Sunday 6 April 2014

Burma: Bogyoke market, vintage cars and fancy food

Oh joy, Bogyoke market for the third time. Having purchased a wide range of souvenirs already, Mrs M did not really have a plan but managed to pass the time in the needless pursuit of hats, strappy shoes, rattan place mats, statues and other knick-knacks. I tried to look interested. As previously mentioned, men don't do souvenir shopping.

Street food - Bogyoke market, RangoonOn the way in to the market, Mrs M discovered a couple of two-headed dragons on sale by a street vendor. The price for the pair was, as usual, quite ridiculous. Although we haggled the price down to almost half the asking price, the chap would not budge any further. I dragged Mrs M away. Having completed our market meanderings, we walked back to said purveyor of small mythical creatures to offer the haggled-down price only to find this now applied to only one of the statues. Once again, I dragged Mrs M away. The whining and sulking continued as we walked back to the hotel. Occasionally we had to stop to pick up her bottom lip which was dragging on the ground. A short rest later, Mrs M decided she would ‘walk with me’ as I headed to the station for a bit of sketching. After calling in to a hairdressers-cum-currency exchange office, Mrs M continued her ‘walk’ back to the market to purchase the dragons. When I returned a couple of hours later, her smiley face indicated she had achieved her objective.

Double-headed dragons
There was barely enough time for yet another shower before we were collected by a driver from Le Planteur. The restaurant offers a complimentary collection service, which on this occasion was a 1947 Vauxhall 10. There were no lights on the dashboard and all of the dials I could see in the dimness were not working. Nonetheless, we arrived in some style at the restaurant on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road.

The staff led us to a table in the garden which was also dimly lit requiring the use of torches for most dining-related activities. Mrs M always carries lighting accessories in her handbag; a waiter provided a handy suppository-sized torch for me. We selected the fixed menu with just one starter which brought the cost down by $10 each. This was a wise move as there was a continuous supply of amuse-bouches and good bread that filled the gaps between courses.

Following the main courses that were fitting of a Michelin-star chef, there was a sweet course, a cheese course, a selection from the sweet trolley and even a final plate of sweet nibbles as we paid the bill. The high quality of the food was let down by the cheese which was, em....frozen. I am sure this would be considered a crime in France or Switzerland where the owners of Le Planteur originate. Brie and Camembert should be almost runny enough to creep across the plate, not hard enough to fly off the table while being hacked with a knife, which happened twice to the poor chap who was on cheese duty.

With enormous bellies, a wheelbarrow would have been an appropriate form of transport back to the hotel, but the restaurant provided a vintage Ambassador with bright red and white panels.

That night, I was sweetly snuffling on the pillow before Mrs M had finished her night-time routine. Our flight back to Singapore would leave at 8 o’clock in the morning. Oh spiff.


CK next door! said...

You are a brave man Mr M - I wonder if Mrs M has read this?!

Mr. Steve said...

Of course she has read this CK next door. Part of Mrs M's role as executive editor is to ensure accuracy and fairness in the reporting of events.

Unknown said...

Glad to know about the Mr M special story,especially i attracted towards the Vintage cars,actually i am a mechanic by profession and know well about the cars,i like it so much.I am interested in vehicles so much.Nice work done on the blog,its very interesting.If you want to check the Vin of your car so have a look on vehicle vin lookup.