Kaleidoscope view of a week celebrating the ordinary

At the start of Marie’s challenge, I realised that I was in danger of finding far too many images which I would be unable to resist sharing.  And that turned out to be absolutely the case.  Living and working in Myanmar means that I am surrounded by everyday, ordinary extraordinary sights, and the chance to share the celebration of these was a gift of a challenge.

I knew within the first day or so that I would struggle to select images, and had in my mind to have a follow up post with the images which did not make the final cut. And this is that post.  It is a bit of a mish mash but that really says it all.  I have a kaleidoscope impression of the images which struck me, and that will be reflected in this kaleidoscope post.  All the more so, because I have deliberately kept these in the order which they were taken, they are not in groups of “like” or similar photos.

As I got up for my dawn swim in day one of the challenge, slipped on my swimsuit and clothes to head out to the pool, something caught the corner of my eye even before I left the bathroom.  At the top of the window, hiding between the outside slats, was a little gecko.  Just one side was visible, and his front and rear legs on one side peeping out from the slats.  A clear omen for the week!  A gecko, pointing the way for a week of pictures.

You can just see him, peeking out near the top of the window..

The morning after taking the picture with the brush lying beside our front door, I saw this brush seller on our lane.  He also feather dusters made of chicken feathers.

And only a few yards further down is one of my favourite sights.  There are a number of mysterious, overgrown gardens, not currently inhabited.  I love to imagine what is behind the gate, and how exciting it would be to explore these “secret gardens” and find myself transported to the world of Frances Hodgson Burnett and childhood reading memories.

Later on, my eye is caught by the traditional dishes in a local restaurant, the food bursting with flavour and freshness.

As the week progressed, I was out of town one of the days and could not resist the beautiful everyday scenes all around me.  Such as the water buffalo grazing beside the paddy fields…

The picturesque waterways and traditional wooden boats.

And the simple sight of the curtain knotted, to allow the light in.

Locally produced vegetables drying in the sun.

The houses, built from timber, with raised walkways to allow for the rising waters.

Boys playing chinlon as the day closes.

A barefoot monk, standing under his maroon umbrella.

More traditional homes

A local stall.

Standing room only at a busy junction.

The ubiquqitous umbrella pot, with its ever changing assortment of umbrellas – essential in this climate!

These stands with drinking water are also available everywhere.  Another essential in this climate.

After the great interest in the humble tiffin box, I could not resist taking this photograph of these young women heading home with their tiffin pots.

And the following pics show the regular transportation.  There are many tiffin boxes here too, as passengers use one hand to hold on and the other to carry their lunch!

And towards the end of the week, another trader stops at this gate to sell bananas through the railings.

What an extraordinary week, and how wonderful is the ordinary.

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Day 4, Wednesday – Celebrating the ordinary and everyday

 

You can’t get much more ordinary than eating!  Or can you?

My celebration of  the ordinary today focuses on our lunchtimes.  And more importantly our lunches!  Pretty  much every day I have lunch with my colleagues,  and the scene depicted below is a fair and accurate impression of the daily  experience.

The hero of our lunch is in fact the amazing yet humble tiffin box. This perfectly designed lunchbox contains every element and nutrient needed for the perfect lunch.  They are produced in an unending variety of designs with two or three layers or even more, different sizes and different widths.  We can procure the perfect tiffin box for our needs.   My own tiffin box has two storeys and I carry it to work in the cutest little wicker basket.

In the lunch room we sit together, dismantle our tiffin boxes and spread the various  dishes we have on the table.  One of the nicest things about Myamar culture is that we share the assortment of dishes freely, tasting and savouring such a wide variety of flavours and regional specialties.

And then, at the end of the meal, when every last bite is finished, the hotch potch of assorted tiffin tinlets are magically rearranged back into their individual tiffin boxes ready to be dismantled, washed, taken home and prepared for the next day’s lunch.