back in town i tried some burmese ice cream. the parlor was pretty busy and seemed like a popular place for folks to hang out. it certainly didn't hurt business that it was 100 degrees every day though.
buses in mandalay can be unreliable, to say the least. drivers stop at street corners and call out to try and get more passengers onboard. since none of them spoke english, figuring out which local bus to take was too daunting a task, made more difficult by the fact that bus numbers are written in burmese script. fortunately there's plenty of trishaw drivers willing to take me around town. buses often break down as well: here the driver is trying to wench his vehicle back into service. passengers have no choice but to wait and enjoy the natural air-conditioning courtesy of paneless windows.
phone service is scarce in mandalay. nobody has a cellphone and i actually read foreigners are forbidden to bring theirs into the country (i brought mine in anyway, they never checked my luggage). i did see one burmese man back at the capital with a cellphone the size of a brick (he must've been a very important man). the young woman in the foreground of this photo is actually using the burmese version of a pay phone.
a typical street in mandalay. notice that bus is still stuck.