Saturday, April 12, 2014

Thingyan & Myanmar New Year

This time of the year will be synonymous with Water Festival, also known as Thingyan in Myanmar (read: tin-jan). If you familiar with Songkran in Thailand, Thingyan in Myanmar is equivalent of that. Like in Thailand, Myanmar Water Festival usually for 3-4 days. 2014 will be from 13th until 16th. 

What follows after Thingyan is Myanmar New Year. Like any other lunar calendar, it changes every year depending on moon phase in the old days but now it had been fixed with Gregorian calendar. Myanmar New Year pretty much after Thingyan and for year Gregorian calendar 2014, it will year 1376 in Myanmar year. Thingyan is basically the longest holiday in Myanmar, taking up up to 10 days including weekends.

During Thingyan, lots of pandal (water throwing stage) available by road side and people will throw water to all passerby. Since it's the peak of hot season with temperature up to 42-43 degrees Celcius at certain places, it would be refreshing to get thrown some water. Thingyan is a big celebration which people are having fun, sometimes to the point of intoxicated. It's quite common to see men and women, sometimes even underage teenagers intoxicated either on alcohol and/or drug. Traffic will be god damn awful during this time of the year due to people at no rush than just enjoying themselves. 

So, what about me? I'm going back home. Getting wet in the midst of hot weather is so not my cup of tea cause I easily get sick and I'm knowingly despise crowded, hot and wet public area. 

Although, I will be back on 14/04 thus still have half day of 13th to observe the Thingyan celebration. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

73 days

I was in Myanmar for 73 days before I'm going back last weekend. Wow, that's so longgggg. The verdict? I almost gone bonkers. Work wise, I'm handling something new, commercial and strategy development work hence more stress. My gastric problem getting worse. I had to take constant medication now, preventive of some sort. I couldn't sleep some nights, mostly because of the gastric problem, some due to work related. Doctor prescribed Xanax for me so I could sleep. Now I'm off Xanax while I must keep my gastric problem controllable.This country just love their spicy food. So, heaven for me but not for my stomach. Hence, the worsen gastric condition. 

After went back to Malaysia, I feel much sanity in me to remains at this country. I also got my multiple entry visa valid for 6 months, so yeay! I'm coming back to Malaysia for encore sales of BBW during the weekend to meet wife and kid. Miss them so much. Yeah, they're in Dungun but will go to KL for the weekend. Wife especially working hard to get her PhD started so we could spend few years of our life in Yangon. I'm done with packing my stuff in KL and wife with tons of food from east coast, hope to be reunited in Yangon in few months time.

One more thing I love about this country is cheap flowers. A bouquet of dozen rose cost you about USD 3. How crazy cheap is that? Also, fruits are quite tasty except for durian. And orchids, so cheap and beautiful. I'm buying some more orchids this weekend. Picture? Some other time, I'm too lazy to post picture. LOL.

Ok, here some pictures.

 The brooch in Gems Museum

  Rings...this stone called amethyst. Lots more stone and metal. Precious, semi precious and less precious.

 Coffee Circles; no Starbucks but this place not half bad.

 The famous Gems Museum

 Painting gallery in Bogyoke Aung San Market (formerly known as Scott's Market)

 More paintings

 Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) crowd

 Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock). Yes, the rock is hanging by less than A4 paper space at the base rock but it's so stable. and yes, those small head up there is people so you can gauge how big the hanging rock!


 More Cottons!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Myanmar, how is it?

As a start, Yangon pretty much like Malaysia in 80's. Mini bus, old wagon taxis, people walking everywhere, pretty much crime free place. Personally, Yangon contained healthy mixture of everything. The people ranged from light complexion skin like East Asian people to dark complexion skin like West Asian people; make me feel at home. Food are wide range of taste and availability; thanks to neighboring countries influence; you got Chinese food, Indian food, Thai food, Malay food, fusion foods and so much more.

Is it safe? Of course it is. People in here carrying money in transparent plastic bag. When I say transparent, you literally could see the bulk of money in the bag plastic even from 50 meters away. It's a relatively safe country despite few outbreaks on ethnic/internal dispute.

Myanmar is a booming country, they just open their door to whole world and by GOD, all sorts of investment pouring in. Given the abundance opportunities available in the country, everyone want a piece of those pies. However, one thing that need to be reformed immediately is mindset. Having been in sanctioned status by USA for over 3 decades doesn't help with growing mindset, coupled with the education system and military government.

The people in here are receptive to changes despite their mindset still couldn't digest everything about the changes and they're nice bunch of people. Well, that is in Yangon, outside Yangon, some issues did surfaced in acceptance of outside influence especially anything that involved Muslim. I believe those are only temporary and with right communication and education, Myanmar people could accept that the intention is nothing more than to do business.

Well, that's that about this country. I find it easy to settle in compare to other countries that I had visited on business like Turkmenistan, Sudan, South Sudan, UAE (Dubai), Vietnam and Indonesia.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Reboot; Chalk and Cheese V2

After not so careful thought, I decided to give this blog a reboot. Many reasons, among them are my inactive status in previous blog, lack of things to be shared about and workloads. I treasure the whole old blog in If want to read the old entries (pre-2013), feel free to go there.

Life had changed alot. I'm in Golden Land of Myanmar, new posting in operations here. I'm not keen to talk about work as highly confidential information involved. I'm a happy camper though, after disastrous past years. 2012 was better, 2013 was even better but so far 2014 is and hopefully will be a much better year.

I haven't decided how or what I would write, I just hope I will write. Blogging for me always been a cleansing ritual, letting out my opinions and views to the world. However, as much as I would love to do that now, I realize age is catching up fast with my mind. I'm getting tired whenever I get angry. I guess I'm over that teen angst period. Of course, there are still the occasional bursts but that's that, nothing more than just a passing by, in the moment feeling. Then, quickly back to life where there are ton of things that require my attention.

Having said that, I feel liberated to say the least that I could write again. Maybe...just maybe that is, I want to write more short stories again. I used to write few but then, I got busy (oh my, work did take alot of time).

Anyway, I hope whatever left in the old blog remained as the old me. Not I'm a changed person totally but life had changed my perspective about things.

Well, till then.