Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama

I feel compelled to write you a short note following your visit to Yangon.  I am not in the slightest a political animal, so please excuse me for keeping well away from that kind of talk.  Nope, this is a personal message because I am very much aware that your visit was very short and you did not have a chance to see the wonderful things I see every day living and working here.

Just in case you can’t quite place me (I know you are pretty busy and have covered a lot of ground in the past few weeks) I was one of five rather animated folks waving and jumping up and down on an empty part of the pavement shortly after you left Shwe Dagon.  I guess you were rather amused as we did not expect you to wave at us.  You will remember me – I was by far the oldest in the group but that didn’t show in my demeanour.  (I wrote all about it that day – here’s the link in case you missed it 🙂 )

Now with the increasing traffic congestion, and busy Yangon streets and roads it must have been pretty cool to be able to zoom through the streets with no delays.

Obama! 030

No waiting at traffic lights and no sitting behind lines of stationary cars and vans.  With only a few hours in town, and a tight schedule it would be a bit stressful to be worried about missing the return flight.  Not that there was any real risk of Air Force One leaving without its main passengers 😉  But still.

However, as I go about my regular daily routines, I can’t help but feel just a little bit sad that there are many wonderful sights which I see daily, which you would not have been able to see.  So I have collected a few images which I see regularly on the lively Yangon roads, and which I cherish, to share with you.

For example –

  • being able to buy jasmine at the traffic lights, (where you can also buy copies in pink, white, blue and yellow of the Foreign Investment Law in English and Myanmar languages)

jasmine street seller

  • the vans and line buses crammed full of lyongyi-wearing, tiffin box holding passengers hanging off the back

ordinary 23

  • the cute wooden buses


  • bicycles with several passengers


  • the “saidqua” trishaws with their peddlars and passengers


How many can fit on a trishaw?

  • all types of street sellers and merchandise on sale

ordinary 2

  • barefoot monks gathering alms

work etc 012

Yangon 2012 021


Yangon 2012 016

This is just the tiniest of glimpses into the day to day sights here, and the kind of sights you did not have a chance to see.  I have heaps more, for instance here, if ever you are bored of an evening and feel like a virtual wander through our streets.  Of course you have to wade through a heap of the breast cancery stuff which was (and still is) the main major raison d’etre of this blog, but I have to confess that I would find that more interesting than political talk and fiscal whatsits.  But then I  guess that that is why I am glad that you are you and I am me 🙂

I do hope that you have enjoyed this brief view of our wonderful city, and hope that I am more composed if I do see you again.

Very warm regards from this feisty gecko


6 thoughts on “Dear President Obama

  1. You MUST post his reply – but I am disappointed that you didn’t pass on my personal regards – he is bound to remember me!

  2. what a great idea to share so many photos of the very interesting and charming aspects of life in your city – i am sure president obama will be touched that you took the time and effort to write to him and see the pride you have in your lovely little place on the planet. and i bet he WILL remember you and the others he waved to! i do hope he answers your nice letter – let us know if he does.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

  3. Thanks K – it has been on my mind for a bit, since his visit really. I am still (after approaching four years here) in awe of many of the everyday sights I see and I really cherish these. So it just made sense to share them 🙂

    No reply yet………………….. 😉

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