The Sleep Machine

With the lockdown still on in Yangon, the most exciting thing that has happened to us recently is tricking the local Mexican restaurant into making us margaritas, see above! We had heard from a friend that the Japanese restaurant around the corner from us will serve you a beer at their outside tables while you wait for your takeaway order to be prepared. The idea of drinking a beer anywhere but in your own driveway seemed very exotic in these boring times, and sure enough Thursday night when finishing up our dog walk we ran into that friend enjoying a frosty Myanmar outside the restaurant.

We really tested the limits of that restaurant’s rule following by plopping down and ordering our own beer (and no takeaway food!) but in true Myanmar style no one was going to tell us no. This made the wheels in our head start turning and we decided to try the same thing last night while ordering our tacos. This was a little more suspect as that restaurant has no outdoor seating and we were asking them to actually make us cocktails rather than just pop open a beer, but it worked! It was fun (and delicious) but I think we won’t push the envelope by suggesting that some of our friends accidentally show up at the same time as us, although it is tempting!

We have one more week of school and then we are off for a week for our October break. Let us speak no more of that as we were supposed to be spending it on the beach watching beautiful sunsets and now I will be spending it sitting in the drive and staring at Gav (who will be staring at the birds).

Well we can also stare at this, our Bougainvillea tree. Now that the rainy season is coming to an end she is starting to bloom again!

For the past few weeks we have both been running a once a week after school activity for students at school. Gav’s one is called Urban Wildlife (aka Nerd Club) where kids/Gav photograph wildlife seen around Yangon and then they all try to identify it. I will let him wax lyrical about that in his own post. I am running a club where kids design a solution to a problem that I present. It’s for First and Second graders, so it is pretty chaotic but the kids get into it. The first week they had to design something that would make cats and dogs become friends, the second week they designed a better bicycle for the food delivery guys here in Yangon and then this past week I asked them to design a machine to help me sleep better.

So I give them then problem and then they draw or use legos or play-dough or whatever to come up with a design. This is all done over Zoom by the way, so sometimes I just watch as they wrestle around with their sibling or have a snack or whatever. Parents are just happy they are entertained I think. Anyway, when each kid is finished they hold up their design and talk us through it. Last week the first kid done held up his drawing. It was some kind of blob with some arms or something coming out of it. He proudly told me that his machine has testicles that would massage me to sleep. I said, “oh tentacles to give me a massage, great!” And he repeated, “Yes, testicles to rub you to sleep.” Sounds fab, thanks. Then a different kid took us into the toilet with him and I had to shut off his video real fast. One more week of that club and then next time I am going to offer a book club!

We have been dealing with an annoying sore on Nell’s neck. I have no idea how she got it in the first place, but she has spent the last week scratching it open every time it starts to heal, making it bigger and more weepy in the process. Because it is kind of on her neck, it was hard to think about how to make her stop scratching. A cone of shame wouldn’t work as it is too low down. I though a t shirt might help.

She wore that for a few days but it didn’t really help as the neck was too big and she could get around it to scratch. Also for some reason the shirt made her unrecognisable to our street dog friends, so when we went on walks they barked and howled at her! It’s strange that they didn’t just smell her and know they knew her, but maybe they were actually laughing at her. In any case we took it off as it wasn’t helping. I had the idea of just tying it around her neck like a scarf, and voila!

Looks dumb, works great. And we can easily remove it for walks so she is not shamed by the street dogs. Hopefully by this time next week it will all be healed and the poor dog can reclaim some dignity.

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