DAY 137: MASTER OF PUPPETS

Inle Lake, Shan state, Myanmar

After such a hell trip we all decided we were entitled to have some nice food. After many days we found ourselves with western food, something pretty rare in Myanmar. We had some delightful pizzas and even red wine was drunken. Merel was unlucky to be the only one that ordered mojitos. These mojitos had pretty much ice in it. Next day she woke up with the clear symptoms of food poisoning. The Asian curse had chosen her. We stayed out for some days. I took this time to write and to relax a bit after so much traveling, in every negative aspect there is a positive one.

As Merel as not feeling too well I thought about finding an activity she could do to get a bit distracted. The problem is that at Inle lake you are kind of limited for anybody who needs to have a bathroom close by in case of emergency. The classic boat trip in the lake wasn’t the ideal activity. So I had to think out of the box. Eureka! I found a puppet show in town. In the smallest place ever. Destiny seemed to have chosen this place as it the rain brought me to this place.

In Myanmar puppet shows were very popular but since some decades the locals have lost curiosity for this art. Especially nowadays as it competes with YouTube… as told by the puppet master he still survived thanks to the tourists. Myanmar has opened relatively its boundaries to tourism. This tradition was taught from generation to generation. He was one of the few that continued this tradition. His sons and daughters were now studying at the university for a better living. Only one son knew how to use the puppets but as he said it will eventually disappear as it doesn’t provide much money. Luckily there we were…

The show was one of the craziest and cutest things I’ve ever seen. I really wanted to see a proper show and it did seem to be the place. I always imagined a puppet theater where they would speak and have a storyline, but this was different. It basically was very old music with a high volume that would make the puppet dance. He would basically show his talent to make this puppet dance and do difficult tasks for the master of puppets.

Surely it was a great activity that made us disconnect for 30 minutes. It was a thing that I guess we won’t have the chance of seeing again, a unique spectacle to watch.