During the past two days and nights we have been surrounded by a constant singing or preaching from loudspeakers. Small pickup trucks drive all around the town and the larger villages with loudspeakers mounted on the back. Along the streets small stands are set up, also with loudspeakers and lots of preaching and singing. Besides these stalls and transported by trucks are the most fanciful creations, animals, landscapes, monasteries, and people, all made of Kyats bills in different values and colors. The posters and the money on these are collections from different people and villages for the monasteries.
The other night, when we had moved back to our fancy tourist hotel, the loudspeaker singing and preaching could be heard all night without an end. I found the sounds fairly soothing and slept excellently, while Rienk could hardly sleep.
Later I overheard a conversation between a tourist and the woman at the hotel reception.
Tourist: “How long will this noise go on?”
Reception clerk: “All the time”
Tourist: “What do you mean – all the time?”
Reception clerk: “It will be all the time now”
Tourist: “What does it mean all the time – day and night?”
Reception clerk: “Yes, all the time for two or three days”
Tourist: “Can you not at least decrease the volume?”
Reception clerk: “No I cannot, I am afraid”
Tourist: “Why not? I cannot sleep if this is so loud. Can you at least shut it off during the night?”
Reception clerk: “I cannot shut it down, it is outside of the hotel. It does not belong to the hotel”.
Tourist: “This is too much!”
Reception clerk: “I am sorry Sir, but we have an important Buddhist celebration now and this is part of it.”
The tourist left the reception furiously. Another night without sleep, he may have thought. But is it not for the Buddhist monasteries and temples that most people come here as tourists? Now they get the real thing and they should be happy and not get angry.