Friday March 28th 2014
Lake Inle, Myanmar 6:30 p.m.
You have heard it all before. Get up. Do stuff with hot water. Ram food down. Get a taxi. Be about to leave, but before that can happen the mini bar has to be checked, even though I haven't touched it in 4 days I might have loaded my luggage with Coke and beer. Give the luggage and ticket to somebody. Get on a plane. Get off a plane. Get luggage. Find taxi. Complain about the price. Pay the price and arrive at a hotel. There were a few hours in between the start and stop of that.
The hotel is $30 a night. It is very basic a semi secure place for my goods, a bed and hopefully hot water in the morning. No A/C but it does have a fan. No green oasis like the one in Bagan. A sea of concrete with bungaloos on short cement piers. It feels temporary to me. Kind of those beach side caravan parks I've seen in Morocco. The clientele seems to be the same as well. Men and women of a certain age who are well ensconced and are here for the long haul. The guy next to me has this old dusty (nothing special with the dusty part) five speed that is well worn. I paid for three night and am leaving after two. It just isn't my kind of place.
The town is laid out in a grid and has no reason to be anywhere as larger except for the tourist trade. There are a couple temples to look at, but only from the outside. Inside they are all the same including LED Buddha. It is located on a canal that feeds the lake, not the lake proper as I had anticipated. My intention was to go on a boat ride. Sit in a restaurant watching the sunset over the lake as I sipped my evening beer. Did I tell you I was leaving a day early?
Nobody seems to smile in this town of dusty hot straight treeless streets. In Bagan and even Mandalay if you say hello to someone the almost always replied and generally smiled as well. I have been looked through more times today than I care to remember. Leaving day after tomorrow – remember ?
The hotel can do everything and I assume with a comission attached . I kind of blew her off on the boat tour, but did take her up on making the flight arriangments out of here day after tomorrow.
In my walkabout town of course a boatman found me.”Yes we go here and here and here and big market and here and pagoda there” basically the tourist circle that everyone goes on. Start in the early, but not too early a.m. and back in the late afternoon. His price was the same as all the rest. So tomorrow is cast.
That is about it for today. I am not angry, I am just disappointed. Maybe if the hotel was different, or the town was on the lake things would be different, I certainly expected it to be.