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Notes on the Geography of Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine

Pictures taken on a quick look-see.

 

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Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 1

The passenger-ferry offloads on Lower Main Road, one of two main streets (Lower and Upper Main) that parallel the shore. The Salween is in the background.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 2

The ferries are all steerage-class, but there's plenty of dignity among the passengers.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 3

In addition to the passenger-ferry dock and another dock for heavy trucks, there are informal landing places where boats float in on the tide and unload while the tide's out. Here, a load of bamboo is being hauled from the ship, stick by stick.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 4

The heart of the town lies between the waterfront and a ridge that is set back perhaps a kilometer from it. In that space, the streets are roughly gridded, as this picture, taken from Lower Main Road, suggests.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 5

On-land transport is dominated by World War II-vintage trucks, a running museum of Fords, Chevies, and Dodges.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 6

They carry freight, too--in this case, the bamboo that was being offloaded a few pictures back

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 7

Auto rickshaws are themselves of vintage age.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 8

Mechanical systems of every sort are in very poor shape. Here, a rented bicycle simply falls apart.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 9

More reliable, but scarce.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 10

Bus stop.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 11

Buddhist nuns grace an otherwise grim street scene.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 12

Streetside pottery.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 13

Firewood for sale. The hand-size bundle is just enough to cook one meal.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 14

One source of local income: an Indian girl using a hammer to break coconuts--hundreds of coconuts, mountains of coconuts.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 15

It's an assembly line, with the extracted coconut-fiber woven into coarse rope.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 16

A seamstress in the central market. Blind in one eye, she did good work with the other.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 17

Happy to add a button.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 18

There was a time when Moulmein was famous for its teak mills and its log-handling elephants. (This was near the place where Orwell shot that elephant of which he wrote in "Shooting an Elephant.") The elephants are gone, and the teak mills are mostly abandoned. Here, the entrance to one formerly Indian-owned mill.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 19

The sawmill proper, with the waterfront beyond, from which logs were dragged. The beautiful lumber suggests that this mill operated in the recent. Note the rose-window and clerestory lighting, surprising touches.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 20

The mill had its own boiler to drive the machinery. The chimney isn't long for this world, however, if trees are allowed to grow in it.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein / Mawlamyine picture 21

Down below, elaborate belting connected the steam engine to the mill's circular saws.


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