Cheng Chin Yuen

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Silk spools spinning in the window.

Lotus Thread: These lotus fibres which are as fine as spiderwebs are hand-rolled together to form thicker threads reputed to be stronger than silk. Unfortunately, the thread is rather coarse and the end-products simply do not look that they worth so much. A small scarf would cost US$60. When the lake's water level rises, the lotus stems grow longer and whicker, yielding more fibres.

Combining the coloured silk: I wonder how much this lady walks a day.
Water Villages: This wild snap from the motorboat turned out rather nicely. You can see that unlike the Kampong Airs in Sabah and Burnei, the houses here are not connected by walkways. I bet children learn to swim and row the boat really young. There are 17 such villages around Inle, some poorer like what you see above and some a district 10 equivalent with sturdier building materials and a roof full of satellite dishes. As with most places, the poorer villages had much more character.
Local Transport: This shot is an embarassing one because we were in a similar boat which we had all to ourselves for the entire day. At 10 dollars per boat per day, it is inexpensive by our standards.

Just don't bomb...The feeding of seagulls as they frantically pursue you boat is delightful. So rarely are you 'chased' by birds at close range. The strong get some lunch while the weak gets splashed. Seagulls land on the water taking great care not to wet their wings. We also saw Oriental Darters flying in V-formation and huge flocks of Egrets in the evening.

Inle fisherman: A fisherman saves strength by using his feet. The outstretched leg would eventually be drawn back to the boat to be used as a pivot for the bodyweight to pull the large oar. When the boat gathers enough momentum, the more traditional way of rowing is resumed. It requires a fair bit of balance considering how narrow the boat is. Who was the genius who came up with the technique? They fish by pushing the conical net very slowly in the water till the rim touches the bottom. An opening at the apex gives them access to the fish.


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