The Seat With Holes

This observational piece was penned in 2014 during a backpacking trip through Myanmar…

Amanda in Asia

She chose the broken chair. Three wicker chairs stood side by side at the bus stop – the one to the far right was missing a noticeable portion of its weave. But she sat down, opened up her big flowered bag and took out a cigar. She was not the kind of woman who could be bothered by imperfections. The lines of her austere face confessed as much. This tough Burmese woman. Smoking never looked so cool to me. So defiant.

This May morning, it is raining. My eyes are red and tired. Sitting near my newly found cigar-smoking idol, I await the 6am bus to Yangon. (There are no separate buses for tourists in Myanmar as there are throughout Thailand and Cambodia.)

Hpa An has been a beautiful experience. This quite town in the southeast of Myanmar welcomed me in ways I would have never imagined. Every smile is…

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