I watched a program on Japanese TV. Japanese people who live abroad were asked what an essential thing is. Most of them answered that it is the itch reliever rod. That is right. It is an outside question after the ones about food. Actually I took a scratching rod from Japan. Myanmar people can scratch any part of their body with their hands. My limbs are very rigid and I have to regard this rod a benefactor when I have prickly in summer. When I came across a rod at a road side shop I bought it instantly. The Myanmar made rod was given no special name. (K.K)
A friend of mine from Japan said cities all over Asia have fragrance of their own. Seoul in South Korea has the fragrance of Kinchi, Bangkok in Thailand has fragrance of Nanmupura (soy made of fish and prawn) and Yangon has the fragrance durian at this season. The fragrance of durian (Some think it smells.) is all over the city. Parts of some durians are peeled so that buyers can see inside and make sure they are ripe. Fruits are available in all seasons in Yangon. Actually I don't like durian. But, I don't understand I like mild tasted durian ice cream very much. (K.K)
Myanmar people show their cars without fail at a Nat abode to avert from danger when they buy a car. The place is one hour drive from Yangon along Yangon-Bago Road. I always show the cars at Shwe Nyaung Pin Nat's abode. The offerings a coconut and bananas are put on the car and a person recites verses. Then, the car has to move forward and backward for several times. Accidents are on the increase recently. Every driver should be careful. (K.K)
I bought the third car in May. The first wagon was bought with K 880000 and sold it with K 3.4 million after using two and half years. I still have some attachment with this car because I first use it in this country. The second one was a Toyota pick-up. It was priced K 10.5 million but it is K 7.8 million for prices have gone down. The third one is 1987 model Nissan with air-conditioning unit. The 1988 models are not sold well because they have no air-conditioning unit. I can save about K 3 million. Exchange rate of dollars has gone up sincee June. I bought the car with K 20 million after making decision in one day because I can't know for sure what will happen to the price of cars and the rate of dollars. How does a used Nissan of 16 years ago cost in Japan? (K.K)
I am taking a walk frequently to Yuzana Plaza for window shopping. When I happened to enter furniture shops on the 5th floor, I think the plaza is the biggest shopping mall in town. Changes were made to the rooms following the advice of astorloger Minn Thin Kha. They new tiles and new furniture. There are a lot of furniture shop there. Imported furniture, traditional furniture made of teak, modern leather furniture and tables made of glass are on sale. I bought the furniture in the photo and place athem in the kitchen. I bought it after bargaining for K 5000 price decrease. It is common to bargain in Myanmar. At the plaza car park was constructed in the building. One can drive up to the fifth floor and go direct to the furniture shops. They have delivery service. Once shoppers had to carry it in their cars. Are the shops copying others? Home delivery service is available at all the shops.(K.K)
A baby sparrow flew into my apartment on the 9th floor. I set it free at the corridor because I have a cat. Animals such as bat, pigeon, long-horned beetle (longicorn) used to entered my apartment. The cat watches pigeons from the windows. It once fell on to the roof of the flat under mine. If it fell to the ground, the height is about 20 metres. We had to find a way to rescue it. Although we had a ladder, we dared not to go out of the flat on the 9th floor. We dropped the container of a printer with small dried fish in it. When the cat entered the container, we pulled it up and save the cat. Again the naughty cat fell cheasing a pigeon. When the roof under my flat had not fixed , it fell to the ground. But, nothing was happened.(K.K)
I took a walk to Yuzana Plaza for window shopping. When I happened to enter furniture shops on the 5th floor, I think the plaza is the biggest shopping mall in town. Changes were made to the rooms following the advice of astorloger Minn Thin Kha. They new tiles and new furniture. There are a lot of furniture shop there. Imported furniture, traditional furniture made of teak, modern leather furniture and tables made of glass are on sale. I bought the furniture in the photo and place athem in the kitchen. I bought it after bargaining for K 5000 price decrease. It is common to bargain in Myanmar. At the plaza car park was constructed in the building. One can drive up to the fifth floor and go direct to the furniture shops. They have delivery service. Once shoppers had to carry it in their cars. Are the shops copying others? Home delivery service is available at all the shops.(K.K)
