Rants on Burma

The one thing I regret about going to Burma is this: Burmese food in America no longer compares. The one-no-hkauk-swe (coconut milk noodles) aren’t as fragrant as the ones on the Rangoon streets. The hkauk-swe-thoke (noodle salad) doesn’t compare nor does the phaluda (falooda).

And one of my mother’s friends, who basically arranged everything for my family in Rangoon, including eating at the best restaurants, etc., wrote to my mother (and even scanned that same letter and e-mailed her) asking her to send USD $1,200 so that he can get a work permit in Singapore (he worked there previously, overstayed his visa, but was not caught for 2 years because he can speak Hokkien and can blend in.) But my mother can’t send the money–there’s no lu kyone (someone who’s already going to Burma and can take the gifts, etc. people want to give) and she doesn’t trust the post office enough to send $1,200.

And the issue about Burmese pronouns. Mayvelous has written a very detailed article about this issue here. It’s true that Burmese has a plethora of pronouns, and thinking about which one to use is very hard. I remember when I was a little kid and I had to speak to a monk, I didn’t know whether I should use da-be-daw or kya-naw because I didn’t know which one was appropriate, so I just spoke in English. And ever since my mother’s realized that typing letters in Burmese is so much more efficient than writing, she’s been assigning me the task of mass-producing letters for friends and relatives in Burma. She gives me a base copy, then tells me to change all of the pronouns accordingly (if it’s her close friend, I have to change all the kya-ma‘s to do‘s while if it’s vice versa if it’s to her elderly aunt.) Then I have to add or delete sentences depending on whether they have children, spouses and such. It’s a very tedious process.

And there’s a new Burmese newspaper in town. Named Mandalay Gazette (with a far more extravagant name Yadanabon Naypyidaw Thadinsa in Burmese), is contains news items that the Burmese community would find interesting, such as a Thai monastery being converted to a Burmese monastery to more mundane items like tips on losing weight. But I don’t like the writing; it’s way too choppy and doesn’t flow well (I know, I shouldn’t be judging considering my Burmese spelling is terrible). And the writers are too pretentious. They shower sentences with a ridiculous amount of Pali words that I don’t understand.

Anyway, that’s my rant. I wanted to write a post but didn’t know what to write about, so that’s my end result. Incoherent thoughts that just transferred to the computer.

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