he looked marginally less happy – possibly Marie was unfulfilled with the size of his prawn that night ;-). My breakfast was pork knuckle, Phoebe had a croissant. We went to the world’s largest book (Kuthodaw Pagoda): it wasn’t really a book, it was many pieces of marble rock with writing on it housed in the little white houses you see above. Based on the logic of calling this the largest book, I could have scrawled my name on Mount Snowdon and gained the title. A rather suspicious looking taxi driver promising a tour of the city – i.e. his friends shops – who’s sister had also come from “The London” skulked our steps for the majority of the morning conveniently forgetting who we were after every street and reintroducing himself. Phoebe quickly wished to backhand this poor gentleman whilst I, always the merciful, cried in anguish to spare the desperate chap. We went to a wooden grand palace (Shwenandaw Monastery): apparently it was better than the other grand palace located 0.5km away. It’s weird, I would think two grand palaces weren’t enough for a small city. They were selling puppets outside, displayed swinging in a tree, I’ve had friendlier nightmares.
The Fishermen – By Alec Hutchings MSci
We went to a rickety old bridge in the evening: even I, lord of the shit photograph, was able to capture a semi-decent image of some fisherman. Unfortunately Galaxy Star 2017, the Burmese equivalent of X Factor, decided that the U Bein bridge would make a fantastic advertisement that evening hence we were treated to a spectacle of teenage girls waving banners and screaming from this traditional Burmese site.
Some wooden grand palace (Schwenandaw) – apparently quite important
Mandalay jade market was a pile of wank. I liked the rocks, they were big and green, but it was busy, I was sweaty and the cheapest piece of rock was well over 20 quid. I sulked for the rest of the day, up until my confidence got an unexpected boost. A bald looking chap, possibly a Burmese monk, summoned Phoebe and myself across the busy street. He proceeded to tell us he was gay and then asked for an inappropriate amount of kisses on the cheek. Being used to this sort of fame and love from my adoring fans, I allowed this petty display of affection. However, being incredibly attuned to those around me, I realised the light of my life, dearest Phoebe, was appearing jealous in the corner of this encounter. As much as I tried to divert his attention to her, this monk had eyes for one person, and one alone. Whilst I cannot blame him, and I would have enjoyed an evening of him telling me how handsome I was, Phoebe, Mrs green-with-envy herself, decided we needed to go sit in a sullen silence in our hotel room.
Ta everyone (Monk, if you’re reading this, I’m sending my love)
Alec + Insecure Pheebs

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