On Friday night our school had it’s annual fundraising gala. Gav is kind of in charge of it, although one of the people he works with has a lot of experience in event management and does most of the planning. Gav is in charge of the running of the evening and is the master of ceremonies, so the run-up to and night of is kind of stressful for him. It went fantastically though and now he can breathe a big sigh of relief that it is over for another year!
This year it had a 20’s theme and I did not realise how seriously people were going to take it! I should have made a little bit more effort to match the theme, there were flappers and sequins galore around me. As it is, I went shopping for a dress here in Yangon and basically was relegated to the one dress that was big enough to fit me in the shop. Good thing I liked it. The sales ladies just kept shaking their heads “nope” at me when I was pointing to other options. Gav’s suit we got here for last year’s event and even he is wearing a large! Oh the woes of clothes shopping in Asia.
We then had another school event last night where Gav again had to MC the evening, but it was only 2 hours long and was over by 7 so not too bad. He claims he is going to do nothing today but drink beer so we will see how that goes!
Last weekend we had an extra day due to Peasant’s Day, a holiday here in Myanmar not unlike Labor Day I guess. It’s kind of strange which holidays the school chooses to recognise with time off and which ones it ignores. We have to have a certain number of contact days with kids so I see the dilemma. Anyway, I am not going to complain about an extra day off! We took advantage of the extra day to go back to Kalaw, an old hill station in the north, about an hour’s flight from Yangon. We stayed at the same hotel we stayed at last year as it is a nice, atmospheric old hotel just outside of town. It’s a lovely hotel but does have its quirks-every room had its own (very small) hot water heater for instance so whoever gets in the shower second is going to have a chilly rinse off. They do make the best ginger margaritas so that makes up for it!
While we were there we took advantage of the great weather (gets cold at night! I had to wear a FLEECE!) and did some hiking. The hills around Kalaw are beautiful.
That’s the view from our lunch stop-gorgeous! The walk was about 2 kilometres too long we decided, so we were kind of cranky by the time we got back into town, but it wasn’t anything a few Myanmar beers couldn’t fix. We were happy again in no time. It’s just so nice to get into the countryside and see how beautiful Myanmar is. I had no idea what the British were thinking when they moved the capital to Yangon as it’s the hottest, least scenic place they could possibly have picked. Well, I do know, they wanted the advantage of the Irrawaddy for shipping purposes but still. It’s kind of enraging when you visit places that have an actual bearable climate.
So from that long weekend we now have this one, which is feeling very short after all of our obligations. We might try to get out and have a little adventure on our scooters later. We are still LOVING having them, they make even mundane errands fun. Take your boring grocery store visit-it used to be that we would trudge there on foot and then get a cab back to the house even though it is only a 15 minute walk away, because there was too much stuff to carry and it’s too hot and cabs are cheap. But now, we just scoot on over there, do our shopping and scoot home! We are becoming professional at it and now can even get a flat of beer home on the scooter.
Bag of groceries, 24 cans of beer, life is good!
We’ve even found out that the compartment under the seat can fit exactly 6 bottles of wine, and they won’t rattle around! Gav had gotten very brave about what he will carry on his scooter. He will pick up colleagues for a quick transport somewhere or even take his life in his hands and scoot his cello around for practice with people at school. I’m not going to attempt that one!
One month until our Thingyan holiday. We have already booked and cancelled Beijing and then booked a trip to Vietnam instead. No idea if that is going to go forward or if we will be sweating it out here in Yangon, unable to go anywhere in case we get stuck there or have to self-quarantine. No one is panicking here though, it’s business as usual and we can get all the toilet paper we want unlike some places in the States it seems! Maybe the virus can’t actually survive in this temperature-we are entering the “hot season” which means right now our daily highs are hitting 37 or 38C and inching towards the April highs of 46 or 47C. Perhaps in a month I will be eating my words about the horrible climate here and will be celebrating it instead!