Thurs 5 Feb 2015
We spent most of yesterday relaxing on the beach. Not much else to do here, but that’s how we like it. We walked to the other side of the bay, where a fishing family lives on the beach. If Andre were here he would say, “These people are so rich.”
Within the bay are many little coves. Smaller bays, between rocky outcrops, with trees hanging over the sand. We sat in the shade and watched a man and wife pull their daily catch onto their little boat. They anchored in shallow water and waded back to shore where their children were waiting. From what we can see, they are the only other people living here.
A little sailing dinghy would be a lot of fun in the bay. Or I could ask to go out on a boat with the locals. Not sure how I would communicate that. I could just arrive with a fishing line, point to the boat while on my knees and put on my best grovelling face. Alternatively, I could send Maja there. She’d probably come back with her own boat.
Last night Eric (Australia), Maja and I were taken to the village over the hill, to experience a full moon, Buddhist celebration. That’s what we assume it was. We were sat at a long table outside and given food. We were the only white people there and stuck out like sore thumbs. Hundreds of eyes were staring at us while people whispered to each other about the foreigners.
Our host from the beach walked us up the hill, to the pagoda, where we sat and met the monks. One of them, who we had met earlier on the beach, spoke some English. The monks offered us food and drinks which we wouldn’t dare say not to. We said good-bye and walked down to the beach, where a few fishing boats were anchored. We stood on the base of some collapsed, old structure and stared out at the perfectly still scenery, lit up by the massive moon. I could have stood there for hours, but our hosts wanted to get back to their beach.
This morning I met a Burmese man who works as a radio operator on bulk carrier ships. His English was decent and I asked for the name of this beach. He looked over his shoulder, to ensure there were no informants hiding in the shrubbery and risked a quick political discussion. Such a crime and one might become an ingredient in the local prison soup. He expressed his disgust at the government’s greed and corruption. As Africans, we know all about it and I can sympathise, but the Burmese people definitely feel a more direct hit from their leaders’ business ventures.