• The Amusement of the Unexpected

    An element of comedy is often the unexpected.

    Just now, I was trying to open the refrigerator door. It was resisting, so I gave one… two… three pulls. And, off comes the entire handle. The approximately 1.5 meter tall door handle felt unexpectedly light in my hand.
    Well, that’s different, I said to myself.

    Life is Myanmar is best conducted under the rule of Zero Expectations. However, 2018 has still managed to surprise me.

    About ten days ago, at approximately 1am, I had my first encounter with seismic activity. Five earthquakes hit Bago, and were felt up to 100 miles away. The first earthquake was a 6 on the Richter scale, the following were 5 each. I was awake– sitting askew on a floor cushion when I felt a strange energy move my body. (Now, I understand why a certain little Thai man said he thought ghosts were “playing” with him, during one of the last earthquakes.) I quickly realized that it was the whole room that was moving. Anything suspended was swaying back and forth. As we live on the 15th floor, I imagine that we get a little more sway up here.

    Approximately 6 hours later, the sound of crows woke me. Hundreds of house crows* were swooping directly, and somewhat specifically, in front of our apartment unit. Our windows are thin, so anything like tropical heat, the sound of howling street dogs, or the squawking of crows easily slips through.
    (*My amateur identification.)

    Earthquakes. Poetic omens of death. Wonderful.

    The day that followed the 6 hours of strangeness was occupied with miscellaneous Myanmar people filling our home. Some expected, some not.

    The doorbell rings, and who knows who is there- or why. Three workers come in. One leaves. Two sit in our bedroom for some 10 or 15 minutes. One returns with a ladder. The best I could do was work at my laptop, and watch the newly cleaned floors acquire comically dirty footprints.

    I’ve considered making workers put on hotel slippers when they come inside… But, that’s probably taking it too far.

    For now, with the refriderator handle loosely in place, the sound of construction is our only visitor. Which at least, is expected.