I was hot, dusty,sweaty, hungry and tired - not a good combination when my bicycle was 'parked in' during tourist gridlock at sunset at a major viewing temple.
When I finally snapped, it was the tenth boy trying to sell me postcards that I unleashed on. "NO, I do not want any of your postcards!!! Just leave me alone to get my bike out!" I then had a lesson in humility when he stared at me with his big, brown eyes, called over his friends and they moved a motorbike so I could get my bike, expecting nothing in return. I was an ugly tourist and not proud.
It has been a big few days of hot, dusty bicycling on sandy tracks around one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world - the Temples of Bagan. Everywhere you look, there are 13th century temples and pagodas scattered over the surrounding plains - over 3,300 of them. They are hard to miss and their lure is impossible to ignore. Except between 12 and 4pm when there is nothing more unappealing than looking at rocks in the sun.
Despite being hot, sweaty and dusty, this fair-skinned traveller had another rock-star moment this morning when an entire, very big family, wanted photos with me at a temple. I have to admit, when there were 18 Burmese people telling me I was beautiful, I began to feel just a little less hot, sweaty and dusty.
iPhone photos won't do it justice, but here's a few anyway, including my rockstar family.