Preserve the Aurora Markets of Yangon, Myanmar

  • Posted on: 1 March 2018
  • By: Sander

I walk out into the night of Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) to an outdoor corner restaurant which pops up at dusk and disappears by dawn. The night is dark, scattered with red and orange lights from cars and the few remaining open shops. Tables full of food jut out into the street nearly into traffic while smaller plastic tables and chairs occupy the space between it and the sidewalk. As I approach, two old men wave me to their table. I join them and they offer me coffee and a cigarette. They speak only a few words of English and I speak even less Burmese. Somehow, over coffee, tea and cigarettes, we manage. I gather one owns the corner store and his son is there working it. He gathers that I am a photographer staying in the nearby hotel. Occasionally I smile at the girl working the table. She beams back. I venture a photo of the scene and she ducks out of sight. So we sip and smoke, the two old men and I, and smile together. The mix of curry, smoke and gasoline whisper around the glow of flames and headlights. The grey haired man calls a small boy over to refill the teapot and I switch from coffee to tea. We sip. I notice that I am the only foreigner to be seen. Eventually it is time for the men to go. They pay, insisting despite my protestations on paying for me as well, and I bid them goodnight.

Aurora Market Yangon