There were consecutive days with rain. When I was having Chinese tea at a tea shop, the rain suddenly came. This photo was not taken in thevening. You see how heavy the rain was by looking at water on theasphalt road. Myanmar people carry umbrellas whenever they go out duringthe period from May to October. A Japanese saying goes " Providing is preventing".(K.K)
It has been completely the rainy season in Yangon. There are consecutive days when the comes. With down pour, the roads become rivers. Cars go in the water like motorboats with splashes. Some parks and gardens become lakes. Cleaning of the drains is needed to be done every year. They can do the cleaning of the drains in advance as the rainy season is drawing near. But, they don't as long as the drains are blocked with garbage. After the cleaning, there are a lot of heaps of garbage in streets. When it comes to rain, it is not complete with umbrellas. There are a lot of commercials of umbrellas on TV. Brand names are Japanese name like Yuki, Asahi, Yamasu, Nikko, Mikko, Noriko, Momoko and so on. But they are not made (K.K)
Last week issue of the Myanmar Times carried the news of death of 96-year-old actress Katharine Hepburn. Myanmar movie stars are also presented academy awards. The highest is getting four academy awards. Katharine Hepburn was said to be awarded four academy awards. I was three award-winning films of her when I lived in Japan. Audrey Hepburn who is the most popular in Japan was awarded the best actress in the world. It was chosen by a movie association in England. The two actresses are not of the same type but both are good at their trade.(K.K)
This is a news journal in which the new about Myanmar team which won championship award in Asean youth football tournament was carried. It also carried interesting articles. A picture of roads in downtown in a flash floods. The caption says, "I want to row a boat". The Volkswagon beetle, which I drove before, had difficulties going through floodwater. At the moment, I really wanted to raw a beat.(K.K)
This is the place where cars are sold and bought. At the very wide plot of land in Kyandaw, sales of cars are made. Prices of cars are un believably rising compared to the prices in two years ago. I found a 1988 model Nissan which is 21 million and five hundred thousand Kyats. The price seemed to be down by 5 million Kyats. I decided to buy it because it has a good air-conditioned system and is comfortable. I have to exchange my money with Kyats. But, I decided not to do because exchange rate of dollar was down about 60 Kyats per dollar. If the rate goes up again, I may buy it this week. I will let you know if I happen to buy it.(K.K)
This photo is taken at Maw Tin Jetty. As you can see in the photo, road have been repaired, benches have been put and trees have been planted. One can take a stroll a long Yangon river and study ways of life of people. At night sodium lights are on and this scene has totally changed
This is about traffic and roads in Yangon. Things that make foreigners include prices of telephones and automobiles. So, they don't want to buy any. If someone buys a car or a phone, he will feel mad. Despite of rising prices number of cars is increasing. The roads of Yangon are busy with cars which are competing each other and cars that violate traffic rules in rush hour. The roads are also busy with cars which come to collect children at school hours. They are too much for Myanmar. Extension is made to widen roads. Education is given from FM radio. The extension work along Kaba Aye Pagoda Road is almost finished. The roads become 6-way traffic. A horn-free zone has been made in six tourships-Lanmadaw, Latha, Pabedan, Kyauktada, Paundaung and Botataung. Noise of horns in the townships was ear-splitting before. Bus made more noise. Violators are liable to be fined K 5700. There no traffic lights for pedestrians. They cross roads checking at traffic. They cross at a road section after section. If outsiders who live away from Yangon may not be used to such daily routines when they get back Yangon. People from countryside are not so patient in Yangon. Yangonites could not be patient in countryside where everything is rare.
Festivals of ethnic people are held with arrangement of the government. Naga festival was held last year. Arrangements are under way to hold a Salon festival in February. Salon people known as sea gipsy live on the island like Zadat Kyi and Lanpi islands near Myeik and Kawthoung. The trips are being sold for it is aimed at tourism promotion.
by Ma Khaing Khaing Aye, Kimura Kenichi & Nishigaki Mitsuru