Monday, April 21, 2014

The Hovel

Every morning when I wake up, I open the front door, swing open the back windows and push my interior dividing curtain aside to let the air through.  There's always a nice breeze early in the morning, and it's not too hot yet.  The raucous cawing of the crows, the haunting chanting of the monastery next door and all sounds of the market rise up from below. I can look out onto the morning scenes without being observed myself.  Yes, people act differently when they notice a foreigner around watching them.

My observations may border on voyeurism, and from up high, I can see over fences and such and watch people leading their everyday lives.  Time wise, it's a limited voyeurism, as either I gotta go to work or by 9 AM, it's starting to get unbearably hot and sticky, so the windows shut an the AC comes on.  I'm beginning to feel more and more at home here in Yangon, but it's these morning sights that impress on me a feeling that I am in a very different place.

Out the back window, there's the hovel.  Calling it a shack wouldn't be accurate. Shacks are generally better constructed. It's a hovel.  I think about 6 people are living in it.

The hovel is interesting to watch because it has no front wall.  I can see pretty much everything about this family's life right from my kitchen.  I don't think they can see me in the morning as the sun would be behind me.

Here's a closer look at the hovel.

If I ever want to remember how lucky I am to live in my somewhat modest apartment.  I just think about the hovel.  People, just like you and I, live there.  What's going on inside?

OMG!  It's a girl with four legs!

No, not really.  Two sisters, I assume, laying on mats.  You can't see the one in the back's head. The younger one, I'm guessing she's about five, is chopping cucumbers on the floor with a very large knife.  I'll bet your parents didn't let you (err..made you) play with large knives when you were five!

So, that's it for the hovel for today.  I'll try not to invade their privacy too much; there won't be a Hovel Webcam being set up. 

As for me, I'm still on vacation. Enjoying the languid reality that I wake up everyday with absolutely nothing to do. Exploring Yangon's better and less well known attractions.  Yesterday, I recorded a ukulele video for the Underground at a nearby lake.  Today, I'm thinking about heading down to the National Museum. 


  1. We truly are blessed. Life is good. And relaxing and exploring is a great way to spend the day.

  2. Explore! I agree, you are so lucky to be brave enough to be on this adventure. It may be hard some days, but what memories you are building!

  3. Ane they too are happy cause they don't know any better. Very interesting life you are leading and learning so much about other people and customs.


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