Crazy. That’s what I think of when I remember the past five or so days!
Get comfy because this is going to be a looooooong Blog!!!
First, we got off that plane! Then when we got into the Yangon airport we breezed through security! Honestly… it was crazy relaxed! It was like the Border Security was almost bored!! Though they must have just been lost in their own thoughts as the historic Myanmar election was happening in two days!! It was going to be the first one in 25 years! Anyways once we got out of security we tried 4 different ATMs and NONE worked!! Eventually a person named Susan whom we had met at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok and was travelling with us and is German called her bank and they said the machine was too old that they were blocking it because it could be counterfeit!? So in the end we decided to just use US dollars instead.
Once we got to our hotel (we were staying at the same one) the adults started making plans and Max and I? We started making paper airplanes! We must’ve used up about half of the maps before we went out and hailed a cab and started looking for the pagodas! Pagodas are like what a viking helmet is like except no horns but a spike on the top and also much, much, MUCH bigger!! Also they are white and gold-painted! The first place we went to had a turtle pool with about 200 turtles in it. Don’t get all excited though because the pool was small, really crowded and dirty! Also some of the turtle's shells looked soft and had none of the hard lines on the backs that you normally see. There were also leeches that the locals dumped into the pool as sort of an offering and a turtle that was the size of Max!!! The next place we went was a so-called restaurant. I got a Fanta Lychee which I’ve never even SEEN before! We were talking about Despicable Me somehow when Susan pronounced it Despikeable Me!! It was soooooo funny!! After dinner we went inside the Shwedagon temple/pagoda courtyard area and there was a TON of gold… actually more like TEN TONS of gold though it probably was solid gold and some of it was obviously gold-leaf paint but still!! It was completely AMAZING!! Like being in gold liquid almost because nearly EVERYTHING was gold or painted gold!! It's the most recognizable Pagoda in Yangon and many locals go there to worship the Buddhas.
The next day was voting day for the election!! We took the circular train around Yangon to see what the city was all about. The train was really old and rickety. All the locals were walking around with their pinkies inked green (or was it black?!) and we couldn’t figure out why until at noon our taxi driver told us that it meant that they had already voted so they couldn’t vote again! We were heading towards the park and on our way to get a SIM Card.
Once we got it we had to get back to our hotel to get the Knight Bus! Hahaha just kidding it wasn’t THE Knight Bus just an ordinary night bus (Knight Bus is from Harry Potter) but CRAZY comfortable!
After our 11 hour ride ( I slept for 4.5 hours of it) we arrived in Inle Lake and got to our hotel (Susan stayed at a different one) and put our stuff in our room and then rented some bicycles with Susan and headed off towards… well wherever! Along the way we stopped to get drinks. Jay got a Sprite, Max and I got Sunkist’s and Susan got water. Then we headed out again. Susan in the front myself in the middle and Jay with Max sitting off of the edge of his bike in the back!! A short while after our pit-stop (as Jay would call it!) Susan was right in from of me when she pointed out some bamboo trees to our close left and what she didn’t see (not until she RODE OVER IT of course!) was a 4-foot-long black snake suntanning in front of her!! Yup. On the road right in her path and since she wasn’t looking… BUMP BUMP both wheels over the snake and she’s gone! I however was right behind her and had more time to process the thought ‘SNAKE ALERT...SNAKE ALERT!!!’ so I had rolled over it with my front wheel and it was in the gap between my two tires twisting and turning like my face as it went from confusion to terror to SHEER DAMN HORROR!!!!!!! I mean PAUSE for a second I just rolled over a snake!! And then it happened (yes I LOVE those books!) I had been doing who knows what trying to get momentum and also trying to get off my bike at the same time and my foot stamping on the ground trying to kick off and I was also trying to hold my bike up as since I had fallen it was leaning over! So anyways the snake grew tired of trying to threaten me by hissing and spitting and half-heartedly biting at my foot but thankfully I was wearing Crocks not something like Sandals!! Anyways somehow it happened to be that while the impossibly still alive snake turned to flee and I STEPPED right on it!! After that incident we were all shocked out of our skin EXCEPT of course Max who hadn’t even SEEN the snake sitting behind Jay but had only heard me yell out “OH MY GOD” and that was it! (This is Jay. That's exactly how it happened. I was 10 feet behind him, hoping like crazy he would be able to stay upright on his bike. Then, when his foot came down and landed on the snake, I thought our trip was over and we'd be heading for a hospital!?)
The next day we took a tour boat on Inle Lake just the four of us and visited a bunch of local towns and floating (partially) villages! One of the place we stopped to see a what we later found out to be a graveyard with shrines that some were HUGE!!! Anyways on the way back I stopped in the market because a super cool snake bracelet made of copper that curls around your wrist! I thought well… this suits my purposes for yesterday!! So I bought it for 7k Kyat (1k Kyat= $1 CAD) and had lowered it from 15k which I think is pretty impressive!! Anyways we saw tons of impressive views and had lots of fun and we had to part though sadly because Susan was heading to Bagan that night on a night bus and we would meet her there later! Once she left we went roller skating at a Roller Park just across the street from our hotel and were there for nearly an hour!!! It was SUPER fun and tomorrow we plan to go to the Hot Springs which are rumoured to be even hotter than Arenal in Costa Rica!!!