Thursday 7 September 2023

Slowly Making My Way Around Myanmar

I moved to Yangon, Myanmar, in May 2023. The Golden Land as it is called, is a country like no other, peculiar in many ways. I've heard some people still refer to the country as Burma which is the former name, but the name was changed to Myanmar in 1989. The people however, are still referred to as Burmese. 

One thing that stands out is how Burmese people are polite, they would not openly get annoyed as it is does not reflect well to openly express anger or irritation. Even when people struggle with something, you'll hardly get an outright NO. Losing face is something people would not do, so they might say okay or beat around the bush. In all that, you are 'not allowed' to lose your cool as it is not taken well :-) If you put too much pressure, they could shut you out. And you'd never hear a thing even if it were killing them. However, they are always eager to help when they can, which I think is sweet.

My arrival was anything but pleasant because of my nationality. I was treated shabbily and told clearly that it was because of my nationality, but I'll save that story for another day!

In speaking with people, I noticed not many people know of this country or where in Asia it is located. So I've put a map below for reference - see the red arrow? The flag is also beneath the map.

Flag below

Thursday 13 July 2023

The Price to Pay

Biola reflected on the recent events that she had had to deal with. Her life had been upended in a way she never imagined would happen. She thought that she had things figured out until that fateful day. She had been so consumed by her career and getting ahead that she neglected everything else and everyone who was dear to her, until her world came crashing down.

She got home, late as usual. I’m home she called out but emptiness came back at her. She went to her bedroom, something was different, but she couldn’t figure it out immediately. Then she went to give her a son a kiss, something she did every night. But he wasn’t there. Then she noticed, a lot was gone from his room. She ran back to her room and opened the wardrobe. A good lot of her husband’s clothes were gone. She called, frantically, but he didn’t answer his phone. She was in a panic, she wondered why. She saw them in the morning before she left for work and all seemed well. Or so she thought.

Her husband was everything she had hoped for; supportive, loving, manly and he held his own. He had things going for him as well, but drew the line when it came to his family. He poured his all. He never missed any event his son was to attend, he showed up for his wife’s events and she was so proud of him. He hinted at her taking him for granted many times but was one who shied away from confrontation, so he would say his piece then move on. As work got more demanding, there were more late nights and she was grateful to him, as he catered to the home front. 

Monday 12 June 2023

Self-Sufficiency And The Trauma We Carry

I've often wondered if the notion of “be a man”, men are not supposed to show weakness should not be seen differently. Boys just like girls are human beings and have feelings. They should be allowed to express their feelings and feel safe to show weakness and vulnerability. Teaching self-sufficiency is great, but I believe there needs to be a balance on when to reach out or speak out.

Over time I have watched this happen and the part of raising men to bottle their feelings or telling them from a young age to be tough/be a man has never sat well with me. Sadly, it leads to boys teasing one another on this subject, and eventually men doing same. Many men feel the need to not be vulnerable or act like it is wrong to cry. This unfortunately, could play out on so many levels with men taking those bottled feelings or frustrations out on the people closest to them or the society at large. They would rather find ways to cope and some of these ways could be negative coping mechanisms. In some instances, young men act out to get attention, which they would hardly ask for. But even that attention could be withheld from them due to bad behaviour. Then it spirals out of control and becomes a point of concern.

Monday 9 January 2023

The Myth Called Closure

Ever found yourself in a position where you were unconsciously chasing after closure? Or so needy of it that you hinged moving on on it? It’s not uncommon, a good lot of us have been there.

Through loss, pain, hurt, break up or whatever situation it might have been, you hope for one more chance to do things differently, to make things right, or simply to talk things overSome people are lucky enough to have that, but sometimes, we do not get second chances no matter how hard we try or wish.

Loss of a loved one is heavy, unanswered questions come with it. Unresolved issues come to the fore, but the finality of death is such that there is no second chance with the person who is no more. No one is ever prepared for loss, and grief manifests in different ways. You might think you are fine one moment then the next you find yourself completely immersed in grief. The pain might never really go away, this is something you don’t get over, but you get past it with time and you learn to live with it.