I am lying on a wooden floor at the Shwedagon Pagoda, waiting for the rain to stop. I took a quick iPhone shot of my Burmese friend next to me, instagram’d it with a caption “Finding WIFI at Shwedagon Pagoda”. A monk is sitting in front of me, blocking half of my view. Rain is falling, the night is arriving, Yangon seems to be particularly mysterious in these last few lights of the day.
It’s almost time for dinner, but lunch really filled me up and I rather stay here mindlessly watching monks and visitors roaming in their colorful umbrellas. My sweet Burmese friend took me to one of those local tea houses that she frequents in town called Feel for lunch. Feel is spacious and packed with both locals and visitors. Large selections of dishes are displayed like a buffet table surrounded by an army of waiters. It’s an easy ordering process since all you need to do is to point and nod, and food will be delivered to your table.
It’s my first Burmese meal in Burma – at least that was the excuse I gave myself to go all out. Within minutes, our table was filled with many little dishes that I could not possibly name.
But I demonstrated some extreme ability of self-control and managed to photograph a few dishes before emptying them. Burmese food like it’s geographic location reminds me of a mix of Indian, Southern Chinese and South East Asian cuisines. I tasted curry that is milder than Indian curry; sweet, sour and spicy flavors that are less intense than Thai food. The colorful palates of Burmese cuisine are exciting but gentle, much like the demeanor of its people.
The rain shows no sign of quitting and my friend is now praying to the Buddha statue near us. I am staring at the ceiling, finding peace in my own imaginations – food to be exact. Maybe I will go to Feel again tomorrow.
124 Pyi Htaung Su Yeikthar Street, Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar