Cheeky guy


When the Balloon was approaching for landing you could see two figures in the distance walking towards us. Two entrepreneurial locals selling paintings had identified a commercial opportunity. Wait for the balloon to set down, lay out all your paintings and sell them to the tourists.

The young guy I think was the brains of the operation, or the English speaker at least, the other was the uncle and the creative sand painter. the young guy was very cheeky but I admired him for his tenacity. I declined a painting but offered some money for a picture. He still wasn’t happy.

In Myanmar you will see the locals wearing “thanaka” a yellowish white paint made from ground bark.The cream is made by grinding the bark of a thanaka tree on a circular stone slab with a little water. It has been used by Myanmar women for over 2,000 years, and I saw it being used extensively by the young and many men too. Sometimes they will cover their face almost completely, otherwise it might a circle on each cheek.

It made me realise that the desire for youthful skin and beauty is global of course, and particularly in Myanmar the hairstyle is also very important, especially on the youngsters of course. The other cultural difference here is the wearing of the Longhi, a type of sarong worn by then men usually with a nicely pressed shirt. Uncle wears one here, I found them quite beautiful, today of course the smart phone tucks in nicely at the back.


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