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