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17. random cool stuff

To help stir your creative and observational potential, I'm enclosing some clippings from my journal. A lot of my observations were stream of consciousness, because I found I had too much on my mind at any particular moment to write out things in full sentences. I found lists to be a great way to spit things out as they came to mind. See if you can verify (or discredit) these lists. Think about how the ideas they express shed light on the difference between the third world and your home. Better yet, make your own lists. I'm just trying to toss ideas at you. Most of these lists are in no particular order, unless numbered otherwise.

MODERN GOODS WHICH POOR COUNTRIES LOVE:

FAMOUS AMERICANS:

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio
  3. Bill Clinton
  4. Monica Lewinsky

EASY STREETSIDE FINDS IN POOR COUNTRIES:

Quality service at good value, Laos.

QUALITY OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, BASED ON COMFORT, FREQUENCY, EASE, ROADS, ETC.: (FROM WORST TO BEST)

  1. Cambodia back of pick-ups, no roof, no seats, no schedules, crowded, rough dirt roads, many 1-lane
  2. Ghana overpacked sardine cans (tro-tros), baggage is extra, few schedules, crowded, but has seats
  3. Burma pick-ups, buses, crowded, some seats, roof, schedules, passenger pick-up service, 1-lane roads
  4. Laos pick-ups, buses, crowded, some seats, roof, some schedules, some nice roads, some bad ones
  5. Burkina Faso larger sardine cans, buses, crowded, schedules abundant, decent two lane roads, train
  6. Nepal large Indian buses, crowded, schedules the norm, good roads, but slow
  7. India large rough buses, crowded, scheduled, extensive reserved train system
  8. Cote d'Ivoire large dirty buses, padded seats, scheduled, bus stations, fast, train is slow
  9. Bangladesh large clean buses, padded seats, scheduled, decent to excellent roads, reliable train
  10. Thailand large clean buses, extensive network, competition, scheduled, trains clean and on-time
  11. USA – modern large clean buses with A/C, schedules, modern trains, but all service is infrequent and expensive, with poor geographical coverage
  12. Malaysia – modern large clean buses with A/C, lots of competition, scheduled, fast modern trains
  13. Mexico – modern large clean buses with A/C, videos, snack service, intense competition, frequent schedules, self-contained stations, modern trains and subway

The roads ain’t too good in Cambodia...

... nor the "buses" in Burma...

... nor the "jumbos" in Laos.

WHY KHAO SAN ROAD (BANGKOK) GUEST HOUSES SUCK:

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A KHMER BUDDHIST MONK:

YOU'VE BEEN ON THE ROAD TOO LONG WHEN...

THE FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE:

  1. Bangladeshis
  2. Cambodians
  3. Burmese
  4. Ghanians
  5. Thais
  6. Mexicans

HOW CAMBODIANS STAY CLEAN AND PRETTY:

AND ADDITIONAL THINGS BURMESE WOMEN DO:

INTERNATIONAL HAND SIGNALS (NO SPEAKING NECESSARY):

AILMENTS COMMON IN THE THIRD WORLD:

SENDING A POSTCARD TO THE U.S. FROM...

Myanmar 25 kyat USD 0.07

Malaysia 50 sen USD 0.13

India 6 rupees USD 0.15

Czech Rep. 7 koruna USD 0.19

Nepal 15 rupees USD 0.23

Laos 1500 kip USD 0.232

Ghana 550 cedis USD 0.24

Bangladesh 12 taka USD 0.25

Singapore 50 cents USD 0.29

Thailand 12 baht USD 0.32

Brunei 60 sen USD 0.35

China 4.2 yuan USD 0.51

Cambodia 2000 riel USD 0.53

Ireland 45 pence USD 0.56

UK 37 pence USD 0.59

Spain 100 pesetas USD 0.59

Luxembourg 25 francs USD 0.59

France 4.50 francs USD 0.67

Portugal 140 escudos USD 0.69

Cote d’Ivoire 400 francs USD 0.73

Japan 80 yen USD 0.75

Belgium 34 francs USD 0.81

Sweden 8 krona USD 0.93

Germany 2 marks USD 1.01

THE PRICE OF COCA-COLA (300 ML BOTTLE):

Burma 40 kyat USD 0.12

Laos 1300 kip USD 0.20

Bangladesh 10 taka USD 0.21

Thailand 8 baht USD 0.22

Nepal 15 rupees USD 0.23

India 10 rupees USD 0.24

Ghana 600 cedis USD 0.26

Cote d’Ivoire 150 francs USD 0.28

Malaysia (can) 1.5 ringgit USD 0.39

Mexico 4 pesos USD 0.43

Cambodia (can) 2000 riel USD 0.53

"PEOPLE'S DESIRE" -- GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA BILLBOARD IN YANGON

Typical political cartoon in Myanmar, emphasizing the inevitable downfall of the NLD (National League for Democracy) – The New Light of Myanmar (government propagandized English daily).

QUOTES: