In Bagan we were taken to a few very bare tourist destinations, one of which an old monastery was completely in darkness when we arrived. The kids in the village had taken to tourist begging with a passion and were determined to get some money out of us. The ferocity of their begging reminded me of India in the small villages where tourists are unusual and the need to get some extra money is aggressively desperate. As a tourist the situation is horrible, I can't give to everyone, I wished I'd bought some pads and pens to give away or some food, like rice which at least would be useful to the family. But I had no idea that we would be in this situation on this particular day. So note to self, when I travel again in Burma, buy some pads and pens and maybe some small bags of rice just in case.
The detail of the monastery was pretty amazing.
The woodwork was so ....no words really I've never seen anything like this before.
And another one which also speaks for itself.
The guardian is on the door as in many monasteries. Your heart must be pure if you wish to enter here. Or I'll cut off your head, or something else you need. I am gaining the understanding that although Buddhism is about seeking a peaceful understanding, Buddhists have not held back from violence over the the centuries. Be it over territory or religious beliefs.
So yes I gave some money to the children and felt uncomfortable in my apparent wealth, not real, when measured against their obvious poverty, and although money is good, something useful would be better and that is what made me most uncomfortable, that I hadn't thought of it.
We went back in time inside the monastery and this photo was taken with no flash just a longish exposure.
So for technical info. The last image was taken on the Fuji XE1 my usual technique of jamming the camera up against something solid, a very old teak upright in this case, and keep trying with slower shutter speeds until I get an image that is light enough and also not shaky. My next purchase is a wireless shutter release for the XE1 to avoid camera shake in this situation. The long shots were taken on D300s with my old Tamron 18 - 200 lens. It's a workhorse of a lens and one I do need to update but it still works well so I won't spend money if I don't have to.
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