I was busy preparing to open a tea shop. The tea shop is in the compound of in front of Yangon University. The way the carpenter acts is quite different from Japanese people. In Japan, plane and saw cut when they are pulled to the user. But, they cut when they are pushed in Myanmar.The carpenter worked hard with few words. He also helped making things at my house and restaurant. Although it is said a lot of men in Southeast Asia are lazy, there a lot of people who work hard.(K.K)
I, together with staff of Sanay Company, recently visited the place of Min Thein Kha, a famous astrologer and writer in Myanmar, in Hmawby two-hour drive a long the road to Pyay from Yangon. I just saw Ponna Ba Kun, a movie in which Director Kyaw Thu, Htet Htet Moe Oo, famous Zagana and comedian Araing starred. The story is written by Min Thein Kha. My friend who accompanied me to the cinema does not know Myanmar language. But, he said it was interesting. We were told good things when we had our stars examined by him. A Japanese astrologer seemed to be asking questions to him weekly. We had a chance to see the astrologer because the woman interpreter who translates questions from Japan introduced us to Min Thein Kha. It seems to be difficult for Myanmar people to see him. The man who arrived after us seemed to be an amazingly high ranking official. The 65-year old writer has a good command of English. He seemed to in good mood on the day we visited him.(K.K)
After we came back to Kengtung, we visited villages in Shan State leisurely. We came across some buffaloes when went trekking. We can see a lot of buffaloes if we go out of Yangon a little further. This is not a strange story of Kengtung trip. But, I have been thinking of taking photos of the buffaloes since a long time ago. I did take photos of them. Let me finish my story about Kengtung trip with buffaloes. I saw many families of buffaloes, the ones in water, white ones, etc……. When I visited Myanmar in 1996, I saw the boys on their way back home in light rain on the back of buffaloes moving in the swamp. The peaceful scene like a painting really attracted me. I remember the period of six or seven years ago. Leisurely riding on the back of a buffalo. How worth living it is to live such a life! (K.K)
When we arrived in Mongla, it was Chinese New Year eve. Fire crackers were played in the afternoon. When the evening came, fireworks were like a competition in the town. Firecrackers with gunpowder attached to a five-metre long rope were burnt in front of the hotel where we stayed. Loud noise of explosion and loud applause of the spectators overwhelmed the mountain. We had to watch it from the verandah on the third floor because we felt it was dangerous. We could see panoramic view of the town from the third floor overlooking the town. The night was full of hand-held rocket fireworks, loud noise of red fire crackers and smell of gunpowder. It would be shocking to know the amount of money spent on the day. Next morning on the New Year day, the slope in front of the hotel was full of red wrapping paper of the firecrackers. The roads in other places were like dyed ones in red colour. The thought that "Is it really in Myanmar?" came again. From the trip, I came to know that there are a lot of things which I don't know in Myanmar.(K.K)
This drug elimination museum is located at a corner surrounded by trees in Mongla. The pink building is prominent one. Displays are actual size young drug addicts on their return to the society after being undergone medical treatment at the hospitals. A lot of photos are also on display. Only visitors were our group. In the garden, poppy plants are on display. Poppy flowers are white and pink. How can white power be made from such simple and lovely flowers? (K.K)
At last, we arrived in Mongla. It took us three hours to get there. There may be toll gates on the roads under special repair finish. It is a strange town, a foreign town in Myanmar. Myanmar language is hardly spoken. You cannot use Myanmar currency there. Local time is one and half hour earlier than Myanmar standard time. Signboards are written in two languages-Myanmar and Chinese. Is it according to the law? It seems a booming town in China if there is no such signboard in the town. A lot of large hotels are under construction. The first and second floors of the hotels are casinos. We didn't seem to have anything to do with the casinos because we went trekking there. One member of our group called it "the pretending town". It is really like a town that is suddenly built like settings for a movie.(K.K)
