Laughing All The Way to Prison
I’m not really sure what the point of this election was, since everyone both in and out of Myanmar know it’s a farce. Not one person we met cared about the election, except the few who dutifully planned to vote by spoiling their ballot. Myanmar would need an internal propaganda machine rivaling China’s if they were to convince the local populace they were getting a fair election. And funnily enough, China just commended the dictatorship of Myanmar for their successful elections.
Adjacent to me sat an old monk peacefully, smoking a huge cigar. Directly across sat “the shadow”, a woman dressed head to toe in a black burqa (she even had black socks with black sandals) who, for 6 hours, did not eat, drink, stand, speak, or do anything to prove she wasn’t a statue. Out the window I looked down the train to see passengers sprinkling a gentle, uninterrupted snowfall of litter. We clickity-clacked past abandoned platforms with stray dogs trying vigorously to increase the local puppy population.
Many news broadcasters have referred to Yangon as Myanmar’s capital. This is wrong. Upon the advice of astrologers, the military dictators moved the capital — at great expense — in 2005 to Nay Pwi Taw (“Royal Capital”), an empty arid plain 300km north of Yangon. ↩