At first sight (and second, and third), Yangon seemed to me the land of the Lungyis, these sarongs worn with a knot on the front by the men, and gracefully, with side-ties and invisible zips, by the women. I love it when the people of a country don their traditional clothing in their daily lives, instead of the drab Western gear most of us in Asia seem to have adopted. Students and office goers all wear Lungyis in Yangon– a garment that makes such elegant sense in the heat and dust. That’s not to say that jeans hasn’t made inroads here: loved the men wearing Lungyis holding hands with women in tight-fitted jeans.
For three and a half long hours, he tried to take his Selfies, with a focus to rival a fishing stork. Only he didn’t remain still except to pose. He kept skipping and scampering across the sand and splashing into the water, busier than a seagull, and possibly livelier.
I’m cruel. I guess so is my family.
For all that time, we snickered and smiled, and I took pictures.
Here, I bring you the man on his quest for the Perfect Selfie. (I hope he got it, because he did jump and preen and posture long enough to make himself dizzy with heatstroke.)
Last week, I went to Paris.
I would have posted excited pictures, breathless descriptions. I would have told you I saw the Eiffel tower, arriving there after two missed trains, just when the lights began to blink, that I stared up at it against the clouds, that it seemed to rise and hover in the air, like a golden tower made not of steel, but light.
I would have told you that the bridges gleam day and night, that the coffee is lighter than in Rome, that the croissants and crepes disappointed me somewhat–not that they were bad, that sitting outside watching the world go by seemed overrated when tourists sat by the Seine in traffic smoke, that the Notre Dame looked like calligraphy in air, like a papier-mâché thing I dared not visit for fear that the illusion of its lightness would disappear.
Dolce far niente at Grado: a seaside Italian town I’ve been away from this space for a while, traveling, recuperating, coping. But mostly, meditating. Practicing being in the moment, trying to experience the fullness, and the sweetness of doing nothing ( Il dolce far niente, a very Italian pastime) even as I absorb myself in…