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Old 07-26-2019, 02:41 AM   #1
AlfredT
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Burma/Myanmar, where we cant even get racism/discrimination right

Thought I'd share this for a good laugh.

For background: I'm native Burmese, lived in Canada for 3 decades+.. got back here (Burma) to live permanently.

My GF got a job at an international school for about 2.3k USD a month. I applied to the same school.. and they would only pay me about 500 (under actually) a month as I'm too Burmese looking and too dark.. basically despite my fluent Western English, Its a no go cuz they don't pay Burmese people foreigner salaries.

LOL. My country is so backwards, we can't even get racism/discrimination right

That being said, I'm enjoying my time here.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:38 AM   #2
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From my experience living overseas, that does not surprise me at all. On the positive side, you won't have to pay 'foreigner' prices everywhere you go (everywhere I went, they marked everything up for the 'rich' foreigners over what the locals would pay) and you won't face getting the hell beat out of you for 'dating a local woman' as I did, lol.

I'm sure there are other positives? Probably not $1,800/month worth of them, but surely more, eh? Hope all else is going well for you!
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:43 AM   #3
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Sounds like quite the experience! Send pictures!
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:31 AM   #4
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Oh yeah I heard similar stories from several countries, China, South Korea, even Japan, so it's not directly related to how advanced the country is.

So what happens is, the parents over there are very concerned about the career of their kids, they want to give their kids every advantage they can get. They try to get the best possible for their money worth. And the logic is to go for the original source of things. Someone who most obviously comes from the place of the language. That guy gotta know all the little ins and outs of the subject matter. Seems like a save bet. If the guy doesn't look like it, who knows if he really knows what he's talking about. that's the thinking.

The situation even exists in the West here, and across subjects: I know of martial arts clubs, where people flocked to the place with the most "authentic looking chinese shaolin master". Since a lot of people starting out are not really familiar with the subject matter, they don't know how else to judge the quality of the teachers, than by what makes sense from the cliche. So it makes sense for them to go by secondary criteria, like how it looks. Though this tendency can be overridden if the other guy somehow has a great reputation with a lot of big championship titles under his belt. But overall, that mechanism even works with restaurants offering authentic meals, etc.

I've been thinking if I would behave any more enlightened myself. Let's say, when I want to learn chinese, given the choice between some white guy teaching it, even if he was born and raised in china, which I can't know for sure, or someone who obviously looks chinese, I feel I too would have a bit of a tendency to go for the "real deal" if in doubt.

Last edited by RAV; 07-26-2019 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:50 PM   #5
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Yea everything is going great. I just thought this was fucking hilarious more than anything

I can start my own computer tech school here (after I go through the bureaucracy of asking permission to have a company that can teach/educate, then getting the licence etc.,)

But yea, getting many perks here like getting local prices.. and having fun listening into tourists conversations as they think (and I dress as a local too) I am a local

Also having great fun with my international drivers licence, when a cop stops me here, I flash him that, it looks official so he just salutes me and goes yessir! (as he can't read English and assumes I'm with the government or a foreign attache)

Ill keep you guys updated But yea, I'm having a great time. I rented a house for 3.3k USD for the year. Ill buy it next year for about 6-8k usd Hooray for third world prices.

Putting AC/Bug windows/Water Filter/Pump/Hot Shower/Furniture/Washing machine/Fridge etc., all cost under 500 USD. They are all name brand shit I got too, not this suddenly lights on fire made in china shit

Soon I'll get acclimated so I'll stop sweating my balls off after a few seconds outside. ATM its flu season and everyone is giving me a wide berth due to the sweating as they think I have a fever/am dying.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:51 PM   #6
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Hrrm btw is there a direct way to insert images into the forum without having to first upload them to a third party site for the link? My forum-fu is weak.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:09 PM   #7
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...having fun listening into tourists conversations as they think (and I dress as a local too) I am a local

Also having great fun with my international drivers licence, when a cop stops me here, I flash him that, it looks official so he just salutes me and goes yessir! (as he can't read English and assumes I'm with the government or a foreign attache)
Absolutely hilarious and awesome. Really look forward to any updates. What a blast!
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:36 PM   #8
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A lil update and tips on owning property in the Third World and associated prices,

So as a Burmese national, I can purchase property with "less" red tape than the average foreigner (who has to generally use a middle man/company). The only thing is I had to spend a couple of hours for a day or two at the municipal office to register my foreign wife, myself and our housekeeper/cook.

