Mingha lah bah = Hello
Jay sue dimpa tey = Thank you
These phrases served my friend and I well as we wandered through Yangon. They opened up conversations with locals and allowed us to show our appreciation for those that did stop to help us.
Some things to note:
– I was treated like a rock star. As a tall female, I stood out. People asked me to take pictures with them or just simply took my picture. I would then ask them if they would like a picture with me. I gave my camera to my friend and he started taking pictures of them just so that I could have proof of this crazy phenomenon.
– Since Burma only recently opened up to outside influences, the only “American” things I could find were Coca-Cola products, NesCafé, and Oreos. There were no 7-Elevens (so popular in Thailand) or McDonalds.
– A lot of Burmese women (and some men) could be seen wearing Thanaka, which is made from the roots of trees. It is ground into a paste and applied to the face. It is used to prevent against sunburn and acne. (Seen on the face of this woman from the circular train)
– In every park, couples can be seen side by side, snogging beneath an umbrella. We had read about I but couldn’t believe just how many were doing it!
– A random hospital we encountered…. you hope that free in this case means gratis.