Saturday, August 22, 2015

Another Typical Day...For a Queen

2800K worth of great Indian takeout food.  That's about $2.50 worth of deliciousness.
I did my normal chores today.  Here are some of the highlights (if you can call any errands highlights):

Mingalar market - nice to see all the smiles from my usual vendors.  Disappointing that there isn't a big variety of fruit in season now but I got a couple of pineapples, bananas and fresh coconut. 

I picked up the "dresses" that I'd had custom made.  Ok, they're moomoos.  I gave them a mu'umu'u (moomoo in Samoan) that I brought from Samoa along with some fabric I bought in Mandalay.  Total cost of sewing/fabric - $5 each.  My favorite mu'umu'u, which was made by a friend and co-teacher in Samoa had been damaged in Myanmar.  One of the ladies who does my laundry and cleans my apartment (have I mentioned I'm spoiled?) let the iron stay on it for too long and burned a whole.  The seamstress patched it as a gift.  BTW, I chose a lovely sky blue fabric for one of the mu'umu'us.  I'm wearing it now and it is very comfortable but I can't decide if it looks more like a prison uniform or hospital gown.

Money changer - when I arrived in July, 2013, the exchange was about $100 - 97,000K.  Last week it was $200 -  250,000K.  This week, $200 - 255,000K.  Yea for the dollar!  Bad for the Myanmar people.

New York Tailor - 30th and 66th.  I asked the ladies at Mingalar where I could find t-shirt material.  They sent me here.  No fabric but they do have t-shirts.  Cute ones, although the fabric is very thin.  But for $4, who cares?  I didn't buy any because the largest they had was 3X.  No, I'm not THAT huge but 3X here is about a large in the US.  They carry both men's and women's shirts.

Style Star - I love the ladies at Style Star.  Today, several had new uniforms.  Black and white, with very short skirts and "Guiness" written on them.  I'm thinking bar uniform, but the girls looked cute and seemed happy.  I had the works.  I was there for almost 4 hours for:  lowlights; manicure, pedicure; foot/leg massage; shoulder/neck/back massage; haircut.  $18.50.  I lied to all my friends at home and told them it was less than $10.  My bad.  Still, less than $20 for all that pampering?  And looking awesome?  Fabulous.

Fuji Grocery Store - I don't shop at Fuji often.  They don't sell meat or fresh produce or dairy products.  But they occasionally have random Western products - like brown sugar.  They have 4 types of Tabasco (shout out to my friends from Avery Island).  The only big surprise today was Reese's Nut Bars.  $.75.   They also had chilled Starbucks Frappucino, which I snagged.

Pondicherry Indian Restaurant - I asked Cho Sue (I'm sure that is spelled incorrectly but that's how I pronounce my driver's name) if I could get take out (pase = pah-say).  He assured me I could.  We pulled up in front of the restaurant.  Normally, Cho Sue leaps out of the car to open my door.  He seems to find it annoying (especially when in front of lots of locals) when I open my own door.  That's his job.  He didn't move so I started to open my door.  He turned and said "Pase?"  "Yes, I want it to go."  "Wait."

Sure enough, about 30 seconds later, a young boy ran up to the car and asked for our order.  5 minutes later, I had a large bag of food for 2800K (less than $2.50 at the current exchange rate.  The entree is paneer curry.  The rest are side dishes.  All are awesome and enough food for 2 meals.  C'mon America - catch up to the developing world when it comes to food and service!

SP Bakery - as we headed off to the bakery near the school, Cho Sue asked if I wanted to stop at Chicken King, since he knows I'm a fan of their chicken.  It's actually a mobile phone store with one freezer chest of Halal chicken.  I passed today since I ate a lot of chicken last week.

When we pulled up to SP Bakery, the young doorman (yes, there is a doorman for the bakery) ran to our car.  As Cho Sue opened my door, he had opened an umbrella to shield me from the sun as I walked the 15 feet to the bakery door.  I felt like a queen.  Then, as I went outside and tried to snag a tray to use to put my purchases on, I was interrupted by a young female employee who pointed out that was her job.  I let her follow me around to carry my choices.

When I left, the same young man had his umbrella ready to keep me from the sun's rays.  But this time, another young man joined him so I was escorted by two umbrella-carrying young men the few feet to my car.  I believe I've been promoted from queen to empress.  I also pointed out to Cho Sue that he needed to carry an umbrella in the future.  He laughed.

Home -  When we got home, Cho Sue collected all my belongings and carried them up to my 3rd floor apartment.  He came in, briefly, to drop them off.  He, as always, commented on my beautiful view.  He didn't linger, just thanked me and said goodbye.  "See you soon, my mother."  

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