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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Memories of Mandalay cruise....

Pha Kha Nge Village was interesting to walk around.  As in other locations, the locals are generally very friendly, especially the youngish adults and children. They are fascinated by white-skinned people, whom they have not seen often.   Although they do not have the same material wealth of those in the West, we all felt that they were a very happy, contented people.

The soup for lunch was Chinese style sweet corn.   In addition to the usual salad bar selections, there were three selections for the main dish - beef in oyster sauce with bell peppers and jasmine rice (my choice); tuna salad sandwich; and pasta with creamy mushroom sauce.  For dessert, there was a bread and butter pudding and a selection of fresh fruits.

Magway was a good sized town, however, I could not find any specific information on it so I will not try to make any comments.

For dinner, appetizers were Italian crostini with tomatoes and basil or salmon tartar. The soup was creamy cauliflower. The main dishes were grilled butter fish fillet with lemon sauce and vegetable ragout (my choice); pork chops with potato roti and snow peas with rum sauce; and Myanmar braised pumpkin with jasmine rice. The dessert was mocha cake or a selection of fresh fruits, and I had white wine.

I saw betel nuts sold in markets in Myanmar and also, I observed stores preparing the stuffed leaves.  Usually for chewing, a few slices of the nut are wrapped in a betel leaf along with calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and may include clove, cinnamon and/or tobacco.   Betel leaf has a fresh, peppery taste, but it can also be bitter.  Our tour guide told us that Buddhist monks use the betel nut frequently.   I and others noticed when close to a monk who was speaking, that he had red blotches on his teeth, and this was from the use of betel nut.

Photos belong to Phil Bianco.


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