I’ve had my fill of sunsets and there seems to be an obsession with ensuring you’re in the right place at the right time to capture that ‘poifick moment’. Reality is – sunsets are like farts – force them and they’re probably shit. Thus in Bagan I ignored the randoms who were stopping and asking tourists where they were going and did they want to follow them to a good spot to watch sunset and headed to a restaurant to congratulate myself on surviving my e-bike experience rather than traipse up an overpacked stupa and stand amongst a group of other tourists to have a group-share disappointment of a disappearing sun that doesn’t hit the horizon.
Reality is I’d only be wanting to watch a sunset if I was sitting in the restaurant at the end of the universe, and not fighting for space amongst the plethora of long lensed tourists. I’d never felt lens envy so much, not since the 10incher we clocked on Lake Titicaca in 2014 and that only stood out because, ironically, it was covered in camoflague.
Myanmar was bad because the haze of dust that lingers over the horizon invariably ensures that the sun vanishes a good ten minutes before it’s supposed to. Ditto the major cities – although this time the smog is to blame.
In Goa, the same thing tends to happen, the sun never quite hitting the horizon.
Or otherwise you just get unlucky, and it’s shit.
A group of Chinese businessmen turned up at the resturant, so no-one gave a care to the lardy Brit lady who was just grateful that her e-bike hadn’t ploughed into the dirt on the off-tracks, or ploughed into a historical building as it sped off on its own, or ploughed into other vehicles on the road as I attempted to turn a corner.
This being ignored however wasn’t to the liking of the other Brits that turned up, retirees of the Daily Torygraph set, led by Mr Look at my Red-fucking Trousers (in linen, due to the heat dahhhling), and he put in an order for beer ahead of the other 3 in his ‘party’ arriving. They however weren’t down for beer, and thus followed a detailed review of the drink menu – ‘G&T?’ ‘Oh yes’, ‘beers are in the system, but we can get G&T’,’yes, let’s’, ‘oh, no apparently they don’t have any spirits’, ‘how about the Red Mountain?’ (Winery near Inle), ‘oh yes, by the glass?’, ‘apparently it’s only by the bottle’, ‘how much is the bottle?’, ‘oh no, $25, well we didn’t pay that there’, ‘let’s have a beer’, ‘yes let’s’. After that 10mins of drivel, they moved onto deciding what shot of the sunset they should send to ‘Amanda’, as she’d seemingly recommended the place. Sheesh kebaobs, shoot me now.
As the sun went down that gave them their excuse to start getting pissed. I downed my water and high-tailed it out of there.
The shot at the top of this piece was taken on the move as we headed back to Nyaung Shwe. Totally not planned for. My best ever sunset shots were taken from the loo of a riceboat on the backwaters of Kerala. 30mins stuck on the shitter, and these were some of the results, photography-wise. We won’t discuss the results happening at the other end:
Just goes to show, it’s best to not plan to much, but I wouldn’t recommend eating dodgy prawns to instigate a toilet-sitting sunset session.
I’m not sure I totally understand the need to watch the day end, even when I’ve done it myself. Sure, watching the sky change colour and the clouds picking up the last rays can be beautiful. However it’s not as if we’re all rushing outside to see the sun descend to the horizon when we are back in the reality of work and day to day normality, so why do it on your holibobs? Answers on a postcard please. Preferably one with a nice sunset on it.