Yangon

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Our first glimpse of the old  jitney-type buses and the infectious Burmese smile.  The latter was in evidence everywhere we went, with the possible exception of taxi stands which seem to be the same the world over.

Formerly know as Rangoon, Yangon is a gracious,  if somewhat run down city of wide boulevards, shade trees, and crumbling colonial architecture topped by the odd satellite dish.   

It became the capital in 1885 following the British conquest of Upper Burma, and is home to a population of  5 million.

For the past decade or more the city had been undergoing a renovation.   Streets are cleaned and public buildings painted.   The sale of Betel nut was banned  in an effort to rid the sidewalks of the blood red stains.  The result is mostly cosmetic and large areas of the city look much as they did when the British pulled out in 1948

Official documents, wills, contracts agreements etc. can all be prepared on the sidewalk.   A far cry from Toronto's Bay Street where I spend most of my days.
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