“Michael. I went there in 1980. You were only allowed a week on the visa. The 707 was too big for the runway so they deployed a small parachute to assist with the landing which you could feel take hold. You bought duty free Marlboro cigarettes and Johnny walker which you then sold after customs. Everyone did it. The proceeds nearly paid for the week in the country. I quickly checked into the strand hotel. Which was old and about like it was when the English left in 1947. There was a punkah on a bike in the closet pedaling the ceiling fan. On the trains we ate curry in banana leaves. Transportation was by Jeep. I counted 21 on my Jeep one time. Pagan was deserted and stunning sunsets and sunrises lighting the temples. It’s magical.
I’ll never forget how proud and lovely the people were. They wore that mud plaster on their faces for the sun. They acted as impromptu guides in pagan. Inle lake and at the cantacraig a classic British hill station outside of Mandalay. What memories. I’m so glad it now belongs to you and your family.”