One of the best ways to feel the pulse of a place is to sit with locals and sip tea or coffee with them. Here we are doing just this at a large outdoor tea stand in the heart of Yangon just off Strand Road. Burmese dudes are sitting all around chit-chatting about this and that. . .they are also checking us out–what is this gringo doing here?…what is the gringo doing here with his woman?…doesn’t he see that there are no other women sitting here?…etc. I am also checking them out–what is the vibe here?…how are these folks communicating with each other?…what are they talking about?…can we all jive with each other?…etc. And ultimately all feels cool here…we are smiling and saying “min-ga-la-bar” to everyone. . .everyone is smiling and saying “min-ga-la-bar” back to us. . .yes, we are good here.
The best part is when we order our tea: a boy of about 8 or 9 years of age approaches us for our order, I attempt to speak some Burmese–“Tit (two) chai cezu pyuyue (please).” And the kid yells out, “Can I get two teas here?!” in what sounds like a bit of a New Jersey-esque accent to the person inside making the tea. . .classic! We are all so different but even more the same all the world over. We are real good here, indeed.
I send you connecting vibes from a tea stand in Yangon. . .feel them. . .they are surprisingly familiar.
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It’s lovely out there.