Day 61: Stories of Few, Lives of Many

Today is Oct. 24, 2016, my 61st day in Myanmar.


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I arrived in Yangon on Aug. 24 (click here to read my story about Day 0), exactly two months ago.

Now that I’m two months in, familiar faces have been asking: have you settled?

I answer “yes,” with pride and uncertainty, and often follow up the initial affirmative response with an explainer, as if I need to convince myself.

“Only since last week though, but yes.”

I consider two months as my first benchmark, because I’m feeling much more comfortable (although I often refuse to admit there’s such state as “comfortable” in Myanmar), but I barely scratched the surface in terms of understanding the society I’m in and the lives of people around me. On off days, I might mistakenly think that I have been here for much longer than I actually have, but would be quickly reminded of my limitations and bias, caused by my lack of language ability, lack of knowledge and lack of experience.


My roommate shared a series of stories on FB today, done by Future Cities, a journalistic project based in Amsterdam. For each city the project chooses to feature, a group of diverse talents is selected to share their experiences in the city they live and love.

My city, Yangon, is one of them. 

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Future Cities’s team in Yangon | from Future Cities’ Facebook Page @futurecities.nl

I love this series, and greatly appreciate their effort.

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“This country is more than a flag at the Olympics. This city is more than a dot on the map…These stories are simply a few among thousands of thousands, rarely told, rarely heard.”

The opportunities and effort to learn about where I am are endless.

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