The ways of Mandalay
Here in Mandalay and most of Upper Burma/Myanmar ,Saturdays and Sundays, official holidays and holidays of other religions other than Buddhism are not given much thought of by most people. The important days of rest /play are the once-a -week “U-boak ” or Buddist Sabbath day when most markets and businesses take the day off. The Full moon days of each month are holidays even more so when coinciding with dates of note on the Buddhist calendar .
Christmas and New Year ( of the Gregorian calendar ) it seems to me are utilized for the marketing blitzes of companies but most people here don’t go to those kind of parties.
Don’t go about asking ” What time is the bus going to get to……… ? ” when you’re already on it off to somewhere either, especially in the Northern Shan State. It’s said the Nats or spirits don’t like it and penalize you and your mode of transport by causing niggling delays of all sorts. Anyways, when the roads are in the conditions that they are , and with nearly 99% of all vehicles being second-hand imports, already been used for years, timetables and such, don’t really mean anything. Ask the forbidden question and you will be at least be met by a gruff ” We’ll get there when we get there “. Enjoy the scenery and atmosphere etc. instead of thinking about such un-holiday like thoughts as getting there on time . LOL .
Night-life in Mandalay is nearly non-existant. Everyone visits the restaurants ,gets their full of toddy and grub and hits beddy-bye . That’s it. Better to get up early and go about your holiday or business. Have fun in Bangkok instead.. Come here for a good nights sleep , battery recharging and what not…. ( not much electricity either )
The months, May to October are HOT ! 36 – 40+ C. Let this be a warning to all those with weak constitutions and those susceptible to heat stroke.
When it rains here , it comes in two varieties , the light drizzle lasting 3-4 hours and the 45-minute hammering downpour accompanied by strong gusts but both making it muddy and dreary.
The dust … the fine itch-causing powder…….. what should I say ? Keep some baby wet-wipes ready.