Some portraits from my daily walks in Yangon. Wherever I visited, I was always met with a smile and made to feel very welcome. My days in Myanmar were full of interactions with the novice nuns and novice monks. Never did I feel any negative response to my requests for photographs. My appreciation and respect for them grew with every interaction and I felt I met many people I would have liked to be friends with. In Bhutan I had started to notice some frustration by monks who must have felt like animals in a zoo with tourists coming and taking a picture without any attempt to build a relationship. For me, many times I try to first build and then photograph that relationship. Sometimes it just starts with an effort to learn the other person’s name.
I found people to be great with smiles covering any scars of any depressive regime. Younger couples held hands and dressed alike on Valentine’s Day. There was always a strong sense of modesty and dignity and no matter where I went I never felt unsafe. The only terrifying thing in the evenings were the mosquitoes but I was well prepared. George Orwell in “Burmese Days” mentions casually “At night, Master too drunk to notice mosquitoes; at day, mosquitoes too drunk to notice Master” 😉