Monday, March 05, 2007

On the road to Mandalay



The road to Mandalay by Rudyard Kipling

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ eastward to the sea,
There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can’t you ’ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ’crost the Bay!

’Er petticoat was yaller an’ ’er little cap was green,
An’ ’er name was Supi-yaw-lat—jes’ the same as Theebaw’s Queen,
An’ I seed her first a-smokin’ of a whackin’ white cheroot,
An’ a-wastin’ Christian kisses on an ’eathen idol’s foot:
Bloomin’ idol made o’mud—
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd—
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed ’er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

When the mist was on the rice-fields an’ the sun was droppin’ slow,
She’d git ’er little banjo an’ she’d sing “Kulla-lo-lo!
With ’er arm upon my shoulder an’ ’er cheek agin’ my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an’ the hathis pilin’ teak.
Elephints a-pilin’ teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence ’ung that ’eavy you was ’arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay . . .

But that’s all shove be’ind me—long ago an’ fur away,
An’ there ain’t no ’busses runnin’ from the Bank to Mandalay;
An’ I’m learnin’ ’ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
“If you’ve ’eard the East a-callin’, you won’t never ’eed naught else.”
No! you won’t ’eed nothin’ else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An’ the sunshine an’ the palm-trees an’ the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay . . .

I am sick o’ wastin’ leather on these gritty pavin’-stones,
An’ the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho’ I walks with fifty ’ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An’ they talks a lot o’ lovin’, but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an’ grubby ’and—
Law! wot do they understand?
I’ve a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay . . .


Monks in the teak monastry



Fishing



The Palace in Mandalay at sunset



Buddha on Mandalay Hill pointing to where the royal capital should be built.



A government propoganda billboard



The Teak Bridge outside Mandalay - the longest teak bridge in the world



Monks playing football outside their monastry

6 comments:

James said...

Killa poem, incredible pics - re^rig brotha, voel asof ek saam is op daardie avontuur.

henno said...

Thanks berg, not my poem though: Compliments of Rudyard Kipling. Jy sal maar 'n draai aan die kant van die mountain moet kom maak binnekort...

Caz said...

yo menno...
how many other teak bridges could there possibly be??

haha

henno said...

That's exactly what I thought as well hehe, but I'll let them have it this time...

Maksideem said...

Hi Henno
Ek het toevallig op jou blog afgekom. Dit lyk baie goed.

Jou foto's oor Myanmar laat my terugverlang, of te wel, ek weet nie so mooi nie. Ek was daar in Desember 2003, veronderstel om 'n maand te bly, maar kon net 20 dae hou.

Ek het ook die trip Mandalay, Bagan, Inle lake en Jangon gedoen, alhoewel meer 'n survival trip. Het dit glad nie so romanties soos Kipling gevind nie, aangesien ek op hoendercages moes sit. O ja, so van teak gepraat, was jy ook in daai dorpie in die berg waar al die huise van teak gemaak is? Hulle noem dit die Switserland van Myanmar.

Dit was vrek koud daar en relatief primitief. Ek was die enigste westerling in die dorpie.

Het hulle nog sulke streng paspoortkontrole daar?

Maksideem said...

Oi Henno

Die "Road to Mandalay" laat my met heimwee terugdink aan die goeie tye in Asie (3 jaar in Singapore maar was orals in Asie). Soos hy se, hier in die westerse beskawing (as jy Sydney westers kan noem) is die lewe maar anders. Daar is 'n avontuur in SE Asie, wat moeilik is om te beskryf.

Geniet jou tyd daar. Was jy al Laos toe? Luang Prabang is 'n moet.

Oi, die heimwee, ek soek weer onderontwikkelde lande om te explore.