Sunrise over Myanmar

At first, we were afraid of Myanmar a little bit, we thought we are entering a dirty country that would look more like India than the rest of southeast Asia. We couldn´t be more wrong and we loved this country so much that we have a clear answer to an often-repeated question “What country we liked the most”.
Firstly, a little bit of TERMINOLOGY, or what is the difference between Myanmar and Burma. One can say it´s something like Netherlands and Holland. BURMA is an area in the middle of the country, MYANMAR includes all other states and territories. Indeed, the name Burma has been officially replaced in 1989, so we have been very careful of how we called the country. We know how annoying it is to hear for the 100th time: “Yeah, Czechoslovakia, I know.”
As a first thing to do upon arrival, we recommend buying a local dress – LONGYI. People are smiling from ear to ear by default, but when you show up in the local clothes, they will be all „ahhs“ and „ohhs“.
Men wear a SKIRT here.
We travelled half of the time with our friend Kubi, who is famous for his stupid jokes. There are some TABUs in Myanmar, among which are HOMOSEXUALS and CANNIBALS. He managed to mention both in front of the locals.
We walk BAREFOOT. Houses, restaurants, hotels, caves, pagodas. We have to take off the shoes everywhere.
There are as many PAGODAS in Myanmar as WATERFALLS in Iceland.
DOGS and PUPPIES are everywhere. A day has not passed without a small, furry ball full of fleas wanting to play with us. A paradise for dog lovers (i.e. Dari), a hell for allergics (i.e. Kubi).
CHEROOT alias green cigars. They sell it on every corner, and the butts are on every step.
Avoiding spits of brick color is impossible, the sidewalks are colored permanently. Well, half of the country’s population look like after a big fight. Their teeth are colored by chewing BETEL NUT. Red nut, along with tobacco and various flavors, chewed by men and women of any age.
Women put THANAKA on their face. A layer of natural yellow cream serves as a sun protect as well as a peeling.
DON’T SWIM LADY. Women do not have the same position as men in the country. In some places, they have completely forbidden entrance, e.g. one of the most famous pagoda, Golden Rock, is for men only. However, women are banned to enter other places as well, for example some waterfalls.
Myanmar is a vast country, while in the north a steam rises from our mouths during cold mornings, only the sweat evaporates from us in the south.
We have become accustomed to strangers taking photos with us in Asia. In Myanmar, however, they are standing in queues to take one.
Women wear LOADS ON HEAD. Food, clothes, children. Nothing is a problem.
Although we have met the nicest people in Myanmar, we have become the victims of our first Asian SCAM (that means they cheated us). Entrances to some places are not cheap at all, so when we bought a Mingun Pagoda ticket at half past 5 and then found out that they closed it at 5 pm, we were pretty mad. But no one was there to hear our complaints anymore.
Because of the long British influence in the area, the old people speak English better than the young.
The ROHINGYA. For some taboos, for some disaster. An ethnic minority in the north-west of the country is a chapter for itself, and in the media there are countless reports of murders. But the government is silent.
BREAKFAST INCLUDED was a standard in every accommodation where we slept. CHOLESTEROL ALARMING standard. Always, but always, it consisted of eggs, toast, butter and jam.
Everything is SPICY. If you order not spicy, it will be spicy. However, in the case of complaints, you will only hear that it is NOT SPICY, IT JUST TASTES LIKE THAT.
We have tried the BANANA FLOWER.
Besides CHILLI it is a country of PEANUTS. They are almost in every meal and if you do not see them, be aware that the food is at least fried on peanut oil.
The most beautiful sunrises and sunsets are over the pagodas in Bagan.

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