5 days in Yangon

Well.  We’re here.  Our first few days have been a whirlwind of organised shopping trips and dinners.  Our house is much bigger than we could have thought possible but has little furniture or essential items so we have been trying to get ourselves equipped. 

The Burmese are not into duvets it seems or top sheets for that matter preferring to sleep on a sheet with a furry blanket.  Eventually we found something equating to a duvet in that it has a washable cover.  Orange paisley was the best design they had though (!) so we’ll be looking to have something made to fit it soon I guess.

It would have been nice to have a few extra days of settling in before starting actual work but our first day was the very next day after arriving.  As the school year starts next week it is all quite busy but the first 2 days have gone quite well.  Our dog Nell arrived on Friday seemingly unscathed from a trip that took her 36 hours or so with 2 plane journeys.  On Saturday morning we took her for her first walk on a path that goes alongside a lake near where we live.  We came across at least 3 packs of street dogs along the way who all barked and ran around for 30 seconds or so before giving up.  So far Nell is giving off her usual calm but dominant demeanour which seems about the best thing but I wonder whether it will last.  On the way back the dogs barely bothered to get up so maybe once they get used to her we won’t have a problem.

The best time of day for me is the morning just after sunrise.  We can sit on our balcony having coffee and watching all the birds.  I don’t have a Burmese bird book yet but I’m sure I’ll get one soon.  There is sort of a monastery near by and in the morning you can hear bells followed by monks (some of them just children) walking by.  Saturday was our first free evening so was the first time we could sit on our balcony at sunset (around 6:30pm).  The birds are slowly replaced by at least 2 and possibly 3 species of bats which is lovely to see.  Before we left London we saw 2 bats flying over our house (pipistrelles) which is only the second time I’ve seen bats there.  On Saturday there must have been 30 if not more.   On Sunday we took Nell for a walk to the Shwedagon Pagoda which is the most important Buddhist temple in Myanmar.  It was about a 40 minute walk away.  Unfortunately, without actually going in, we couldn’t get a good photo of the pagoda itself but the above is one of the main entrances.  The two lion like figures are called Chinthes which also happen to be the school mascot.

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