A Little Slower On This Side Of The World
If you remember from one of my first posts on Myanmar, tourism is relatively new to the country and so far, it has been clearly evident. Although this may not be for everyone, I look at it as a thing of beauty. There are no McDonald’s restaurants, no Marriott hotels and no Starbucks chains. The only brand name I have run into was a small store that sold Taylor Made golf clubs. There are very few places left in this world that can boast about the lack of commercialization. The sad thing is, in five to ten years places like Ngaplai beach may have large budding resorts slightly staining the untouched beauty of Burma.
Another untainted characteristic is that the service is rather slow, mostly while dining. To an American this may sound bad but that is just the way it is here. Life is a little slower and people enjoy the time they have. As Americans, we want everything now, now, now. So when a meal takes more than an hour to arrive after you order, it can become frustrating. However for the Burmese, that is the way life works.
On one hand, if you were to ask anyone here for anything, they would drop what they were doing and try to take care of it for you. On the other hand, the language barrier is a major wall in Myanmar. Our staff in Ngapali spoke very little English so even if you wanted to complain, they would shake their head and smile. We foresaw this issue as one that will change with the oncoming years.
With all of that in mind, there is nothing you can really do. Sure it might take a long time to sit through a dinner, but that allows you to have a conversation and enjoy one another’s company. This is something that is overlooked so often in the US since we are always on the go. So when you are in a place like Myanmar, sit back, enjoy the pleasantness of the locals and embrace their cultural differences because sometimes, complaining will get you nowhere.