I rented a house for 1 year and the total came to about 3.3K USD. Purchasing this house (at the end of my contract) will cost about 6-10k USD. It is a modest 1 floor house, with 3 bedrooms and 2 washrooms/kitchen and a thatch garage. It comes with 2 ACs, a well as well as the municipal water in pipe.

Things I had to do and estimated costs:

Furniture - 2 beds (frames, mattresses, sheets & Mosquito nets - tent style), 1 washing machine/spin (not heat) dryer combo, 1 Fridge, 1 Wardrobe and 2 work tables & Chairs. Came to under 1k USD in total, probably closer to 500,600$. (Ill buy a dining set later, probably around 100-200 with tables/chair).

Maintenance/upgrades - Roof leak repair (20-40$), House cleaning (5$), Outlet Grounding ($1), Housekeeper/cook (Monthly 100-150$ including food allowance for us as well as the cook), Water Pump ($50), Water filtration system (4 Filters - $40, +30 per month for new filters), Shower/heater ($20), Water bill ($.05) and Electricity bill ($10-30). Various electric outlet etc small repairs ($10). Fresh water (4 barrels a month replaced as needed - $5)

Internet - Fibre 3 month contract - $150

Everything is done here by full contract. For example, I don't pay the house month to month but the full price for the year contract + 1 month's pay 1 time for the real estate people who set it up.

So all and all very affordable. Keep in mind Burma is probably the cheapest living expenses in the world, but varies greatly city by city. In NayPyiTaw (The capital) it is super cheap as no one wants to live out here, but I like it cuz of the peace and quiet. In certain parts of Yangon (Old capital) the housing prices are more than Manhattan!

Anyways, just a little update and food for thought. The prices are a little inflated due to the locals knowing I'm somewhat wealthy by their standards, my generous tipping and my poor estimates
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:04 PM   #9
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I was looking at something similar when my company wanted me to relocate to Costa Rica. Right in the middle of San Jose was super expensive but move out about 30 minutes and it was dirt cheap.

Sure you had to have a 4x4 to get by in case of heavy rain and the roads flooded over but rent was very inexpensive.

Not as inexpensive as what you're talking about, but $1,000 USD a month is considered quite well into middle class there.

I would have been making a rich man's salary.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:21 PM   #10
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Hey, have you checked about available computer hardware and prices? Frankly I find it already surprising you got fiber there. I know many regions in more expensive countries that still don't. So tell me what hardware do local shops have at sale, and what are the costs. And also what did you gather hat average consumers over there have for hardware at home? PC and console wise, maybe also what phones. Can you find out what specs are people mostly on? How is gaming going over there, what do people play there? What is the current standard in these things over there? Did you feel that people there care about computer games like people do here?
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:37 PM   #11
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Gaming is a big deal here.. but sadly due to most people's budget constraints they are limited to mobile phone games. Most people who are too poor to use an affordable plan go to the open wifi cafes to do gaming. The government here, while backwards and dropping the ball in many aspects, are actually giving the Internet/Telecom sector priority. Burma just launched a satellite the other day.. which is just fucking superweird to me as we can't get stable power in most of the country.

The Internet here is made of mainly 3 companies and their small subsidiaries:

Oredoo (Kuwaiti Firm)
Telenor (Norwegian Firm)
MPT (Myanmar Phone and Telecoms)

I am using MPT atm, as it has the most stable phone service. Its kinda fucked but if you call even a local number that uses a different company, the rates are inflated. So most people tend to have a family/informal agreement to use whichever company with their close contacts to save money. Phones ironically do not have affordable unlimited Internet and most are pay as you go/top-up systems. They do however offer certain services (like fucking facebook) as unlimited. As a result, most of my countrymen get their news via facebook (with the ensuing bullshit).

