Our first full day in Yangon started off with the search for breakfast. Instead of taking a taxi to the restaurant, we decided to walk there. Being New Yorkers, this didn’t seem like a bad choice, as it seemed to be less than a mile away. Along the way, we definitely got a feel for the city in a different way than we would have otherwise. One thing we both noticed right away was that there were almost no other tourists doing the same thing. I’m not sure if this was because it was fairly early in the morning, or if it was because most people stick to taxis when traveling around, but I definitely felt a tad out of place in certain areas.
We had planned to take the circular train around the country side, to see more of the city, after going to see some of the local markets, but instead found ourselves unprepared when a hard rain came. Though we managed to find our way by taxi to the second market, it was hard to navigate around, due to the downpour and we decided to retreat back to our hotel to regroup. While the we missed out on the train, we did use the rain as an excuse to catch up on some missing sleep, getting us a tad closer to being on a more correct schedule.
In the evening we made our way back out for dinner at a slightly upscale restaurant just a few minutes away by taxi. The restaurant itself seemed to be in an old British estate house. The food itself was quite good. Lauren opted for a mix of Thai dishes, whereas I decided to stick to traditional Myanmar fare. One thing I’m trying to do is make sure that I branch out at least a little bit with my food choices, by actually eating more local fare. Lauren is already a more adventurous eater, so she gets a pass on this front.
One of the more interesting lessons I’ve come to find in this place is what it is like to be “the foreigner.” Never before in my life have I had to really consider what it takes to communicate with other people when you’re in a strange place. When I’ve encountered people from other countries, who have had poor english skills, I don’t think I ever appreciated how hard it is to be in that position. Nor did I really come to respect the fact that they took the time to learn some of the language of the place they were going. There are definitely some language staples I’m going to make sure I learn before I travel like this again.
As promised some pictures from today’s travels.