Myanmar

Before and After Life in Bagan, Myanmar — By Jennifer Shipp
MyanmarSoutheast Asia

Before and After Life in Bagan, Myanmar — By Jennifer Shipp

I’ve given myself just enough time to write about 1000 words about Bagan and our lives at the moment. I’ll probably write more than that, but I have other things to do and I need to get on it! I try to dedicate time to learning Burmese every week. As a language that’s not regularized at all and that I’ve never ever heard before in my life, the process is going slow. I don't have a dictionary yet, for ...
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Quarter Festivals in Bagan, Myanmar – By Lydian Shipp

This month I’m constantly reminded of county fair season and the yearly parades that I grew up with in western Nebraska. Of course, there’s the Thadingyut candle festival that takes place during the full moon in October, but in every village across New Bagan, Old Bagan, and Nyaung-U (and beyond), each neighborhood quarter holds its own private Quarter Festival to celebrate this month in its own unique way. ...
Rabies Encounters: On Caring for Random Sick Animals in Developing Nations
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Rabies Encounters: On Caring for Random Sick Animals in Developing Nations

So, I have this problem. It’s a sort of an obsession or a compulsion that has to do with sick animals. If I see one, I always think that I can take it home with me, take care of it and it will heal and grow strong and be okay. The challenge of bringing a sick animal, on the brink of death, back to life is almost irresistible to me. I’ll throw a fit about walking up 777 steps to Mount Popa because of the ...
Bagan, Myanmar: eBikes, Scooters, Tuk Tuks, and Taxis — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: eBikes, Scooters, Tuk Tuks, and Taxis — By Jennifer Shipp

The transportation options in Bagan and in Myanmar are important. In Guanajuato, Mexico, where we’ve lived for the past 3 years, taxis and buses are available, but most of the time we walk everywhere. In Bagan, Myanmar though, the hot weather makes walking unpleasant. Climbing on an ebike and having the breeze blow through my hair is a lot nicer than walking when it’s 100 degrees outside. So we’ve all ...
Adventures in Burmese — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Adventures in Burmese — By Jennifer Shipp

Yesterday was a long day. We’d decided to try to get air conditioning installed in John’s and Naing Naing’s office space, a necessity in a country that hits over 90 degrees+ every day of the year. We’d put it off as long as we could because John and I needed a break from all the inconsistencies of our daily lives. We’d spent about a week dealing with the heat in order to avoid dealing with people. But we ...
Lydian and Naing Naing: In Myanmar — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Lydian and Naing Naing: In Myanmar — By Jennifer Shipp

Some stories are like lotus flowers; they bloom in layers with each new set of petals adding a transformative shape to the whole. It’s hard to tell these stories, because they aren’t linear. They’re like Indian epics--Ramayanan characters engaged in famous battles but meanwhile imagining new worlds or earnestly wishing new beings into existence that cast off on digressive journeys of their own. Over the ...
Bagan, Myanmar: Notes on Learning Burmese…
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: Notes on Learning Burmese…

So it looks like we’ll be spending quite a lot of time in Myanmar which means that it could be helpful to learn Burmese. The language, so far, has not been totally impossible to learn, at least the 27 words or so that I know right now. It’s a tonal language, but the tones have proven to be less straightforward than those in the Mandarin language. Some Burmese language systems say that there are three tones, ...
Bagan, Myanmar: Housing and High-Speed Internet — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: Housing and High-Speed Internet — By Jennifer Shipp

During the first two weeks of our time here in Bagan, Myanmar, we needed to find a house to live in, furnish it, get Internet (we hoped for higher speed Internet than what was available at the hotel) locate food to cook with, and figure out how to get around the city easily in the heat. We were staying in the Crown Prince Hotel in New Bagan, which had adequate Internet services in the lobby, but we had only ...
Bagan, Myanmar: The Inner and Outer Realities of Place — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: The Inner and Outer Realities of Place — By Jennifer Shipp

When John and I were here in Bagan, Myanmar in January, before we knew that Lydian was going to fall in love and get married to Naing Naing, we loved it here. There was something about this place that was just really comfortable to us. It felt like a small town in Nebraska, but not a modern small town...a small town before there were color TV’s, Netflix, and a hundred plus channels in every home. A small ...
Dear Lydian: The Politics of Love — A Short Tutorial on Visas and Immigration  — By Jennifer Shipp
MyanmarSoutheast Asia

Dear Lydian: The Politics of Love — A Short Tutorial on Visas and Immigration — By Jennifer Shipp

Burmese citizens can only travel to a small selection of countries visa-free. And getting a visa isn’t always easy. Often, in fact, for Burmese citizens it’s a process that involves an interview and the final determination can take months. As American citizens, Lydian, John, and I had never really considered how this fact could affect our lives. In fact, systemic political oppression like this affects a LOT ...
Happy Valentine’s Day from Singapore – By Lydian Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Happy Valentine’s Day from Singapore – By Lydian Shipp

Meeting and falling in love with a Burmese boy was not in my plans for this trip. Totally unexpected. I didn’t think in a million years that I’d be going home a married woman. But at the same time that I’m totally shocked, it makes sense. And I’m happy about it. Very happy.

When we started this trip, I was unsure of why the hell I was even going to Southeast Asia in the first place. On ...
Bruised Banana