More of Mandalay

The city comes alive early – there is a mosque nearby, so we hear the call of the Mullah, dogs barking, horns peeping and by the time I look out of the window, there are people crouching behind a variety of vegetables all along the street. At some point during the day they disappear and are replaced by street food sellers ready for the night market.

We started out the day with a visit to Kyauktawghi Pagoda, known as the pagoda of the Great Marble Image. The huge Buddha is carved from a single block of marble. It is said to have taken 13 days for 10,000 men to move it from the river into place (a short distance away). The interior is decorated with beautiful mirror mosaics.

Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as “The World’s Biggest Book” for its collection of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.

How could you resist buying a bunch of (offering) lotus from this precious little thing? Also the beautiful young couple posing for their pre-wedding photos.

 

 

 

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Next stop the Shwendandaw Monastery, the Golden Monastery, that once stood in the grounds of the Royal Palace of the 19th century. The structure carved from teak is impressive and the interior has 80 or so tall teak columns and beautifully carved ceilings covered in gold leaf.

Our final stop was a visit to the Royal Palace grounds, now used by the military. Replicas of the former palace buildings have been constructed and give insight into the history and a good idea of the life of royalty back in the 1800’s here in Myanmar.

Thanaka:  Is the name of the wood that is used for the facial paste seen all the time. It is considered both a form of make-up and also for sun protection, as well as considered to be good for the skin. The paste is made by rubbing the bark of the thanaka log on a wet stone. Sometimes it is just smeared on the cheeks and neck, other times a design is created. I had mine done outside the pagoda by one of the lotus flower selling ladies – in the design of a lotus leaf.

Mandalay

by Rudyard Kipling

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

‘Er petticoat was yaller an’ ‘er little cap was green,
An’ ‘er name was Supi-yaw-lat — jes’ the same as Thebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’ mud —
Wot they call the Great Gawd Budd —
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ‘er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git ‘er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!
With ‘er arm upon my shoulder an’ ‘er cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silense ‘ung that ‘eavy you was ‘arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

But that’s all shove be’ind me — long ago an’ fur away,
An’ there ain’t no ‘buses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ‘ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
“If you’ve ‘eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ‘eed naught else.”
No! you won’t ‘eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’-stones,
An’ the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty ‘ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby ‘and —
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be —
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

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3 thoughts on “More of Mandalay

  1. Ah…..On the road to Mandaly. Wondered if you would post that, and thanks for doing so. My father spent a lot of time out there in WWII. Say hi to Dennis for me!

  2. Lovely lotus-leafed cheeks!

    I am loving all these pictures. I understand how it happens but when I click on “next” “next” it opens far more pictures than show up in your actual email with the tiny versions. This fabulous. i feel Like I’m there and i love the text and hearing about verything. I think you are brave to walk out onto that bridge. it look unbelievably rickety to me. The market pictures are some of my favorites. There’s a picture of a red thing — fruit? cheese? — that a woman is slicicing very fine. What is that. did you taste it. I am intriqued by the funger peeler. Please please stop at the market stalls that sell kitchen ates and see if there are any unusual instruments you want to bring home. I found those stalls some of the most interesting.

    Glad you are having such a great time. have a great dinner. love Nan

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