Yangon: Nuns, Streets, and Shoes

Young Nuns

The are young girls who are staying with the nuns (probably to get an education, or maybe because their parents can’t support them). Like the monks, they go out to collect donations and food every day.

Note the diesel generator in the distance. Many buildings have them for when the power cuts out, which can happen several times a day. Between that, and the removable concrete caps for the drains that most side walks have, and the businesses (phone stores, food vendors with tables, nut vendors, betel nut venders…) on the side streets, it’s often easier to walk in the roads, especially on the smaller streets.

There’s a bit of sunlight in this photo, but it comes and goes. It’s the beginning of rainy season, which means that every day comes with occasional drizzle and periodic downpours (and we’re talking “the heavens open up and throw out the bathwater” downpours) that may last anywhere from five minutes to half an hour. Combine that with the drains and everything else, and obviously the street and sidewalks can get ripe.

Street Vendors

Most everyone wears flip-flops or sandals. You take them off when you enter a residence (and then promptly rinse your feet in the bathroom). Some restaurants that have a second floor have you take them off there as well. So imagine my surprise yesterday at a cafe when I noticed a white guy in his 30’s who got up to check the wifi password and was barefoot. I figured maybe he just had his sandals under his table, and didn’t think too much about it, but later I spotted him on the street. Nope. No shoes at all. Never mind the social issues, this is not a country where I would recommend anyone walking around barefoot if they don’t have too. 🤷‍♂️

Yangon Alley