The streets of Yangon, formerly Rangoon, were bustling, full of vendors selling eggs, freshly dyed clothing, gold jewelry, live snakes, sugar cane juice, tobacco, velvet slippers, vegetables, toys, mirrors, maps, books, goldfish, tea – almost anything you could imagine. Men (and only men) rode by on bicycles, their traditional lungi flapping in the wind. Women walked with great ease with large packages on their heads, weaving in and out of the crowds of others shopping, strolling, and chatting. Kids in school uniforms laughed and waited for the bus, enjoying the beginnings of spring. And everywhere we went, we saw smiles, we shook hands, we were embraced and welcomed moreso than I had been in any other country. For all that its people have been through, Myanmar was a place of kindness, generosity, and peace.
I would love to go back.