Many Returns Home

Many of the other tourists we met in Myanmar are ethnically Burmese foreigners, returning to Burma for the first time in their lives, now that the junta is slowly liberalizing and Aung Sung Su Kyi has lifted her tourism boycott. Jeffrey, who we met at our hotel, is an American, whose father was apparently a high-ranking politician in the early years after Burmese independence.  His father recently passed away, leaving to Jeffrey his mansion, the last standing on what was once Mansion Row, in Yangon.  Today the father’s family still lives in the rambling home, which is crumbling down, a relic of more prosperous days. Jeffrey invited us over to see the home as well as his father’s collection of books.  We met his family, and his half-sister Su Ky was so kind to present me with a gift of a traditional longyi and showed me how to tie it.  It’s quite ingenious — just a cloth tube that you fold and tuck in — and comfortable, too!

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