“I live here with my parents and siblings. We opened up the restaurant about three years ago, so it is our land. It is difficult for young people to find jobs locally, a lot of them leave but almost always, they come back to look after their families if needed. I have never really left as I have managed to find work. Before this I was working in housekeeping at one of the hotels near here. But sometimes, there is not that much in terms of leisure for young people. We meet friends and play guitar and sing songs, but it’s a very quiet lifestyle. There are not that many people who go abroad. Usually we end up working in tourism and hospitality or as government officials. These are the main steady lines of work here at Inle.
There are definitely more and more tourists every year, which is a good thing. They bring with them ideas and hard currency but I do worry about the environment and the lake. I would really like to see more education about the waterways being provided, particularly about trash and the use of natural products that don’t harm the waterways so much.
Business is good at the moment. We get a lot of people coming through who ask about my grandmother’s recipes that we cook at the restaurant. She even gave a cooking demonstration to some local reporters once. But actually it’s my brother in law who does most of the cooking. Why is it that woman seem to always cook in the house and not as chefs or cooks in restaurants? Well, I think that’s a trick question but in our home, it’s really simple. My sister really is a terrible cook, so her husband has to do it!”
Ko Aung Naing Myo