Travels, Day 3: Yangon Independence Day

Intention: digest food and experiences with ease.

In situations where I have a choice, how can I support myself by choosing nourishment — both experiences, and physical nutrients — that is a pleasure for my body and brain and spirit to digest? In situations where I feel discomfort or resistance when attempting to assimilate either food or my life circumstances, how can I allow myself to feel the depth of my feelings without surrendering to passivity or victimhood? How can I stay grounded in a foundation of empowerment, no matter what challenges confront me?

Highlights:

  1. The novelty of our amazing breakfast buffet: a delicious abundance of Indian, Chinese, British, and Myanmar cuisine! Our favorites included idlis (soft steamed lentil & rice patties) with an amazing coconut sauce and #allthechutneys, and rice noodles and congee with dipping sauces. There was even a vegetable fish curry!
  2. People watching out the wide-open window of our hotel room, discussing cultural differences and theorizing about whether or not “illnesses of the brain” (like anxiety and eating disorders) have a place in cultures where survival is
  3. Stumbling upon a pick-up football (soccer) game in the middle of a street! The ball they kicked around was small and flat; most players were bare-footed and scrappy. The street was full of bystanders, and a woman with a loudspeaker was announcing.
  4. Food tour, and our first experience with Myanmar curries. Here’s how it works: everyone gets a plate of rice (soft long grain, very fluffy — not a varietal I was familiar with), a bowl of soup (rich fish stock with soft boiled greens and big pieces of gourd), condiments (cabbage, round raw eggplants, cucumber, bladderwort leaves, a deeply umami and very salty fish sauce, and a spicy intense concentrated fish paste). Then fill the table with plates of curry and salads and treates: pork in black bean sauce, fish cakes, crispy fried sweet & irresistible catfish “candy” with fried chilis, tea leaf salad, a mess of squash vines, bladderwort salad with peanuts and cilantro and sesame, sauteed eggplant salad with fresh slivered garlic and onions. ALL WAS AMAZING. We finished with jaggery cadies: think maple sugar candies (nearly identical flavor and texture).
  5. Much later in the night, paying homage to our recent time in Japan and lingering and lounging in a sushi restaurant. The familial atmosphere (a Japanese couple ran the joint) served as an invitation for mom and I to discuss her family — her father, in particular — as we drank Myanmar beer and were surrounded by a cigarette haze.
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