Birthday Thansgivings

I went to Si Si Htun's house for her birthday thanksgivings. She just graduated from BARS program at MIT.

I had a chance to talk to Saya Augurlion who just came back from the States after finishing his Master in Theology from Pittsburg Theological Seminary. He also had to go through some reverse culture shock.

He gave chocolates to the immigration officer and cigarette cartoons to the customs officer at the airport.

I went to the dinner hosted by the Myanmar Christian Fellowship of the Blind (MCFB). I was involved, in early days, in the project to convert Burmese fonts into Burmese Brey.

Dinner to honor Zaw Htut from MyanmarsNet and Kyaw Lin from Natural Language Processing for their work to convert Burmese fonts into Burmese Brey. Left-right: Lwin Moe, Kyaw Lin, Zaw Htut, Htay Lwin, U Thein Lwin (standing).

U Thein Lwin, the secretary of the Myanmar Christian Fellowship of the Blind (MCFB), giving a speech during dinner

Unlicensed Car Crackdown

The government has really cracked down unlicensed cars all over the country. The car in the picture was imported from Thailand through Three Pagodas border pass. People in Mon state were using those cars with fake licenses. The offical price of that car in Rangoon would be US $ 100,000, which is ridiculous and only the richest of the rich can afford. However, the price of that car smuggled in through the border would be US $ 10,000, which it should be. The control of import license is causing the jump in price for cars. The powerful are abusing the system.

Cars were smuggled in through Thailand and China border towns, such as:
  • Three Pagodas in Mon State
  • Mya Wa De in Kayin (Karen) State
  • Muse in Northern Shan State
  • Thachileik in Southern Shan State
  • Laiza and Mei Ja Yang in Kachin State
Lwin Moe with an unlicensed SUV :-)

Somebody was joking that Burma is the most expensive place in the world for:
  • Phones (US $ 1,000-2,000)
  • Automobiles
  • Prawns (Shrimps)


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