Myanmar (Burma)

Early Morning in Yangon

Yangon, and from our hotel room the first sound I hear in the early morning is the shush, shush, shush, of the street sweeper—a woman with a straw broom. There’s an occasional car, the first bus of the day rumbles past, and ravens caw impatiently for the woman who sells seed to passers-by. As the traffic begins to thicken, the tooting begins. Spend one day negotiating the traffic of Yangon and you learn to listen for those toots—ignore them at your peril.

On the street the food stalls already have their first customers, the stall holders have been up for hours. Next to the hotel the small family owned shop where we buy our water and snacks is open; they’re always open, it seems.

The traffic is still light. A man, like most he’s wearing the traditional longyi, walks along the footpath thwacking his leg with a rolled up newspaper as if displeased with it’s content.

Soon we come across workers sorting the day’s papers for delivery.

Sorting the day's papers for delivery, Yangon, Myanmar

Sorting the day’s papers for delivery, Yangon, Myanmar

Balancing the news, Yangon, Myanmar

Balancing the news, Yangon, Myanmar

A few metres further along the road we reach a newspaper stand. While the city hustle and bustle begins to claim the day the customers concentrate on the news.

News stand, Yangon, Myanmar

News stand, Yangon, Myanmar

There’s little conversation, no-one seems to be discussing the stories read. Opinions are tightly and quietly held here.

12 replies »

  1. Delightful! Your wonderful descriptive talents took us right into that early morning with both sights and sounds. And the photos of people preparing to deliver the papers by bicycle and those studying them so intently really spoke to me. We have to fight constantly here in middle Tennessee to get a paper delivered at all, and then on time or where we can actually find it! And we have moderate weather here and the newspaper deliverer comes in a car. The supervisors tell us they can’t keep deliverers and are always short. It doesn’t pay very well here, but I don’t imagine it does in Yangon either. I enjoyed this on so many levels. You write extremely well. I feel blessed I get to travel through you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Eileen, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I loved my time in Yangon. It’s a remarkable city. I was amazed at the way people could read in such an apparently focussed manner, despite the hustle and bustle of the city all around them. In fact, you can’t see it from my shot, but the news reading station was right next to a construction site. The racket was deafening. I’d thought I might like to read a paper there, myself, but I only lasted two minutes. But it didn’t seem to bother any of the locals – like people anywhere, I guess they were really keen to stay up with the news.

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  2. This is fantastic…and I think you are going to leave Myanmar with such a great feeling. Out in the countryside and other cities where I spent most of my time, my opinion (and those I traveled with) were that people were very open to share their thoughts (this was at the beginning of ’14). Even school kids were singing songs of democracy…really a sight and feeling to see and share. The monks support throughout the country is powerful, and it also makes it such a peaceful grassroots feel. And there is so much beauty there along with the uniqueness. Wonderful 🙂
    Happy Trails ~

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  3. not sure if the other comment arrived – I like the balance the news photo most – the three vehicles had gradation and seem balanced – but of course the news guy too – anyhow, great post/pics – 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such great post – and the pics are tasty good – the balancing the news one is my fav – for the news – but also the background – and the vehicles are balanced – like small, medium, and large (bus)

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  5. The guy on the bike reminds me of me when I used to go to the corner store for my mom. I never carried a load like that, but I had some dangerous piles on the back of my bike. Cool photos Jill, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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