Day 3 Myanmar (23rd Dec)
We went on a brilliant train journey – it was interesting because we got to see people doing everyday commuting and people’s daily life. We saw some people doing their jobs such as selling fruit, rice cakes, eggs, pan, newspapers and traditional medicines to the commuters on the train. Many ladies had huge baskets of things to sell, which they carried on their heads & they also held a small stool to sit on.
The train stopped for about six seconds for most stops at stations, but that was enough because the train didn’t have doors and was a lot slower than the trains that most of my blog readers use, so you could get on and off for seven seconds before and after it had stopped. When we were due to get off the train, we stopped for a bit longer than usual because it was a bigger station. Unfortunately there were so many people trying to get on the train, we had to push while Dad took pictures! This didn’t work. We had to jump off while it was moving!
Next we went to see 100s of monks & nuns having their lunch. Most of them were quite young & were also at school at the monastery. We learnt that they only have 2 meals a day – breakfast & lunch, which helps them to concentrate on their studies in the afternoon. They have to ask people for food or money donations in between studying.
We went to see Aung San Suu Kyi’s house – firstly from across the lake & then from the front. She still lives in the same house that she was under house arrest for 14 years. In 2008, the constitution was amended which means that anyone from Myanmar married to a foreigner or with foreign children cannot run in the presidential & vice-presidential selection. As Suu Kyi’s late husband Michael Aris & their 2 sons are British it is obvious that the opposition leader is targeted by this rule. She has until 2015 to change this rule when there will be the next general election.
We visited a local market which was interesting – the fish stalls were along the river & at the pharmacy stalls you could buy one blister strip of antibiotics. Dad bought some imperial leather soap which he says you can’t get anymore in UK.
We then had a late lunch at “Monsoon” & went for a walk through the Indian part of town where there were stalls selling almost everything you can imagine. We bought an ice cream from a bicycle stall, in a street where everyone seemed to be playing football or badminton.
When we were tired of walking, we went back to our hotel to pack.