1. Democracy?

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

We were aware of course that the military junta in Myanmar has started changing its course and has not only released Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, but also admitted her and her National League for Democracy to take part in the elections 2015. It still surprised us though how openly the population displays their affection and support for their national hero all over the country.

2. Coffee?

Coffee Mix 3in1

Coffee Mix 3in1

We are still debating if what one is served in this country for breakfast has the right to be called “coffee”. You are either poured a brew of something the color of weak black tea with milk powder to add if needed. More often though one gets a cup of the omnipresent “3in1 coffee mix” which is instant coffee + milk powder + sugar all mixed together in a pouch. And if you are especially unlucky they add sweetened milk to the concoction.

3. Controlling?

Accounting table Indian Restaurant

Accounting table Indian Restaurant2

In every curry restaurant we have been to, there is a big desk either at the entrance or in the middle of the dining room with someone behind it in an important looking office chair, tapping seriously at a calculator and scribbling in a book. We still don’t really know if all these places have their accountant sitting among the guests or what secret things might be taking place that we are not aware of.

4. Hello?

Telephones Myanmar

Telephones Myanmar

Even though many many people have cell phones or even smart phones in Myanmar and at every corner you hear someone yell “hello?” into the receiver, there are lots of “phone stations” all accross cities. The phone station is usually located on sidewalks and consists of a small table or desk, a tiny chair and an old-school phone, ready to make calls if needed. There is always someone sitting beside it to charge the customer for the call.

5. PJs?



To me they look like pyjamas! They have the same pattern, are made of the same material and are sold in a set of top and bottom. But in Myanmar people tend to wear them on the streets. Especially in colder areas as the mountains or in the evening chill the colorful PJ is popular.

6. Left or right?

Ok, so we are accustomed to vehicles having the driver seat on the right side and the cars driving on the left side of the road in certain countries. But in Myanmar the cars are on the right despite the driver beeing on the right also. Surprisingly few accidents happen, even though it’s really hard to see the oncoming traffic when overtaking.

7. Smelly?

Onions everywhere

Interestingly one hardly smells onion on the people of Myanmar, even though they just love that bulb. Onions, mostly raw are added to most dishes in humongous amounts. We spend half of our meal extracting them from our food. I even heard Myanmar has the highest per head consumption of onions worldwide. Wouldn’t surprise me.