Day One Myanmar

Wash day

Wash day

My co-researcher Namsai asks; “Janine do you know how to Blog?”

Hmm, now that you ask…not really. I have a quick look at various suggestions. It seems that I should write a story that I would be interested in reading. Right. Good. I quite like to read stories that make me laugh or intrigue in some way. I feel bereft of all intrigue.

Namsai is blogging away. The words are pouring from her fingers. It seems that I am bloggingly illiterate… at least for the moment.

This first day has been gentle. I am happy to relax into this new environment as my flight from India was delayed leading to one missed night of sleep. However, my taxi driver sang most of the journey from the airport to the hostel. It was a very nice. Later he takes me back to meet Namsai’s flight. We recognise each other easily and talk into the early hours.

I have walked around the city streets in the morning watching the pink robed monk children chant for alms and receive food and money; I have met wonderful calm smiling people and found a computer adaptor plug in a bathroom plumbing shop.

WE have walked past the large hospital and open drains and groups of men doing lots of drainage maintenance work. Which is good because we have a torrential rain in the evening and the road is flooded within a few moments. After India it seems very green and clean. The states of Tamil Nadu and Andhara Pradesh have not had the monsoon rains for three years now so Yangon seems heavenly to me. The temperature has dropped from Chennai’s 39 degrees to Yangon’s 21 degrees. The humidity is high in both cities. The roads here seem well organised, with designated lanes and there does not seem to be a lot of traffic.

What I am surprised about is how expensive it is for accommodation. So much in American dollars. I met several locals who say that the pace of development has been very fast here. Just one year ago they said it was a green quiet city with virtually no traffic. Now there are hotels and buildings and development everywhere. I wonder how the locals can afford to live with this kind of change. The cost of living is going up fast. I wonder whether people will continue to be calm and relaxed.

2012-01-16 02.29.05


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