Things I have learnt in my first week in Yangon:
- Smiling is a thing here – smile and the world smiles with you
- Good manners are also a thing here – people are so polite I some times feel like an elephant lumbering through life
- Faded splendor is the architectural norm
- The language is tonal, and is all delivered through the inclusion of . or : or ‘ when written
- Mingahlaba = hello
- jay zu ding ba de = thank you
- Your post can be delivered by string and bulldog clip
- 1000 chat = $1 = 60p = everything is cheap!
- Half a crispy duck is served as just that, a duck cleaved in half from beak to bum
- Eating fruit is easy here, it’s everywhere and it’s fresh and seasonal
- I like real Asian food more than European food
- When it rains, it REALLY rains, but it’s warm so that’s ok
- Take an umbrella everywhere
- Humidity really does make my hair curl!
- Washing my clothes on fuzzy is ok!
- Everything (and anything) can happen tomorrow
- The mosquitoes can be vicious here
- The hangovers here are the same as hangovers at home: they hurt!
- Watch out for holes, sewerage, traffic and betel juice when you’re walking
- When crossing busy roads in heavy traffic, follow a monk; the cars avoid them
- Sniffing, clearing your throat loudly and spitting in the street are all totally acceptable activities
- Street hawkers have a strangely haunting cry to sell their wares, monks just shout (loudly at 6am while banging drums)
- Lotto tickets are always sold accompanied by loud music and flashing lights, even outside temples
- Buddha can also have disco lights
The lifestyle and culture here is gentle and unassuming. Culture shock is generally more of a small surprise; it washes over you and you’re left laughing at how silly you are to think it could have been any other way.
I think I like it here.