Monday, December 1, 2014

Three Events in Four Days

Sweet December to you! That's the greeting I've been hearing today, December first. I'm not exactly sure why people say “Sweet December” here in Myanmar, but I suspect it has something to do with the weather. The rainy season is well finished. It's cooler, and going to get cooler yet. It's a sweet time of year.

I've been busy these last few days. I've attended three significant events in the last four days. In this blog, I'm going to detail them for you.

It started on Friday, when I was invited to attend a thank-you dinner for the “Alliance family”. The Alliance for HIV/AIDS in Myanmar is an NGO here in town where I teach English. They're one of my school's corporate clients. The event was being held at what I thought was a pretty fancy restaurant, and me wanting to present a respectable face, representing my company, I thought it would be important that I dress very formally, as you see in the picture.

I bought a fancy 'longyi' (pronounced: long-jee), a sarong which is the traditional male garb here. At least 80% of the guys wear them everyday. I had never worn one outside my home before that night. See, I wasn't good at tying them around my waist, and even just around the house, my longyi would always come loose and fall down. One of my co-workers taught me a new tie it, the 'chubby man's way'. Tie it ABOVE the belly line, and it'll stay up all night.

I arrived at the dinner, and everyone was very complimentary of my fancy Myanmar attire. Problem was, I felt way overdressed. Most of the rest attendees were in jeans and t-shirts. Or sequins and heels. As I mentioned, the NGO is active in the HIV/AIDS advocacy community, which includes a lot folks subscribing to alternative lifestyles. There were two full tables full of drag queens who entertained us all with lip-synching performances of 70's disco tunes.

On Saturday, I went with my company to the KBZ Music Run, a '5K' run (walk) event which was quite a big event here in Yangon. I didn't know what to expect, and frankly, when I signed up to do it with everyone else a month ago, I wasn't sure I'd be physically able to walk 5 kilometers. You know, the whole back thing I've been going through. As it's turned out, my back has been a whole lot better these last few weeks. A few bits of discomfort in my leg every so often, but on the whole, I feel really good.

As for the event itself, I'll the video show you... In two short parts.

Lastly, from this morning, my friend Beau's wedding. Yes, one of the teachers here has gotten hitched to a wonderful Burmese lady who we all like very much. This was my first Myanmar wedding, and I didn't know what to expect.
At least it gave me a chance to wear my nice Myanmar attire again. Perhaps this was more 'ring ceremony' than formal wedding. They got their wedding rings (not put on each other, but by other people...)

I wish Beau and Nila 100 years of auspicious marriage.

I've got video of the event... I hope the happy couple enjoys it.  It's kinda sweet.


  1. Even though you thought you were over dressed, I really like your outfit. And I also think dressing up shows respect for those folks who are dealing with the HIV problem.

  2. Sounds like a fun few days. If you don't push it, walking can be good exercise.

    Happy December to you.

  3. Thank you for showing us those few things you did, especially the wedding! Blessings...


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