Burma or better Mandalay has been on my “to see”-list for many years. It originates from the song of Rudyard Kipling starting with the line: “By the old Moulmain pagoda…” and the refrain: “Come you back, you British soldier, come you back to Mandalay…” It may not be great poetry, but the tune is very catching, in any case Mandalay ended up on my list. Kipling had actually only a short visit to Moulmein and not Mandalay, and there are a lot of factuals errors in the poem, but that is not important. Burma made such an impression on Kipling that he wrote: “When I die, I will be a Burman, with twenty yards of real King’s silk, that has been made in Mandalay, around my body”.

Well I went with a group of really nice Norwegians on a round trip in Myanmar and saw a country full of paradoxes and variations, from big cities to lakes, from poverty to huge amount of gold and thousands of stupas and Buddha statues.

“The Lady”, Aung San Su Kyi, was very popular. It is scheduled an election by the end of the year, but The Lady can not be elected president as the junta has passed laws that prohibits persons who is or has been married to foreigners , or has children who are or have been married to foreigners to be president. Unbeliveable!!. But if her party wins she can become vice president or have other high-ranking positions. The question who will then be president, and that is kept secret for the time being. People feel uncertain about the sincerity of the military junta.


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