On one of our days in Bagan, we cycled in the opposite direction from all the famous temples, through Nyaung-U towards the river and ferry drop off point, and turned inland and uphill, cycling along little paths until we reached more or less a dead-end, at a hamlet where we came across a merry group of children novice monks having a break in lessons. They posed for us and romped around, playful as kittens, and then one of them coyly offered me a lovely frangipani flower.
After some sign language and broken English, they understood that we were looking for some help in reaching one of the temples we spied in the distance with no visible path leading to it.
A serious little boy took it upon himself to lead us there while his friends looked after our bicycles and we set off. And so, as we wandered through the fields and meadows, with no common language between us, Mirek started whistling. I then took up his tune and tried feebly to whistle, to which the little boy also joined in and smiled for the first time as the three of us ambled along, whistling out of tune and finding that we didn’t need to speak the same language in order to communicate the happiness we felt at being there.
Here are some pictures of that little adventure: