Morgan Hill Today 2014 03 Spring - Page 61

“I wish I had known to bring lipstick and perfume for the young women in Bagan who asked me for mine. The prices there are unreachable for them.” Laura Lundy It was a huge lesson in how hardworking, multi-generational, close-knit people can achieve a thriving community. Gems, Arts, Crafts and Shopping The city of Mandalay is the home of the world Jade Market, where stones mined in the north go for sale. What sounds like a shop opp, is instead a serious business that draws jade dealers from China and around the globe. There are acres of downtown streets covered with tents. Sellers spread their uncut rocks and boulders on blankets on the ground. Dealers walk the aisles beaming flashlights into the rocks. Our guide demanded that we leave our wallets and purses with our driver before going in. Throughout the country, crafts and treasures are found in open air markets where local people sell their one-of-a-kind earrings and artwork and antiques, alongside fruits and vegetables. The array is enough to stagger a veteran shopper: lacquerware, cheroot cigars, handmade paper umbrellas, marionettes, tribal wear, lotus-woven fabric, canvas art and every kind of jewelry – all bargains in the extreme. We stuff our suitcases with Christmas presents and still keep shopping. We know we need an intervention. Author’s Ten Top Favorites To Enjoy While In Burma • Temples & Pagodas • Gold Rooftops • Buddist Monks (Both Young And Wizened) • Friendly People (Still In Traditional Dress) • Cane Ball, The Sport • Villages (Self -Sustaining And Interdependent) • Floating Houses And Gardens • Fishermen Rowing With One Leg • Primitive, Handmade Arts And Crafts • Shopping (Someone Please Stop Us) S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 M O R G A N H I L L T O D A Y 61