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December 15, 2003

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The first thing we learned in Myanmar is that the 'r' is silent. Many people still refer to this country as Burma, an English corruption of the major ethnic group, the Bamar. Since no one wanst to remember the colonial period, the country's name changed from Burma to Myanmar in 1989. The government also thought it was politically sensitive to take a name that included all countrymen, not just the Bamar, so they used the name Myanmar. The English butted in again with their addition of an unnecessary 'r,' which is supposed to indicate that the final 'a' of Myanmar is a long one, Myanmaaaah...
Women (and young kids) paint their faces with a cream to ward off the sun or just be in fashion.
Street cafes borrow stools from the midget convention.
You won't find McDonalds in Yangon. Despite being cutoff by international sanctions, the city shows a modern face.