We rise early to catch a cramped little bus to the beach. Just around the corner from the Pathein bus station is a small crepe factory with two rows of 12 griddles atop charcoal cookers. Three people work, as does an enormous mixer powered by a motor that turns a giant three-pronged blade. Black exhaust spews from the contraption as a young man pours water into the mix.
He lets it churn a few minutes, then flings the dough into a tub. He plunks himself down on a seat beside the tub, beneath a tree to which a little wooden shelf is nailed. Atop the shelf is a radio that sings into the man’s left ear.
He pounds and tosses the dough; it leaps into the air, stretching and somersaulting in fantastic gymnastics. Then an older man grabs a handful and begins to smear each griddle with a smidgen of the mixture, which sizzles and steams and takes the shape of a crepe. Just when each piece turns crispy, a woman with a smear of thanaka on her face pries the hot crepes from the fiery griddles and stacks them in her hand.