Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Panghsang - bridge to the hidden city

a simple bridge does no justice to Panghsang. no justice, but practical. crossing the turbid Namkha River is a fantastic city/town. grown from a small village with a UWSA army base, Panghsang is now a city with banks, post office, casino, hotels, karaoke bars, shops and so on. the city does not attract foreigners (except some chinese) and i think many people were a little wary of me. but digging a little deeper and to see this amazing place and some things was really great. no chance of seeing Chairman Bao though - he was in china.

is it a club?

sometimes things are close, but how close is another question. be a western tourist in myanmar and you will get an egg and toast for breakfast. the hotels think they know westerners well. westerners eat egg and toast for breakfast. maybe you might get the knife and fork on the wrong side but you've got egg and toast. but look a little closer and you might see that its not real milk, or that the butter is on top of the jam or that the toast was taken out of the toaster yesterday.

the point i am trying to make is not one of complaint, but one alluding to the fact that copying too closely may not be the best option. ever thought that maybe westerners might like a myanmar breakfast?

the same is true in this picture. at first glances (maybe) you see a club or disco. if the people were white or black or chinese and you couldn't see the fence maybe it would be a little easier to imagine. but the longer you are there, the more things that are similar but seem not quite right you will notice. or maybe i can not see through my own biases and preconceptions too appreciate the uniqueness of factors.

respect to novice

a life of thought? or just kids? how different can children really be? these kids may be dressed in orange and may hold some buddhist believes dear, but are they not just kids?

simple life? or a life of great empowerment? will the novices stay on and become monks? or will their life plans change?

many people i have met throughout burma have been a novice or monk at one time in their life. maybe doing so would help us all.

sometimes i think that a life as a monk would be something that I would enjoy and find at peace. but am I kidding myself? I think the reality is I would be another one who had been a monk at some stage, but for a short stage at that.

da poppy

not a real poppy - well a real poppy - but not a real poppy crop. just a couple of poppy in da backyard. the flower - the red and white - so simple - yet so powerful. the power to make some rich. the power to make some free. the power to justify murder. the power to make some crazy. simple flower? or symbol of human nature?

little soldier

coming back from Panghsang in Wa terroritory, this kid was making a long walk. whilst we had avoived giving most people rides, we gave him a ride to his destination. despite us three being able to speak (in total) english, mandarin, xi'an, burmese, thai, shan (and possibly more), we could not communicate with this guy. We don't speak Wa, and this Wa don't speak Chinese!

welcome to my blog on myanmar

Welcome! Who am I? What is this blog about? That is all to come.

What about Myanmar? Geography? Politics? Business? Human Rights? Tourist?

This blog may be about anything - and maybe a little crazy. Whatever my thought - it will appear. Sure there may be some stuff about the above topics, but you may see some views that you have not seen before. Afterall I am a little crazy!