Myanmar Hotels & Travels, Yangonow
Myanmar Hotels & Travels, Yangonow
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What's Yangonow
Essay by Koto         
5 Acquisition 23/May/2000
4 Looking at the traffic on the road of Yangon 13/May/2000
3 Yangonian's Way of Life 01/May/2000
2 A brief description about business in Yangon 01/May/2000
1 Yangon as seen from an office 01/May/2000
Yangonian's Way of Life
by Koto

My wife who is my very first reader of my contributions, made a comment on my reports expressing, "Such articles are not worth reading because they lacks actual facts." So, I will try to carry actual facts. May be it is a brief account again.

How do the people take a bath?

I stay in Yangon in an apartment with a warm shower attached. But ordinary people take bath by pouring water on them using a bowl. They usually take bath in the morning. It is very cold to take a bath in the morning in January and February. Therefore, the cases of catching cold are no the increase in Yangon. Usually water is stored in an oil drum or a large container. They take water in a bowl, rub their bodies with soap and pour water. In the country, it is common for both men and women to take bath outside. They do rubbing their bodies with soap and taking bath without taking off their "longyi". After taking bath, they put on another longyi on the wet one. Then they take off the wet one. The way they change longyi is the same for both men and women. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to see young girls doing so.

High class grand restaurant are quite different from ordinary ones. In the ordinary restaurants and shops, they usually put a cloth the owner will be very angry with you. Actually, this cloth is the handkerchief that customers share to clean their lips after eating. I did avoid using it.

But on other hand, I ate food from ordinary local restaurants, and food outlets many times. I ate "Monhinkha" several times there. The rice noodles is served in gravy. It is impossible to cook a few because method of preparing is so confusing. Though I don't know exactly how to cook, they usually put boiled banana core. Other ingredients are chilies, coriander, things like fritters, and thin slices of peas. A bowl of Monhinkha costs about 30 Kyats. It is a bout 30 Yen. The gravy is prepared in a large pot. When it run out, selling finishes. Generally they eat "Monhinkha" in the morning.

A cup of sweet "Tea" which is called "Letbetye" in Myanmar also cost about 30 Kyats (10 Yen). Is it expensive or cheap? How much does man who doesn't have better ability than others earn a day? It is about 300 Kyats (100 Yen). For someone who has vocational education earns 500-800 Kyats per day. For 25 working days, he can earn about 20,000 Kyats (1000 Yen). If he can make such amount of money, it seems that he can support a family. It is some account on grass-roots.

The salary of a government employee is 1000-2000 Kyats. No matter how much the government supports them with traveling allowance and, food ration, I have no idea how can they make both ends meet with this income.

Although we have a cook at our hostel, I cook myself so that I can eat whatever I like. In doing so, doing the shopping involves. Potatoes, onions and vegetables grown in Myanmar are very tasty. But potatoes and onions are rather small. Potatoes which newly came in to season can easily be peeled by rubbing with a brush. And they are very tasty too. A variety of vegetables are available in Myanmar. Cabbages and tomatoes are very fresh. But there is no lettuce.

To my disappointment, there is no good meat in Yangon. Myanmar people believe in Buddhism. And they are not stockbreeders. Instead they eat "Letphetthoke" (pickled tea) with plenty of beans. I also think they will get protein by eating beans.

Since I have a lot of brief accounts to write, I will continue later.

© Koto

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