Monday, October 29, 2018

Joko and Nicki go to Myawaddy 2: Pagodas and Golf

Over the years I've been here in SE Asia, I've heard many comments from other expats along the lines of: "if you've seen one pagoda, you've seen them all." In other words, they've been less than thrilled by visiting places of worship for a religion they don't hold. Whereas I can understand how others might feel that way, I've always enjoyed visiting the spectacular pagodas here in Myanmar, even if I've not understood the functional religious aspects of the temple parts. And they're all different in one way or another.

I know to bang the bell three times. I know to find the Buddha statue corresponding to your weekday of birth and pour water on it. I'm not Buddhist. I don't know all the details.

This is why it was so cool to visit the big pagoda there in Myawaddy with Nicki.  She'd never seen the place before, so it was interesting for her too, and she was able to provide lots of comments about her religion and its meaning. Even when I disagreed. It's a pika, not a mouse. I think. 

After the big pagoda, we went to the crocodile monastery, another of the few attractions in Myawaddy.
Disappointing. Every part of it outside the common walkway was closed. Do not climb women OR men!

After our early morning visit to the religious sites, Nicki left to cross the bridge into Mae Sot, Thailand. Again, the only reason the casinos existed there, and the only reason I was visiting, was because of it being a border town with "neutral zones" when it comes to gambling. 

While Nicki explored the malls of Mae Sot, I got to play a game I've enjoyed since I was a kid, but haven't played in a while. The perfect game to play on holiday: GOLF! 

I'm not very good at the game. One of these days, I'll score a bogey. Maybe. I'm getting older. At least I broke 100, for nine holes. Anyways, I highly recommend the Myasandy Golf Club.  
Waiting for the taxi to the casino

That evening, it was time to return to the casino that had so thoroughly defeated me the night before. I wasn't confident I'd be able to get back to where I started, so I needed a good luck charm. I told Nicki I would stake her 2000 Baht, and if she lost it, so be it. If she won, she needed to pay me back the 2000 and whatever she won, she could keep. 

The joy in her face for winning 1000 Baht (after paying me back) is palpable in the video. 

As for me, I lost another 2500, but it didn't matter seeing the excitement in my GF's face. 

Enjoy the video. 

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