As for PC prices, they are comparable to the US/Canada market prices.

For example:

https://www.facebook.com/LaserMobile...94620644137448
https://ict.com.mm/
https://www.technoland.com.mm/

A high end ASUS Rog goes for about 2k (US-MMK rate is usually 1:1500)

Most people are impressed by computer/console gaming, but unless they are born into a wealthy family, or are in the upper class, they cannot afford the time or money required for games.

The used cellphone market here is amazingly cheap though, as all the rich elites love to ditch their phone once a new model comes out, as the society (the rich society) is all about showing off and 1-upping each other.

As you can guess, if you have an apple phone, you are considered "rich" here. Android phones are for the general public. Fake OPPO and other chinese brand quasi-android phones are for the poor.

TVs, etc, have dropped off in price (about 100-300 for a big 30-40") due to the advent of smart TVs. Brand pricing is ridiculous here for anything, even electronics. A "Panasonic" or "Sony" will cost double or triple what an equivalent (and decently performing) brand costs. Even my belkin power surge protector costs about 10x more than the Thai/Chinese equivalent.

The made at home Burmese tech is considered (rightly so) a fire hazard.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:31 PM   #12
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Oh yeah, the cafes, right, they are a big thing in asia. That's why a lot of poeple don't bother owning a computer either.

I know a couple people from poor regions in eastern europe, and what they do is having a lively retro scene of sorts. They are more PC oriented, precisely because it is cheaper, more creative, and useful for more than one thing. Just stay behind the state of the art and you can make do. 10 year old hardware is still sufficient for most anything, and dirt cheap. So I wondered if it's similar in asia, and what is the current status quo of PC hardware for ordinary people. I also enjoy the retro scene and the atari/amiga/whatev demo scene that's still somewhat active there, in part because of necessity, making do with what you got.

Another thing I wondered about is if things like the Raspberry Pie are popular in poorer parts. I mean in the latest version... these things cost like 30 dollars or what, and are pretty much fully featured computers, sufficient for most daily tasks and even some light gaming, if you consider the homebrew scene there. But I also kinda have the impression sometimes, weird enough, that the Raspberry, despite being so ultra affordable, seems to be hyped in rich countries more than anything. I don't know. Otherwise I know some guys from dirt poor Balkan areas that rely on Apu's for making their PCs, and such if the Pie isn't enough.

There is definitely work-arounds even for the poor, in this trickle-down economics in the computer space. And I often like seeing the creativity that breeds.

I also came across a bunch of art freelancers from east asia, I even think some gal from Burma! Cool stuff. Yeah, if you are kinda poor yourself, here, but need some art assets for your hobby game, there are affordable freelancers from there doing some pixel art or illustration or low poly stuff or whatever. Kinda globalist asshol-ish, you might say, but... oh I don't know.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:57 PM   #13
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Not assholish at all. Artist get paid nothing here and aren't even respected. So this way they'll get some cash at least.

As for the Raspberry Pi's, most people lack the technical expertise and english knowledge base to how to set them up etc.

I'll get into stuff a bit more in depth but I got a cold atm. The fucking power went out last night (both lines) and my new generator decided not to work. So I'll get that fixed shortly but it was a patience wearing night.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:10 AM   #14
AlfredT
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Mostly accurate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMaaUTWzv8U
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:45 PM   #15
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Remarkably entertaining AND informative! Thanks for the share; I actually watched and enjoyed the whole thing (rare).
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:33 PM   #16
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So you've probably heard (until it lost the flavor of the week) about the Rohingya Conflict/Ethnic Cleansing/Genocide in Myanmar.

These guys did a pretty solid job on the video, showing how the Rohingya (or Bengali) were being stupid in poking the Burmese Military (Tatmadaw). That being said, I find it pretty ironic that the Army's propaganda has worked so well and most Burmese conveniently forget that they used to treat us the same way they are currently treating the Rohingya/Bengalis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bDgDiBO4Co
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