These are two photos of geysers with the name of emerald and gold. I didn’t realise there is a geyser in Kengtung. There is also a geyser in Da Wai. To compare with Da Wai, businesses are doing better here in Kengtung. The geyser with rows of stalls is forty minutes drive on the dangerous lane from downtown Kengtung. People come to the geyser by motorcycles and cars. Restaurants charge the highest price K150 for an egg. An egg costs only K 38 if you buy it in the market. It is also expensive to have food at a sight-seeing spot and geysers in Japan. The place where the hot water came out is at the edge of a large field. You can make a boiled egg within ten minutes if you place it in the water. A special room is available to rent about K500. A larger room for family use is more expensive. It is a pleasure to have a warm bath with clean water. I had bath for three times before I came back.(K.K)
In this photo, you can see the shop in the market that sells costumes of Akha nationals. Akha girls wear this kind of hats and mini-skirt like dresses. We went trekking to a village of indigenous people. Although we had planned to go to four or five villages, we were not very willing to find out their way of living inside-out. The indigenous people are often spoilt by financial incentives. The people here are more honest than the people in the village of national races in Thailand, a tourist spot. We went back after visiting Akha and Ann villages because we felt exhausted. We were amazed to see the houses in Akha village are like Japanese houses. The houses are built at the terrace of mountains. I think how is it to go into the lives of the people who natural life.(K.K)
Noodles from Shan State. It can clear your mouth and it is popular among the people in Yangon like Monhinga, a gravy noodle soup. Noodles and soups are available to the customers' choice. I didn't Shan noodle very much before. It tasted good when I ate it in Shan State. The photo is a stall of Shan noodle row in the market. Although I can't remember when I had started this habit, I have had the habit of spending money saving like Myanmar people. Because there are some businessmen who tell the highest prices if they know the buyer is a foreigner. (K.K)
We made a long-awaited trip to Kengtung together with family of Nishigaki and other friends. It took seven of us four hours to cover the flight?Mandalay, Heho, Tachilek and Kengtung. The only person who lost his baggage was me. I could do nothing about it. I went straight to the hotel with the bag in which precious things were. The airline unloaded the wrong baggage. I had the baggage the next day. Kengtung can be said Switzerland of Myanmar.
We went to the market in a morning. You can get to know everything regardless of place. Food and clothing sold in the market are of good quality because the town is near to Thailand and China. I was about to buy some shirts and socks and I was rather shock to realize that they were very expensive than in Yangon.
The photo is of Tofu made of beans. Tofu available in Yangon is rather hard and not delicious. This is soft like Tofu in Japan. I came across an elderly indigenous woman who sold brooms carrying on her back. There were some women who sold things while they were baby-sitting. The market was lively.(K.K)
This is Myaung Mya Daw Cho Monhinga (vermicelli with gravy soup Myanmar style) Shop in 51st Street. It is a difficult name to say except for Myanmar people. It can be said that interior decoration and service are good at the shop. But, the elderly man's photograph in gown taken at the graduation ceremony is hung in a bit dark shop. It is common for Myanmar people to hang such photos in their living room. Visiting cards also carry educational qualifications. One can take pride for the education than their wealth. When I went to the shop there was already the place for buying take-away. One can improve his status if he makes efforts everyday wherever he is. Now I can suddenly distinguish which shop is good, which is bad because I have visited so many shops.(K.K)
Although the academy award presenting ceremony finished newspaper and journals are still carrying articles about it. Why academy award presenting ceremony for 2001 was held only this year? This is opinion of my friend that very few films produced yearly was shown first in Yangon, Mandalay and other cities. It may take a year. That is why the ceremony was held one year late. In 50 years of film history, the first actor to receive academy award is U Thu Kha who chaired the panel of judges for presenting the awards. He has received six academy awards.
