Tuesday, February 14, 2006

living with your local junta

most asian countries that even bother with stoplights, treat "green" as go, "yellow" as go fast, and "red" as go but look around a bit and ride your horn. in yangon, the lights go from green->flashing green(yellow coming soon)->yellow->red. what's amazing is that people stop on flashing green. i have never seen anyone run a yellow light here. which brings me to my point. there's definitely a sinsister side to the clean, quiet, orderly streets of yangon. you get the feeling that people don't run the yellow light because they don't DARE.

today i visited the palace in mandalay. i had my name and passport info written down by 3 different people in the palace complex. i was confronted with multiple signs telling me where i was not allowed to go. a banner hung outside the palace that no true patriot would subvert the will of the union, or some such thing. occasionally even, the locals grumble quietly to me about their situation. but it is always done quietly, and usually only after heavy drinking.

speaking of which, burma makes a supurb scotch whiskey. who would have guessed? and for about $1.50 a bottle no less.