Buying in India        (February 2015)

O.K., jump right in…we’re back. Chaos starts upon leaving the airport, and we love it. iPad out. Does the rick-shaw driver understand the map I’m showing? Never fear, we arrive and begin the hunt once again. Dark, hot, dusty warehouses. Exploring wonderful galleries with a cold drink, meeting old friends and new. Always the sense that something special will soon show itself if you look deep enough.
Hot rickshaw rides after a tiring day. How after awhile it all flows and you become part of the rhythm. Another bus, another train. You arrive, take your hot tea on the street in in the predawn. Oh India! It get’s in your blood.

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Night train in Myanmar        (January 2015)

Myanmar, an amazing country. For many years we avoided taking trains, hearing that they were slowest of all means of travel. Thus we were apprehensive of the thought of spending 22 hours or more on an overnight journey. The reality proved far more enjoyable. In our own cabin with the window open, we watched night falling, people cooking over fires, faces lit in the dark. We never went faster than the speed of a bicycle ride. You see, Myanmar trains have a distinct rhythm and they rock side to side.  Once you get your ‘sea legs’ sleep comes deep. Falling stars shining bright in the heavens is your last thought as the sound of the train carries you into a new day and new lands.

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Buying Lotus Fabric In Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar     (January 2015)

Nyuang Shwe is the largest village on Inle lake, which is in the Shan state of Myanmar. For many years we have been coming to to this remarkable place, enduring many a long dusty bus ride in the ‘old’ days. Today much has changed but the culture and spirit of the people remain mostly untouched. Our very good friends, whom we fondly call our Myanmar family: Ma Sue, Ka Myo and Ma Too, have introduced us to some of the original Lotus weavers of Inle. Out in the middle of the lake is a village built on stilts where the sound of the weaver’s shuttle echoes out across the waters. It is an area where even the vegetable gardens are floating, anchored to the lake bottom by bamboo poles. Much of the weaving done is of silk, but there are a few who create fabric of the local Lotus plants. The Lotus is harvested by canoe. It is stripped of it’s stem, broken in two and the inside fibers are extracted.  Rolled together by hand, the fibers are then woven into a rare and costly fabric. One large scarf is said to contain over 1,000 Lotus stems and countless hours of work. We are pleased to have found such a source to able to provide these wonderful scarves. Imagine wearing a thousand beautiful Lotuses around your neck from such an exotic land.

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