Inle Lake

Inle Lake, a vast expanse of lumpy water in a perturbed country.

Standing on my make-shift balcony, arisen by the iridescent sound and orange movement of the Burmese Buddhist Monks “ oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm”

“Peace” they chant as they pass on the rough track below me.

I pull back so they can’t see me. Few foreigners branch out here, and so we take on the silhouette of a money tree, or so it seems. I can’t, again, handle the attention of twelve young monks in order of size and agility scrambling up onto my precarious balcony in request of offerings.

Funny how, in the misty mornings half light, they carry the same deep food bowl of Prince Saddartha- Buddha, to procure alms, but they have placed a plate on top, so you can only give money. Later, I will walk past them in the market in the big city, they will bicker over who bought the best MP3 player, aaahh Buddhism.

Lumpy water, for there is no other way to explain Inle, stretching there, away, in the shadows of the mountains. It’s people have woven together reed mats and planted within them, tomatoes and herbs, a giant hydroponics experiment. And tufts of unruly vegetables palpitate on the lakes surface.

Sticks, metres long, secure them in place and occasionally, on top of these sticks are little reed huts and ladders leading up. They live on nothing, literally, and every now and then, a small cry of astonishment, as they fall through their floor, the windy day rocking the suspended, impossible huts.

Luckily, they have parked boats and rafts beneath them to fall into, they rise, brush themselves off and with the oar wound around one leg they paddle out to their gardens. Like an aboriginal frozen in dance, they stand.

One knee and foot moving the oar, the other for balance, their hands free to spiral out the nets to bring in the vegetables, or (Buddha forbid) fish, if they miss.

Morning heats up fast in Northern Burma, there have been no lights to go out to herald the mornings sun, electricity a distant dream. It is it’s own time and place, to twist upon, renew and regale. Every little happening is an epic, so little they have to talk about.

Consequence is quiet. Simplicity of living, simplicity of speech, in over a week I have barely uttered more than 2 sentences, and I don’t that to change. My mind has slowed to a pace of natural meditation, where you can see things just as they are, and not how you wish them to be.

It feels just right.

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Inle Lake, 7.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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