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Bangkok, Thailand

I certainly was not prepared for Bangkok. Not in the least.  I think this is what they call “culture shock.” Coming from the States to Myanmar, I somehow dodged the culture shock that everyone said I would encounter upon arrival. Perhaps it’s because my friends and family tried to prepare me that I was immune…

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Reflections on Myanmar

“People must consume to survive, and the world’s poorest will need to increase their level of consumption if they are to lead lives of dignity and opportunity.” Life in Myanmar is something I couldn’t have imagined from my home back in the U.S.  Before I left, I was cursing the country as I struggled to…

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Inlay Lake

Well, I can’t say much about the lake, because the last couple of days are a complete blur in my memory…and in my memory, all I can think is I hate Inlay Lake… So if you want to know whether or not Inlay Lake is a nice place to visit, don’t read this.  I’m biased towards…

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Barack Obama has arrived in Yangon

Today, US President Barack Obama is in Yangon, giving a speech about democracy and praising Myanmar for the steps they’ve taken to achieve democratic change with the NLD (National League for Democracy, which elected their current president Thein Sein in 2011, thus ending a half-century of a brutal military dictatorship). It is a very exciting…

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In the Mountains of Myanmar

The rain was jamming me up. I had ridden in a packed pickup truck up the mountains for 6 hours, in the pouring rain, to get to a little mountain town called Nam hsan. My new friend, Dima, from Israel, and I, were going to walk for three days from Nam hsan back to Hsipaw. It…

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From Mandalay to Hsipaw

Pronounced, Sih-Poh, this place rocks my socks.  I refuse to leave.  Or to do anything today, besides sit on the deck of my guest house, reading, thinking, smiling. I keep forgetting that I don’t have to go somewhere new each day.  It’s tricky because in Myanmar, I have a time limit.  In order to enter…

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My very first earthquake

It’s gettin’ real. We were eating breakfast on the roof of my seven story hotel in Mandalay, my friends from Holland and I, when my tea cup started rattling on its saucer. The tea was spilling over the rim of the cup, and I wasn’t touching it. I looked at it curiously, at first, but…

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I’m in love with a MANdalay!

What a day. I thought when I got back to my hotel that I was definately going to collapse. After eating street food all day, forgetting to drink water, and sitting on the back of a motorbike all day, my body had pretty much had it. I knew I was gonna get the runs eventually,…

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The boat to Mandalay

“Hey, forget the taxi, 7000 is too much.  I’ll walk.” “Too far!” the man behind the counter at the Winner House guest house says, shaking his head.  I’m sick of this town.  The tourism inflation.  The hustlers following me on the streets as I shout back at them “YOU’RE WASTING YOUR TIME!”  I am going…

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Bagan

I got up early, packed and ready to go. After witnessing a fight in my dorm, changing beds to separate the men, and seeing a rooster die in a cock fight, I was ready for a change of scene. Pavlo and Daniel got up to say goodbye. It’s weird how you can become so close…

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The Train. The Zoo.

It’s hard to come up with words to describe such a day, so I am relying on the video clips I have.  Please excuse Pavlo’s language in a couple… The train was packed. There were people shouting, dancing, singing, sleeping, selling, and moving their household furniture. It was nothing I could have imagined it would…

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Sweltering in Yangon

I am safe and sound in Myanmar.  I don’t have much time to write, as I am heading to the zoo with two new friends I met at my hostel, from Australia and Greece, but I wanted to check in for my mom’s sake. In a nutshell: It is very hot.  And humid.  All I…

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A letter to my gut

A letter to my gastrointestinal tract: The havoc that is about to befall you, is one that I would not wish upon my greatest enemy. I fear that the next nine months or so, will be the most gruesome and unpleasant days of all of your time within my body.  Let me apologize.  Perhaps this letter of warning will…

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Beijing, for 13 hours

After arriving in Beijing, I quickly began to feel like I had lost my marbles. What the hell were you thinking, Anoush, everything was going to be in English? Everything was definitely not in English. I was the only non-Asian on my flight, and anywhere I looked for that matter. What were you THINKING it would be…

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Superstorm Sandy

I’m smelly, tired, and culture shocked, and I haven’t even left the US yet. It’s been an interesting couple of days in New Jersey, to say the least. We heard that “the perfect storm” was coming through, and we saw on the news the catastrophic predictions. Never before, they kept saying, had they seen a…

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