This is a photo of a VCD player. Although DVDs come out, VCDs are still in vogue in Myanmar. Even the VCDs of Matrix Reloaded which was on in Paris during my visit last June are available in Myanamar. The pirate CD is subtitled in Chinese. I am not sure of the place from which they are produced. Strict action has been taken against piracy of local video films. There are a lot of pirate CDs which are available at very low price. I don't think Matrix cannot overtake the original one. Old movies are also made into new version films. But, old versions are always said to be better.(K.K)
I live in Yangon with a cat and a dog in Myanmar. It has been about five years since I brought the five-year old dog from Japan. The ten-year-old dog sleep the whole day like a cat. I was worried about the grass the dog eat when I first brought it to Myanmar. It used to eat slander grass when I walked it in Japan. My worries has been over. It often eats such grass in Myanmar. When I kept a cat in Japan, I grew seeds of grass in a container. The cat ate the grass that was said to make the cats healthy. Although, there are a number of shops opened here, no such grass are not available. When I bring and put the grass near the cat it eats greedily. Both the cat and dog live healthily in Myanmar.(K.K)
This is an old book shop in 37th street where old Myanmar novels and periodicals are available. Bookworms can read books there in a separate room. There are newspaper from 1960s and old books of famous writers. But the room is a bit narrow and dark. A lot of rare books are covered with dust. The 70-year owner said he has collected these books since he was twenty years old. He said the books will be open to all at a wider place in future.
Bagan airport will be closed after 12:00 hours to make some repair with effect from 20th September. Therefore, the flights between Yangon and Bagan will be operated only in the morning. Seats are fully booked. The repair work will last for about a month.
It was said in a newspaper that direct flights will be opened between Bangkok and Bagan, an ancient city. The plane can hold 50 passengers. The flights will be operated on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
There are a lot of parks around Kandaw Gyi Lake in front of my apartment. Bogyoke Aung San Park, opposite Japanese Embassy, is one of them. There were restaurants such as Angle, Million Coin, Maggie, Muze and Honey Moon in the park. All the restaurants in the park were demolished in June and grass is grown at the places. The scene has been completely changed after two months. It was said all the area would be up graded with the help of entrepreneurs from Singapore. It will include a playground for children and an aquarium. It will take about two years to finish the project. The Elephant Hill was first opened at the place of Angel restaurant. Four restaurants opened at the same place one after another. Million Coins used to be a restaurant by the name of Lonmalay which presented traditional Myanmar dances. I once visited this shop in 1996, when "Visit Myanmar Year" was launched. I have a mixed feeling when I see the changes. Although I enjoy natural beauty with trees and grass, I have a strange feeling when I see there were no longer restaurants in the park.(K.K)
Pine apple. First, the fruit is mixed with little salt and honey because it is a bit sour. It becomes soft after half an hour and ready to serve. The food is said to help clear worms from bowel.
On the other day, it was a bit cold and it was covered with fog the Tamway. Although it is in the rainy season, it is a bit cold at night and in the morning. It is usually cold in November when the open season starts. I haven't had air-conditioners installed at my flat during the period of six years. Although I had an air-conditioner installed at my flat. I gave it to my friend. The hottest periodis in March and April. After this period, I think, it is not very hot in Yangon.It may be personal thought of mine that there are Japanese people in Myanmar whocan without an air conditioner. (K.K)
Crispy fried potato. There were a lot of shops which sell crispy fried potato. At present, only this shop is left. Resellers generally buy the goods here. They only made for daily sales. Fresh fired potato is available daily.
This photo is of a palm shape chair made of rain tree wood. It is also used as fruit displaying container. The chair is priced K 40000. The table seen in another photo is priced K300,000.
Although new air routes of United Airlines were said to start on September 15, it seems to begin in October. The scheduled routes are from Yangon to Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.
There are three seasons in Myanmar-summer, rainy season and cold season. Generally it rains till October. But, the times of rain have deceased as days in September have elapsed. The rainy season came late this year. It is predicted that the cold season will come late.
Recently, electronic notice Boards were installed at Pyay Road & Kaba Aye Pagoda Road. The notice board feature from "welcome to Myanmar" greeting to traffic regulations in Myanmar Language.
