Thursday, April 10, 2008

Life in Mywaddi

Another month down, another trip across the border into Mywaddi. First stop, a below grade tea shop for some ice coffee to open my eyes up for another day. I found the acid green and maroon wall pattern delightful, and the coffee was good, too. Three 20-year-olds were passing time the only way they know how, and invited me to sit with them. We traded some new vocabulary and listened to Burmese hip hop. When it came time to leave, two coffees and a full egg breakfast cost $1.00.
After coffee, I walked the street, checked out a market, and bought a light collared shirt. While making my way back to the Friendship Bridge, I came across a small sweat shop open to the road employing five girls to embroider patterns onto jean pockets. I stopped to say hi, and ask if they could embroider something onto my hat! The older gentleman manager took the job personally, and wrote with blazing red thread "Sun" in Burmese on the side of my cap while I snapped some photos of his workers. He would not accept any money.

Update: The young woman above is wearing Thanakha, a traditional Myanmar face paint made from pulverized roots and bark. It is worn by men, women and children to cool the skin, protect from the sun, and for beautification.