To have a look at academy award winners, Yan Aung has received five awards. There are four-time award winners such as Kyaw Hein, Moh Moh Myint Aung, May Than Nu, etc. Talented Moh Moh Myint Aung and May Than Nu are contemporary. There are nine three-time award winners such as Khin Than Nu, the most beautiful actress in 20 century movie world, Cho Pyone who is also a famous singer, etc. Wah Wah Win Shwe who ran Academy Hotel is famous as a winner. There are 26 two-time award winners including Htet Htet Moe Oo who is very happy for winning award this year. Among one-time winners are 12 main actors, 12 supporting actors, 15 main actresses and 14 supporting actresses.
Other awards are movie awards, script awards and cameraman awards. To compare with the scene of academy award presenting ceremony in America, a total of 14 movies are produced each year. The reason why one actor gets so many awards is that famous actors take turns to receive awards. After receiving awards, they take the name "Academy". For example, the word academy will be written in front of the name Min Maw Gun on the poster of the movies.(K.K)
This is the Central Market of Yangon where consumer goods are available. I have already introduced it in Yangon news. Workers from my restaurant often go to the market by the truck. Vegetables and fruits are very fresh here. I took photos of some goods. On the rooftop, there is an amusement park by the name of "Happy World". Happy World is also located near the Southern Stairway of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda. In Happy World one can play billiard. The market located in Ahlon Township in western part of Yangon opens 24 hours a day. It is more crowded in the morning. A friend of mine, on a visit to Yangon in 1996, took photos of famous prison camp in Ahlon where his father had been with the help of the guide. Back in Japan, he showed the photos to his father. On seeing the photos, he exclaimed that there were a lot of buildings and it has change a lot. But he came to realize that Ahlon where the prison located and the Ahlon Township are completely different.(K.K)
It is more convenient to say "to Mago Street" when I hire a taxi if I want to go to Shwebontha Street. Most cars park at the place near the corner of Shwebontha Street and Anawratha Road. People cross the road, as they wish not from the traffic lights. With great care, I have to cross the road with no zebra crossing. But, there is a wire fence on Anawratha Road so that people cannot cross it, as they like. There are also wire fences on Sule Pagoda Road, Strand Road and in front of Bogyoke market. In Shwebontha Street there are a lot of famous shops such as Tokyo Fried Chicken, American Vision Optical shop, United Vision Optical Shop, etc. A lot of clinics open in the evening. Medical specialists work part lime for the clinics. It is said one-day income of a specialist is more than monthly pay. There are also a lot of small stalls of signboard and billboard makers. I placed an order for a new signboard for my new shop at a stall.(K.K)
Graduation ceremonies are being held at Yangon University. I also attended the ceremony of the University of Foreign Languages held there for last academic year. I received graduation documents with no grade. Graduation and rehearsal ceremonies of other universities are also being held in Yangon University, which is the symbol of universities in Myanmar. Graduation ceremonies are queuing up for their turn.(K.K)
Chinese New Year is still being celebrated in Yangon. China Dragon and music troues were invited to Chinese houses to bring good luck.
Straight hair style is in vogue in Yangon recently. May be, the style was started by famous fashion actress Eindra Kyaw Zin. A lot of girls have kept straight hair to shoulder. It costs K 15,000 to straighten short curly hair.
Yaza Nay Win has become famous recently for his prominent style and action in TV commercials and movies although he has average appearance. There are hardly any actors who become famous in their thirties in movie world of Myanmar. The way he speaks and acts is attractive. For example, he puts on new shirts and trousers without taking off brand name tags. He tries to get fame doing things, which no one has done. His sister is Haymar Nay Win, a famous singer. His father was collegian Nay Win, a famous actor. He went into the world of screen after demise of his father. He told in an interview with a magazine that the profession of an actor is what his father did not want him to be. The man in green shirt (left).
This is the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate in Bagan opened last December. It is located in old Bagan. Enjoying the view of Arnanda Temple, guests can have breakfast__fresh French and German bread, etc and dinner prepared by a French chef. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. It is said to be the finest hotel in Bagan.
by Ma Khaing Khaing Aye, Kimura Kenichi & Nishigaki Mitsuru