Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hiding Out in Bogyoke Aung Sun Market

Spent the morning rummaging through the Bogyoke Aung Sun Market in central Yangon.  This is where the democracy protests took place a few years back...
It's a lovely sprawling spot that feels cozy and exotic inside.  Perfect for rummaging for souvenirs and cool hidden treasures.
Local artists display their work and are happy to sit on the pavement with you drinking tea or walk you upstairs to see their studio.
There are silk blankets and dresses, laquerware, wooden carvings, all kinds of jewelry.  But mostly it's the people watching that inspires me.
Men sitting and chatting on low tables, women quietly sewing on raised bamboo stilt partitions, children running in the alleyways playing badminton.
It's a perfect little spot.
This is one of the only places in the city that isn't covered in dirt.  Across the streets in the messy Indian and Muslim Quarter, the gutters are littered with trash, streets strewn with filth.
But here there is a reverence, perhaps money is the only holy thing these people respect.
The pockets of squalor are still easy to find though.  The beggar squatting low, passed over by the shopping hoards, or the little homeless boy selling crayon drawings that breaks your heart so hard you have to buy one.
Please know I'm doing okay.  I'm here.  There is sunlight, enough to pink my skin in the late afternoon, alleys for exploring, and always a hot pot of tea ready to be sipped when I decide to sit.  I'm happy, hiding here amongst the crowds.

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