Hang on, this isn’t Yangon?

November 30, 2011

Blog Guy, I read that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Myanmar. That’s amazing! Have you been there?

Not to Myanmar, but I was there when they called it Burma.

Oh. Were you in Yangon?

Yes, but they called it Rangoon then.

But it’s the same city, right, the capital?

Rangoon was the capital when I was there, but now the capital is Naypyitaw.

I’m totally confused. Rangoon became Yangon which became Naypyitaw?

No, Yangon is still Yangon, it’s just not the capital any longer.

This is too bizarre. Can you at least confirm that Clinton made it out of the airport safely?

Of course. Otherwise that dog wouldn’t be walking behind her motorcade.

What kind of dog is that?

Probably a Burmese.

Wait. I thought a Burmese was a cat.

Sure, dogs used to be called cats back when it was Burma…

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Top: U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton smiles inside her car after landing in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw November 30, 2011. Hillary Clinton became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years on Wednesday, launching a historic mission to press the reclusive country’s new leaders to sever illicit contacts with North Korea and deliver on reforms. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Right: A dog crosses the road after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s motorcade passes upon her arrival in Naypyidaw, Myanmar November 30, 2011. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/Pool

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15 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Q. Why did the dog cross the road?
A. Because he thought he was a chicken.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

You know, my mum was born in Burma.. folks used to be quite impressed by that, coz she wasnt born in India.
Which was quite impressive, coz folks thought she was a foreigner.
After some time, it just did my head in.

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Blog Guy, when you were in then-Burma, did you see a series of road signs advertising a shaving product…?

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Naypyitaw – it’s the Ottawa of The East.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

This is a true story, Spin. I went out early one morning in Rangoon in search of an outdoor barber – those are pretty common in some parts of Asia. I found one, waited patiently until a customer sat down for a shave, and took photos of it. When I got home I showed them to people but almost nobody got it, so I stopped.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I had my photo taken at a Barber in Seville, and similarly it went over most folk’s heads.
In the meantime:
When it was called Rangoon
It was a very good town
It was a very good town for small-ish dogs
And soft kitty cats
We’d use improvised sticks to chase rats
By the light of the moon
When it was called Rangoon

Now it’s called Yangon
It’s not such a great town
It’s not such a great town for Burmese dogs
And strange dog-like cats
We’re led by a bunch of rats
Off is called on
Now it’s called Yangon

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Blog Guy: If you had put the photos into a certain order and had narrated them in verse, perhaps people would have gotten it.
(Photo 1: the area) When in Rangoon
(Photo 2: a stubbly man) Wanting to save face
(Photo 3: the shaving process) You can get a shave
(Photo 4: the end of the shave) That doesn’t cut the skin in any place
(Photo 5: another shot of the shaving process) Burma Shave. GET IT?!?

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Very nice one, Nosmo. I’ll be surprised if somebody doesn’t do something with “Istanbul (not Constantinople)” as well, especially what with the Hillary connection there, too.

http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 11/06/13/up-high-down-low-too-slow/

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Istanbul, Constantinople? What are those? Oh, wait, do you mean Byzantium?

Posted by Annatar | Report as abusive

Take a walk on the wild side, BG!

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

@69Spin … great one!

Next … barns with See Rock City or Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco

Myanmar … isn’t that the AFB from Top Gun?

Posted by justCAM | Report as abusive

@Cam – That was before the Marines took it over…

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

PUPPIES!!! Does he need a home? Oh…nevermind. I think I’d be in trouble if I bring another one home.

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

I think thats a dog there, Georgia.. I am being a nitpick today.

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Marines on an Air Force Base??? NEVER! :)

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive