Photographer's Note

Maybe one of my favorites from Myanmar. Not for the IQ, the color, the quality of the picture. It's all in the memories...

Walking away from the Jade Market in Mandalay, yes, Mandalay. MANDALAY ...I'm in Mandalay. I made it. Finally.

I raise my camera and ask, or well, ok, grunt, to take a picture, not knowing much more than the word for hello, Mingalaba, in Burmese. The Seamstress raises her hands, runs into her shop. The neighbors yell and laugh. I say sorry, I didn't point the camera, I start to walk away. I hear more yelling. The woman is back. I misunderstood.

She needed to get ready for the picture. She had to flatten her shirt, fix her hair, wash her face.

She sits at her machine. All proud. Serious. A portrait of her life. She is proud, unwavering, stiff as a board.

I click. Looks good. She doesn't move. I flip the camera around to show her the screen. She gets up. Walks over. Looks with wide-eyed excitement. She yells, the neighbors run over, everyone wants to see, they all start laughing. I say thank you, walk away, leave them laughing.

I'll never forget it. What wonderful people. What a proud woman. Myanmar. Burma. Whatever. The government doesn't know what it's up against.

Mandalay. It's nothing like the hotel in Vegas would make you think. It's so much worse. It's so much better. I made it. I'll never forget her.

BennyV, SnapRJW, cebe has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by John Paskey (happypoppeye) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 512 W: 53 N: 958] (4819)
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