New bus stands were under construction recently. The stands were built with woods and corrugated steel sheets. At the moment, bus stands with seats are built at busy places under sponsorship of advertisers. For example; Sule bus stop. City FM radio station is educating the people not destory the stops.
Businesses are normally sluggish. It has become even worse at present. Lottery is the only dream in this trying period. The highest prize one can win is only K 30 million. No changes have made to the prize which could buy an apartment in a high class condominium two or three years ago. But, the apartment is now worth K60 million. But, the prize K 30 million is just a dream for ordinary people. (K.K)
House Lizard is a common creature in Myanmar. Geckos can be seen at my house very often. Recently they could not be found very often because of my bad cat. It is strange to see a gecko with two tails. Some said that if one rubs a person he or she likes with the ash gotten from burning of these tails, he or she will win that person's love. These tails are said to be used in making love potion called "Piya Say" in Myanmar language. "Say" means medicines in Myanmar. After checking the pronunciation with three persons and consulting with the dictionary, I could get the right pronunciation. By the way, instructors from the University of Foreign Languages often make mistakes in spelling Myanmar words.(K.K)
This photo was taken from the 9th floor of the apartment where I live. There are plenty of green trees left. The scene is very very beautiful with greenish trees after the rain. Palm trees are very common trees in the city. There are a lot of palm trees. First coconut palm means plank. Jaggery and toddy are produced from toddy palm. Thatch mat for making the roof of a house is made the leaves water palm (Dani). This tool is used to extract kernel from a coconut. Toddy palms are of two kinds; female and male. Toddy can be extract from both trees. Toddy from male tree is extracted from February to May and from the female tree from June to October. The toddy becomes sour in a single day. Jaggery is made from toddy. Toddy is boiled under intense heat. The sweet jaggery is indispensable for serving a visitor to go with plain tea in the villages in upper Myanmar. They are made with different ingredients such as sesame and milk. It is too sweet for me to eat a lot. Jaggery from the villages in Kyaukpadaung is said to be the most famous all over the country. (K.K)
I received a photo from a friend of mine who has visited Myanmar for eight times because he likes the country very much. In the beginning of the year, I visited Myitkyina. The confluence of Ayeyadawy river where two rivers May Kha and Malikha join is a famous place in Myitkyina. I was surprised when I suddenly saw elephants on my way back. When I took a photograph, the elephants walked pass me. The photo of the back of the animals is a humorous one. I put it on the net with permission. (K.K)
White powder in the photo is lime. Lime is spread on the concrete road in the park to prevent from slipperiness due to rain that grows moss. Myanmar style slippers have no trace on their heels and they are slippery. I could get the right spelling of Myanmar word"slipper" (chaw) after asking three people. Other meanings of "chaw" are beautiful and handsome. In Myanmar, a person with fair skin and with puffy eyes are said to be handsome. A thin person is not popular. I put on eight Kg during the period of six years in Myanmar due to lack of exercise. While I was walking with great care not to fall down on the slipper road, I thought I need to do some exercises and to be on a diet. (K.K)
Wedding day of the manager of my restaurant in the park is drawing near. I didn't even know that he has a girl friend although I have known him about six years. It was surprising. The people from the girl's side seem to be against their engagement at first with the reasons because he come s from country side and he only has a primary school education. The girl is university graduate. She works for a bank. But the manager is very nice, hardworking and honest. The girl's father passed away years ago. Her mother is heading the family. The date for engagement has been set after receiving green light from her mother. The girl is 29. She seems to make a good wife. This photo was taken when they visited me. For setting the wedding day, they consult an astrologer. We went to the place of Min Thein Kha, a famous astrologer. There were about 200 people waiting to have their horoscope examined when we arrived there at 7 o'clock in the morning. We had to go back at about 4 in the afternoon because only 150 were accepted each day. The next day, the manager set out there very early. He could manage to see the astrologer and was given a date for their wedding day. When we visited the astrologer months ago, we could ask many questions we had reserved in advance. I was told next year would be very good. I wish it were true.(K.K)
by Ma Khaing Khaing Aye, Kimura Kenichi & Nishigaki Mitsuru