The next village we visit on Inle Lake is a fishing village, and actually in the lake, rather than along the waters edge like the last two. The streets of this village are waterways with rows of stilt houses on either side.
Some have little floating gardens, and hedges, others have pots with plants in them on a platform. All have small landing jetties for their boats. It is from one of these jetties that we are greeted by a mother and young daughter. They wave as we go by, and the driver takes the boat over to them and we start to speak to them through our guide. We are invited into their house and we readily accept. We go up the steps from the jetty into the usual two room affair with no furniture other than two old wicker chairs kept for important guests, which in this case turns out to be us. Everyone else sleeps, sits and eats on the floor. Is this why everyone takes their shoes off when entering a house, because basically you are walking on their dining table?
We learn that the parents have 14 children, presumably a result of living in the middle of a lake where there is little in the way of evening entertainment.
The parents sleep in one room and all the children sleep in the other, which is their main living room. No one leaves home until they get married. There is a small kitchen off the back, and a bamboo bridge to a separate “privy”. The privy has a modern style toilet, but no plumbing. It just sits over a hole in the floor and empties into the lake. There are 16 people living in this house, using this toilet, and it is just one of hundreds of similar houses. Suddenly we are not so hungry for fresh fish from the lake.