Mandalay (or 'temples that sparkle and garage comedy')

Heidi and I had reached our final stop of beautiful Myanmar - big city Mandalay.

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As we were visiting one of the main central temple sites one day (where I happen to fall severely in love with the sunstallations^ -- look at that beauty!) we meet a local man who offered to take us around town on a bike tour the next day.

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Said and done, the next day we meet up on said spot and said time to begin our day tour. But first: A stop for our guide to stock up on chewing tobacco. I decide to buy some for myself... Now that turned out to be totally throwing money in the lake, as the Swedes would say. I was excited to see whether my spit would turn red, but I never made it that far. I spat it out after a few seconds. I think I'll just stick to snus in the future.

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We went to a beautiful Buddhist temple. Up steep hills. Then recovered with a coffee break on the temple grounds before cycling back to the city.

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The next morning we were up before the sun. On the back of a motorbike we hung on for dear life behind a Burmese taxi driver that brought us out to the U Bien Bridge, only the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. We were hoping to see the monks crossover to collect alms as the sun rose, but nothing happened. It was a beautiful sight nonetheless. I love to experience any sunrise.

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I remember when I took this photo., ever the fan of so-called sunffiti, I wanted to capture how the temple decor was creating decoration on its own. Suddenly fellow surrounding tourists turn their cameras the same direction, as if I were taking a photo of a crucial part of the temple that they simply had to have on their memory cards too. When in reality, it's just a shadow play.

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Friday afternoon meant beer Mandalay and cigarettes, before going to see the comedy show of The Moustache Brothers. The original trio have made themselves known for their satirical critisism of the military regimen in the country. Their show has sent part of the group to jail, and now a days the remains of the group are only allowed to perform in front of foreigners, inside the garage of their family home.

One of the jokes I can recall is about having to go to the dentist in Thailand and it goes something like:

"Why don't you go to the dentist in your own country?" 

"Because I'm not allowed to open my mouth!"