Saturday, August 15, 2015

Final Observations from Yangon

When I moved in moved into my apartment 16 months ago, I didn't understand what moving into a place next a Buddhist monastery meant. The Thantapin monastery is a medium-sized religious place, housing a few score monks. Ever since I've moved in, however, they've been building a new building: a five story monk dormitory just outside my window. Perhaps because it's not a for-profit enterprise, it's taken more than a year to complete this medium-sized high rise.
It's finished now. Here, on the eve of me moving to Naypitaw for 4 months, they've cut the ribbon, moved the monks into their new home and are now celebrating. One of the final touches was a sound system with 5 humongous loudspeakers. Megaphones. One of these speakers is pointed right at my apartment. Today was the day they decided to announce their announceability. All day, my windows vibrated from the decibels produced from a 10,000 watt speaker 100 meters or so away.

Buddhism is about peaceful co-existence. Peacefulness isn't something that should be imposed on your neighborhood via loudspeaker.

There are no noise pollution laws in Myanmar. Anyone can do whatever they want in terms of what you hear. If I wanted to, I could amplify my ukulele and broadcast myself from my balcony as loud as I wanted. My TV is turned up very loud right now; the (recorded) Pali chants from the monks next door are still louder. Nothing I can do about it.

Tomorrow morning, I move to the “Hotel District” of Myanmar's capital, Naypyitaw. I'll be there for four months, so this is my last night in Yangon for 2015.

I've loved and hated this town. If I allow myself, I can really hate the noise coming from next door. I could have also hated the little problems with the apartment I've lived in this last year+. I haven't shared with you on video too much what I don't like about where I live. In this video, I do.


  1. Maybe you can blow off the balance of the year rent and get a quieter place when you get back. BTW, how is the discussion with the insurance company coming about your back? Are you still on for having surgery?

  2. I pray you can make a move to a better place. Blessings, Lynn


Discovering Northwest Myanmar 16: Kataung to Mandalay

I call them "Burmese Doughnuts". They've got another name, but essentially, it's fried bread. The three-week adventur...