When I visited Yangon a couple of years ago I enjoyed a number of curious, memorable and stimulating experiences. Among these I recall the vivid sight of a mouthful of ragged teeth swimming in blood-red betel juice. I saw lovely women and lovelier children with cheeks daubed in discs of a caked pink, ochreous pigment. I ran in a huge mid-city park where I was alone, save for thirty men scything a small patch of pedicured grass of brilliant green, and lovers on park benches, enfolded in each others’ arms in the slow ballet of discreet half-satisfaction. I saw women and men banquetting at kerbsides on evil-smelling fishes, I read an English language newspaper from cover to cover, in which grown up writers and editors repeated children’s stories for grownup readers. (These stories, simply told and endlessly retold, announced that the government was very pleased with itself and if we had any further questions we should read the account of the Press Release on page three, which announced how pleased the government was with its plans to change nothing.)
I rode in taxis that had been young when I reached puberty and which still functioned – but only just. I recognised my own physiology mirrored in these noisy, puffing, sluggish vehicles. At the airport I was met by unsmiling men wearing military and paramilitary uniforms that would be laughable in comic opera. Under the hard eyes of these protectors of the public order young female Immigration Clerks checked my passport for twenty solemn minutes before passing me down a chain of clerks similarly trained in solemnity. The solemnity training is impressive, achieving as it does the extinguishing of the endemic native joy that radiates from the Yangonese. In a shop I saw a longhi. I always wanted a longhi and when I went to purchase one, eight young women, so feminine, so, so slim, all stepped forward to fit me. I went to a hairdressing salon where some hair was cut and someone sold someone else a massive bag of rice, while all the staff – including the person cutting the hairs around my throat – watched a lengthy and particularly violent show on TV.
I saw and enjoyed many things in Yangon but I never bought, received, contemplated, witnessed or wished for sexual massage in Yangon. I did, however, post an innocent blog report on my visit to the hairdresser.
Ever since that post my blog has been visited by readers from around the world, googling key words ‘Sexual Massage Yangon.’ I have innocently discovered the secret to a massive blog following. In posting this I expect to redouble that following. Fame and Greatness beckon.
Dear HG, a point of order…. surely you know that I am more comfortable with pain and grief than with weddings….never do them….. you may recall the days I sat in your waiting-room patiently waiting (see, I can!) reading The Prophets and falling in love with Jeremiah. And despite the fact you reminded me it may not be confidence inspiring for other patients to see someone reading the Scriptures before seeing you (:-) ) I have chosen to spend more time ‘sitting on the ground’ with the bereaved than with the world’s happier people (and after all, there’s rarely space near them – everyone wants to be with happy people!) I hope your patient responds to your care and continues to enjoy life.
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Oh Howard!!!!!! This woman, working as a funeral celebrant, and preparing to go to work on this glorious day – knowing the morning will be spent with people weeping and grieving – read this and is now laughing uncontrollably!!! Thank you. Challenge is to remove your blog from my head during the service.
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And this man, monitoring a terrified woman suffering a possible second heart attack in the space of ten days, in tiny remote hospital, witnesses her blood pressure falling, her heart slowing, her pain mounting- and he has the sinking feeling he might be referring another client to liferite
And not in her capacity as marriage celebrant
As I write, the woman improves, reneging on the early appointment with jan
Jan – be patient
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Interesting. I’ve heard others mention bafflement about the odd post’s popularity, only to discover some errant word or tag misunderstood by spellcheck. Andrew say the word Venice will do a similar job, though I assume with smaller numbers. Let us know the results of this research. I’m not sure how big a contribution these visitors will make to your literary pursuits.
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