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Monday, January 09, 2006

I took this picture in Ruili, the launching point of a trip from China into Myanmar. The girl in the picture is Burmese (in the sense that she is from Myanmar), and she was the first I saw with the yellow paint on her face. This is called Thanakha and is used as a beauty product, as a cleanser, and as sunscreen. Much of the time women and children just smear this on their arms and faces. Sometimes, however, there is much more thought put into the application, and to a wonderful effect.  Posted by Picasa
This guy had almost no meat on his bones, and a number of scabs on his legs and face. He was filthy as well, and I could think only this: heroin, AIDS. I saw a few wrecks of people in Ruili. Posted by Picasa
Two Burmese women in Ruili. I could not shake the feeling that the younger one is a ringer for Hillary Swank. Posted by Picasa
This girl was working at a restaurant. There was something about her eyes and her bearing that made it hard to look away from her. She never said a word. Posted by Picasa
Big momma! She had a gigantic laugh, though you might not guess it from this picture. Posted by Picasa
Ooh...this guy was tricky. He came up to me on the street - a street full of Burmese run restaurants, and invited me to eat with him and talk about teaching (he is an English teacher). He introduced me to some of his students and spoke a little (very little) about his government. More he talked about Islam. Then he took me to a jade shop run by his nephew and kept saying he wanted to give me a gift, pick out a bracelet and maybe some earrings for my girlfriend. I kept telling him I had no money to buy anything because I had already sold all my RMB for Kyat. He did not seem to understand that. "I do not want to make a profit," he said. "This was is very nice don't you think." After a half hour of this is the shop I took out the 100RMB I had left and said "This is what I have and I need it for my hotel and food. I can't buy anything." After that he had to go in a hurry, and my first long encounter with a Burmese man was not what I might have wanted it to be. Posted by Picasa
The first picture I took in Myanmar, on the road from Ruili to Lashio. This was outside the restaurant I ate lunch in, one of a few women and girls selling fruits. Posted by Picasa
A young boy nibbling his lunch, just around the corner from the restaurant. Posted by Picasa
A monk's robe hanging to dry. Posted by Picasa
The first portrait taken in Myanmar. Posted by Picasa
Stuck in school. Posted by Picasa
Young monks on a swing.  Posted by Picasa
A monk passing on the sidewalk...there were two of them. They were the first I had seen in Myanmar and I was interested to see that they were wearing red robes, as opposed to the orange worn in Laos. Posted by Picasa
A farmer at work. Posted by Picasa
One of the first pagodas that I saw in Myanmar..the first of thousands. Posted by Picasa
The first pagoda I visited in Myanmar. Posted by Picasa
A closer view of the pagoda. Posted by Picasa
Besides pagodas, there are a lot of Catholic and Presbyterian churches in Myanmar...I was surprised by the number. Posted by Picasa
There plenty of mosques as well. Posted by Picasa
Cute baby. Posted by Picasa
This woman was with the mother of the baby in the previous picture. This was one of the few instances, in either China and Myanmar, where women came to me and asked me to take their pictures.  Posted by Picasa
This woman was very elegant, as many of the women in Burma are. Posted by Picasa
The pink shirt contrasted so much with this child's skin that she appeared even darker than she really was. Posted by Picasa
I had read that there was a lot of diversity in Myanmar, but I was still surprised, especially when I walked around Lashio's "downtown" area in the late afternoon...it seemed northern Myanmar was more mixed than the south, especially in Lashio, Hsipaw, and Pyin U Lin. Posted by Picasa
May I help you? Posted by Picasa