The Three ‘Annoyers’


Being here in Yangon I find three things rather annoying, and after training myself to look at things through the “water lens”, all these are somewhat related to water.

First, food poisoning. I haven been having constant food poisoning ever since I got here. Locating bathrooms has become the first thing I do when leaving our guesthouse. Janine, fortunately, have no problem with this. All we have been eating is hot meals and all have tasted and felt clean. I am starting to wonder if this is something to do with the water.

Second, mosquitoes. They are everywhere – from our humble guesthouse to a five-star hotel, from dawn to night. A westerner backpacker, also a medical student, we met while taking a circular train around Yangon, mentioned that he was taking pills to prevent Malaria. The presence of mosquitoes is not at all surprising when I saw water stagnation almost everywhere from the railway’s window…

part of Yangon river

part of Yangon river

Third, taxis. The fact that all the taxis drivers have been very friendly and helpful does not cancel out my annoyance of having to negotiate the price on every ride I am getting. Coming back in Myanmar this time, I was asked to pay almost twice the price I paid last week at the airport. I negotiated with several drivers and all of them insisted the same price. I got very upset at first thinking that I was being ripped off only to find out later that there was flooding in the city and it had taken them hours per trip.

“Water really is a big issue”. The sentence Janine and I keep repeating to each other…

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