Ogre Island MyanmarMyanmar Ogre Island
Ogre Island Mawlamyine
It' 3am in Mawlamyine, Myanmar and we're looking for a place to be. From the night coach to the taxibus we drive down the hill to the moonlight gleam of the Thanlwin Rivier. "It costs $8 for a small room," he says, "or $40 for the Rubber Baron's genuine rubber masters.
" We didn't quite know where we were or what we came into, we took the next, cheepest room and took a rest for three memorable nights in Mawlamyine and Ogre Island. In the 1800s, the British made Mawlamyine their first Myanmar capitol and gave it the characteristics of their homeland. Sitting in Myanmar long enough, the natives will come closer.
and Myanmar courses and an memorable smile. Bilu Kyun, like Ogre Island, is one hours away from Mawlamyine. When the name was not fascinating enough, there are 64 towns here that specialize in all kinds of handicrafts made of coir matting, balaclava, rubber ribbons, wood utensils.... that have been made practically without accessories or power tool.
Notice: If you go here, you have to take the ship home; foreigner are not permitted to stay on the island (of course because of the ogres). It was too big to go on foot, by bicycle or on our own, so we jumped on a half days trip with a native leader and the other two people.
Horses and wagons are the most important means of transport on the island, followed by bikes, then automobiles manufactured in a design that can only be described as "Mr. Potato Head". Ever thought about how an elastic is made? Now, we have much more regard for the modest elastic after seeing its design.
Within two workdays you have to cook, colour, dip, wipe, dehydrate, peel, again wipe, chop, then cut into cubes. Then you have to cut away a thousand elastic coils by yourselves. Elastic ribbons and their creators, greetings! There are similar tapered caps in other parts of Asia, but we had never made them before.
The men made clay tiles by hands in the extremely high temperatures (100+ in the shadow of a tree), dried them in the hot air and then dragged them into a fire. It was such an astonishing memory of how many things we took for granted here - from the car to the elastic strap.