Messages From Myanmar #27
31 May 2017
Hello there, Rodger French here.
Photo Update Alert:
Strange it does seem, but Anne and I have less than two months left here in Yangon, and, as is the case whenever we become short-timers, matters tend to fall into two general categories: (1.) Last chance, like, forever and (2.) Hurry up and wait. The former includes items such as visitors, exotic trips, and shopping expeditions. The latter, well, we find ourselves once again at the mercy of the DoS bureaucracy.
Transfer season is always traumatic and waiting on the essential TM4 Cable (aka “Orders”) is nerve wracking in the best of times. Unfortunately, the hard-working techies who process the paperwork are way behind due to the recent, needlessly idiotic budget impasse. And the fact that our government is headed by a belligerent grifter who actively hates the State Department, and State by an empty suit with no evident regard for the people in his agency, only contributes to the drama.
But while we wait, we continue to check off items in category 1. For example, we just took our last trip in Southeast Asia, spending Memorial Day weekend in Chiangmai, Thailand. A.J. had been there previously on bidness, but this was my first visit to Thailand. Chiangmai is the second largest city in the country and has a rich history in which Burma plays a major role. Surrounded by a moat, but easily navigable by foot and public transportation, the city is lousy with beautiful Buddhist temples, great food, and expat gringos. Notwithstanding the jungle heat, we had a lovely visit.
We returned to Yangon just in time for another cyclone (Mara) and the monsoon season. No worries, we’ll just keep the dehumidifiers and fans going and start our preliminary packing. The plan abides: Leave Yangon on 27 July and report to Rome on 14 September. But for now, we compile, organize, tie up loose ends… and wait.