No Burmese! No Dogs!
“Hey…Brother! Here is breaking news!! Breaking news!!” cried my junior, Maung Sate Tho:
“C’mon! I woke up just now. I don’t want any breaking news. I publish a health journal. I don’t need them. You go and share it to other medias”, I said.
“No, you have to write it by yourself or it will be nothing if it’s written by others. Plus this is really important. It’s about how we have been insulted, living in our own country”, said Maung Sate Tho:
“OK! Then let me hear about how we are insulted, actually we have been insulted for ages, anyway you go on”, I said.
“Well, a great number of foreigners, nowadays, visit Myanmar. Among them, I discover that Japanese, Korean and Thai are breaking laws here. Let’s say they rent a big house here and they construct small rooms inside it and rent them to those who visit Myanmar. Besides, they service tourism for their own people. Then foreigners coming visit the country with these guys’ tour guides and enjoy at their traditional restaurants, run by their people. So, finally what it is left for our country is their waste!” said my junior angrily.
I couldn’t help smiling looking at him and said, “Ok, you tell me. I knew it already. I think this has to do with Ministries like the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism and the Ministry of Finance and Revenue. You know they always ban Burmese tour-guides wearing this and that, doing this and that, and always ask them to follow several different rules and regulations, but now those Ministries are like they are deaf and blind. I even saw some Thai tour guides donating “Pwe” (traditional donation basket filled with bananas, coconut and incent that is offered to the spirits, a kind of offertory or oblation) to Spirits in Botahtaung Pagoda. Hey! Don’t get me wrong. They do better than we do. I think it’s nothing to do with us. Or if you think you can do, it’s up to you”, I said as I laughed.
“But if they keep on doing like this, we will suffer more. How can we get tax for hotels and also how about the local guides?” he complained.
“Oh! You shut up! Even the government is not taking action as if they know nothing. What’s wrong with you? You just take it easy!” I argued.
“Well, our country is going to be ruined because of people like you who think everything is good about foreigners.” he accused.
“Ha ha… who cares? It’s already ruined. You poor man! Stop daydreaming and if you want to open your heart, go tell the powerful medias”, I told him.
“Fine, then let me tell you the worse thing. They are starting to open bars and pubs, writing “No Burmese” on board at the entrance.”
“Oh! Really? That’s too bad. In British colony, we had experienced British also declaring “No Burmese, No Dogs” at the Pego Club and they stuck a letter saying “No Easterners” at Strand Hotel on Kan Na Road as well. Then those things led to a small political crisis. Anyway, our country is now independent! How come they dare to do so?” I questioned.
“Of course, they are doing VERY well. I went to a hotel’s club near Shwegonedine junction with a friend. But we were said that only foreigners and those who speak Japanese can get inside. And I heard that they pay good salary to Burmese young ladies to do the customers a service. It’s open till 2 in the morning although it’s legally allowed to close at 11 PM at latest. Besides, he owner is a foreigner.”
“This news is really important to me now” I added.
“Then you are going to write “New version of No Burmese, No Dogs?” asked my junior.
“No, I’m not. I am going to learn a little bit of Japanese language and see the young beautiful ladies at that bar”, I exclaimed trying to make fun of his worries about Myanmar.
“Oh my god! I was totally wrong to come and see you here as I rely on you” he said.
“C’mon guy! Although I am a writer, it’s not that easy to write what I think in a journal. Even the government doesn’t take any action on it. But I’m not sure if they really don’t know or if they just pretend as if they had no idea. I am not a member of parliament. I’m not in charge of those affairs. So I think it would be much better to learn Japanese to make friends at bar than to write about it in journal” I said, laughing out loud.
“Grrrr…I ‘m really sick of you, brother. OK, for me, I think I better not talk to a brick wall anymore”, my junior said and went back home.
Well, my dear readers! Was I wrong? I am nothing and what if I write those things, which will not be taken seriously by the government? It’s much better to stay cool by myself!
Article translated from The Myanmar Times by the Mingalapar Forum team