Our hotel has wireless Internet on all its seven floors. The only problem is that the connection only works sporadically. This is obviously not only the hotel’s problem. We tried at several other spots where Wi-Fi is offered, but it is the same everywhere: a good signal shows up on the smartphone and in the computer, but no way to get out! No e-mail, no Facebook, no blog!
Sometimes there is a small window of opportunity, which means that access to the Internet is faster. Then it is possible to download a few mails, but no attachments. When these small windows occur is not entirely clear, sometimes early in the morning at 5 or 6 am, sometimes later in the evening. But you need to be quick, because the openings are almost always pretty short.
Our telephone companies do not have any agreement with Myanmar phone companies, thus the phones have been dead since our arrival. It is of course possible to buy SIM cards, but only as Myanmar resident and for a lot of money. No telephone connection, no Internet connection and no Myanmar SIM card! This really is a strange feeling for someone who is used to continuously being online! Now for once we are completely disconnected from the outer world.
It is however great to know that our equipment is on its way to Monywa. Less good were today’s news that the permission to core the lakes may take a bit longer and that the official person who was supposed to meet us for lunch today, won’t pay us a visit until Sunday, perhaps.
Having seen most of the pagodas and Buddha statues in the region, there is not much more to see and do around here. The nearby National Park is closed, so this is no option. The local markets are crowded with cheap Chinese goods that we are not interested in, and walking around Monywa in the heat and dust is less appealing. What remains to do? Read articles; think about the next manuscript, and maybe even start writing one? Or, maybe go out and have one of these delicious dinners in a local Myanmar restaurant?