Bagan by Night

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After our day of exploring we found a souvenir shop that could give us beers in black plastic bags, the illegal way, to take with us to our sunset pagoda. Our receptionist friend at our hotel suggested that we go to Shin Complex Pagoda for sunset because it would be less crowded—best advice of the day. We walked in and paid our respects to the buddha with three bows. We then head to the corner of  the temple and walked up the black staircase with the aid of our phone flashlight. Then we walked on the outside of the second level and saw the narrow staircase under an arch for us to climb up to the upper level. After twisting, turning, and scraping we had made it. We sat there with the one other couple who were also advised to steer away from the large tourist temple we could see in the distance speckled with human outlines and drank our now lukewarm beer. We sat there and couldn’t help but reflect on our lives and how lucky we were to be surrounded by friends we loved and be able to see this magical place and culture of this city.

We headed down before the sun completely set so we wouldn’t have to drive our electric bikes in the dark to dinner. We headed back to Be Kind to Animals, The Moon because we knew where it was and that it had good food. I had an eggplant curry that was awesome. We talked to our waiter who was 18 years old and had just voted for Aung San Suu Kyi. We asked if he had already noticed a difference since she won and he said yes. He also taught us the informal and formal ways to say thank you in Burmese.

We headed home after dinner with the intentions to get to bed because we were going to get up for the sunrise but decided to stop off at what looked like a party for a drink or two. There was a stage set up and we got excited because from what we had seen and learned there isn’t much of a night life in Bagan. A girl quickly approached us and asked where we were from and told us this was a pre wedding day party aka Burmese version of a rehearsal dinner. There was a performer singing on stage and no drinking.

I decided to say that I would sing if they wanted and next thing I know I am being asked to sing to the party director to see if I am good enough on stage…I passed and was taken to the back of the stage. I was given a chair and sat there with the groom and waited for my turn. I decided Britney Spears, “Opps!… I did it Again” would be the best option because she’s an international superstar and everyone knows that classic—wrong. I got up there and the band started playing but a tune I didn’t know and I panicked! I stood there for a few seconds and then went back to the main guy and explained that the band wasn’t playing the correct song. He asked me to pick another song and I asked him to pick any American song and I could figure it out. This is when I also realized there was a language barrier. He asked me to just start singing and said the band would follow me lead—great. I turned back around and started singing Oh baby baby and they started to play the wrong tune and I didn’t stop. I sang Britney Spears to the wrong tune.

After I couldn’t tell if it was the best moment of my life or the most embarrassing.

Please enjoy the quick video below of me during the moment I realized they don’t know Britney Spears.

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