Back in Yangon

I've returned to Yangon, a semi-familiar place. It's nice to know my way around, at least a little bit. I now have access to a cheap and (by Myanmar standards) reasonably fast internet connection. Unfortunately, I don't currently have a photo editor. At one place in Mandalay I downloaded and installed both the Gimp and Firefox! And, in a moment of geek one-upmanship, I have to add "over a dial-up line." Needless to say, I returned to that place more than once to continue to use the software. Of course, my ability to install software shows that their security wasn't too good, but I'm becoming resigned to this.

The men still wear skirts. You know that physical tick most glasses wearers have, when their glasses slide down their nose and they push them back up? Longyis often loosen in use, and when they do the wearer will untie it, stretch it out to both sides, flap it front to back twice, and then quickly bring the sides in and fold and tie them at the center. This is a physical tick that you can see among better than a quarter of the country's population.

I have several errands to run in Yangon but I expect to be back in Bangkok by the end of the week. then I'll resume the slightly delayed Thailand - Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia - Thailand loop by heading north to Chiang Mai overland. It'll be interesting to see how land transport in Thailand compares to the horrible roads and old buses of Myanmar. Myanmar is definitely in the Third World, but I have no idea how Thailand is classified. If there was a "Second World," Thailand would be in it: one foot in the poverty of India, the other in the high tech of Japan.