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Notes on the Geography of Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein 5: The Shock of the New

There isn't much that's new in Moulmein, but here are a few exceptions.

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Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein  5:  The Shock of the New picture 1

The waterfront road (Strand Road, as in Rangoon) stretches for a few blocks like this--with the occasional gap where you can see the original house type. One such gap is just to the middle of the frame.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein  5:  The Shock of the New picture 2

Here's that gap.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein  5:  The Shock of the New picture 3

Farther along the same strip there are houses that look like parts of San Francisco from the '50s.

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein  5:  The Shock of the New picture 4

If Moulmein were plugged into the global economy it would have antique shops and craft stores catering to authenticity-hungry foreign tourists. It doesn't: not a one. But it does have markets, and despite decades of a government trying to put wraps around the country, the markets have been thoroughly penetrated with products appealing to the popular but pent-up desire for contact with the outside world. How else can you explain the movie-themed T-shirts and the Nike swoosh?

Burma / Myanmar: Moulmein  5:  The Shock of the New picture 5

Moulmein University was closed down tight--those students are just trouble--but it had an air-conditioned and staffed computer lab.


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