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.
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)
- the vans and line buses crammed full of lyongyi-wearing, tiffin box holding passengers hanging off the back
- the cute wooden buses
- bicycles with several passengers
- the “saidqua” trishaws with their peddlars and passengers
- all types of street sellers and merchandise on sale
- barefoot monks gathering alms
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