Day 2: 19th St. popping

Today is Aug. 26, 2016, my 2nd day in Myanmar.

I follow a lot of YouTubers, a.k.a. “I-don’t-know-how-you-afford-your-lifestyle,” self-made millionaires. I recently discovered a confusing trend among them of posting videos of their work days (“24 hours with ***”). I call them confusing because for a Type A person like me, their days, which usually consist of a start time at 10 a.m. and client meetings in organic coffee houses, seem neither busy nor demanding (open for correction).

I especially thought so today when I sat down after a particular long day, and wondered: hey, how would people judge my “24 hour with Siyu?”

24 Hours with Siyu

6:00 My jet lag hasn’t bothered me much, except the fact that I can’t seem to sleep past 6 a.m. To utilize this free time I’d prefer I don’t have, I showered (in cold water, nonetheless!) for the first time since Sunday night. Today’s Friday. TGIF, Myanmar!

11:00 After some lazy morning hours, a co-fellow/temporary roommate and I self-protected with sunscreen and an excessive amount of bug spray and left for our morning quest to find the best mohinga (a rice noodle fish soup) among the ones that haven’t sold out by 7 a.m.

A real(?) Burmese breakfast | mohinga and milk tea from street stand

12:00 From the mohinga stand we stumbled upon, us two Yangon yappies embarked on a “downtown Yangon expat tour” that started at the now abandoned Secretariat Building, where General Aung San (Aung San Suu Kyi’s father) and 6 cabinet ministers were assassinated on 19 July 1947. Following that, a short stride down Anawrahta Road led to Sharky’s, a foreign commodity shop and restaurant where one can purchase mini macaroons (each slightly bigger than your thumb nail) for “just” less than 50 cents/piece, a quick point and acknowledgement of a popular Mexican restaurant Gringos Chilangos and a visit of one of the many second-hand book stands all around downtown where I purchased an almost brand new Penguin version of Finding George Orwell in Burma.

14:00 By the time the strongest heat wave of the day hit, we reached the final stop of our tour: Nay Pyi Daw Cinema on Sule Pagoda Rd. The most popular movies playing right now are Korean movie “Train to Busan” and Jackie Chen movie “Skiptrace” . We opted for the first. The next hour and half before the movie started were killed in the Shangri La Hotel right across the street from the theater. Good juice but the wifi automatically cuts off after an hour. What a cheapskate!

19:05 For a movie in Korean with English subtitles, Myanmar audience absorbed fully. For a zombie thriller, their reactions are golden. There’s also the mandatory standing ovation to the national anthem before the movie and the nonstop chitchat all through the movie. I wasn’t bugged as much as I normally would by either because the movie was a good one. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the ending as my co-fellow’s language class was next on the agenda.

7:00 Helping new roommate moved in.

7:40 Left home for a noodle date with a handful of new friends. The street stand had THE BEST shan noodles I’ve had thus far in the city. The flat noodles I ordered looked and tasted like a hot version of liang pi.

9:00 As if noodles’ not enough, we headed to 19th street Chinatown, the major nightlife scene in the city of Yangon, to meet up with more friends.

Midnight I finally gave in to jet lag and had to urge people to go home with me after almost 18 hours of exploring the city. Great day indeed.

(On a side note, I used to be one of those kids you knew in school who took a lot of pride in packing his/her schedule with back-to-back activities. I’m trying to change that. Most activities on this list occurred with no prior planning, and the going with the flow truly made my day.)


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