Can´t ditch that picture out of my head. A women, mother of two kids, babys, sitting on a wacky stony island located in a ropy sea of sludge – part of the sidewalk of Yangon. Most of is under construction and i suppose will be forever, in a more or less way. Chapped, scattered, flooded, covered by mudd or just not existing. Advicing not to do the Hans-guck-in-die-Luft. The mother down in the muddy ground, her head, elflock dark grey blast, between her knees, pulled to her chest, face left in gloom of shame and desperate distress. Maybe her only reason to keep herself alive are the twins, lying beside her on a dirty straw mat, half-naked, the other half covered with dirt. On their back, at first i thought she is selling dolls. They are barely not moving. I don´t know why they are presented like that, the mother even didn´t beg. Maybe hoping if she would arise her head again, the babys are gone, captured, salvaged and she could lay back, under the ground, sinking in peace and redemption. Watching didn´t made me angry at all, i wasn´t cursing injustice, knowing that i am part of the witness stand. It just filled me up with so much sadness. Walked away, felt sick. Nearly puked. Started crying, giving the next trembling begging hand my pocket money, just because i didn´t knew how to save that picture.
French ruined influence all around covered by shiny sated green. At the port, indians sitting on the ground of a darkened shop floor, surrounded by towers of printed papers, the tommorrow´s issue of the Myanmar News, folding and assembling. Shirts with a silhouette of a Third Reich architecture, adorned by swastika flags. “Very good quality, my friend.” Early morning march of monks picking up food donations house by house. The sweatened tea. Halleluja! Longyjs, for everybody! And not less umbrellas. And last but… Kun-ya painting the town red.
Yangon is the most authentic place in Southeast Asia i have been so far. Even though you feel the pressure of change, of investment, of tourism and foreign interests. This country will develop in the next months, maybe years, but for sure a lot, and on high-speed.
People are facing me friendly, with a smile, not that kind of professional business smile. More interested, surprised, still untouched. Hope they won´t offer that to capitalism, until now named democratic.