Land of a Thousand Eyes: The Subtle Pleasures of Everyday Life in Myanmar

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Allen & Unwin, Jan 1, 2005 - Travel - 261 pages
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A trio of colourfully dressed women tottered and teetered delicately

through the water, holding hands, laughing. They were jewels in a sea of

shit, standing out against the muddied monochrome of the monsoon's

detritus, and they represented the admirable qualities of the Myanmar that

I had come to love: the ability not only to make do, but to giggle and

pursue life with joie de vivre, despite the deprivations dished out by the

elements or by the military masters.'

As a former rock magazine editor, editor of Australian Playboy, creator of

Nation Review's cult hero JJ McRoach, official Australian minder' to Dr

Hunter S Thompson and leader of the Australian Marijuana Party, Peter

Olszewski has lived an interesting and varied life. But all this seemed

ordinary compared to the year or so he spent in Yangon training journalists

for the main English-language newspaper, the Myanmar Times. Myanmar is a

country known mostly for its repressive military regime, so the exciting

and vivid world he found there was not the one he expected. He fell in love

with the country, the people and one woman in particular.

Land of a Thousand Eyes is a rare glimpse into one of the world's most

secretive and isolated countries.

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LAND OF A THOUSAND EYES: The Subtle Pleasures of Everyday Life in Myanmar

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Hackneyed reflections from an Australian journalist who spent about a year-and-a-half in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma).Although he was there in 2003-04 to train reporters for the rigidly ... Read full review

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Page 15 - People's Desire * Oppose those relying on external elements, acting as stooges, holding negative views. * Oppose those trying to jeopardize stability of the State and progress of the nation. * Oppose foreign nations interfering in internal affairs of the State. * Crush all internal and external destructive elements as the common enemy.
Page 157 - THE LESSER EVIL Empty as death and slow as pain The days went by on leaden feet; And parson's week had come again As I walked down the little street. Without, the weary doves were calling, The sun burned on the banks of mud; Within, old maids were caterwauling A dismal tale of thorns and blood. I thought of all the church bells ringing In towns that Christian folks were in; I heard the godly maidens singing; I turned into the house of sin. The house of sin was dark and mean, With dying flowers round...
Page 15 - Desires consist of: (1) oppose those relying on external elements, acting as stooges or holding negative views; (2) oppose those trying to jeopardize the stability of the State and progress of the nation; (3) oppose foreign nations interfering in internal affairs of the State; and (4) crush all internal and external destructive elements as the common enemy. Some in Burma refer—in jest—to the latter "desires" as the "three opposes and one crush.
Page 45 - ... diplomat, who escaped unharmed. He said two Westerners had been killed at the same spot several years before. There were genies inside every telephone and telex. A United Nations worker from Ethiopia told of phoning a colleague in New York and switching, midsentence, from English to his native Amharic. A voice quickly cut in, instructing him to "please continue in a language we can understand.
Page 153 - We chatted in an easy manner for a couple of hours, and then she said she must go because her mother would become worried, or even suspicious.
Page 112 - I speak to a lot of people randomly out on the street, and indiscriminately hear opinions from people who don't know who I am and I don't know who they are.
Page 156 - I turned to say something to the woman sitting next to me, but she muttered, 'Filmin', filmin'.

About the author (2005)

Peter Olszewski has had a long career in the Australian print media as a journalist, columnist and editor. He has also worked as a radio broadcaster for English and US networks. In recent years he has worked as a freelancer, writing for many major newspapers and magazines, has been a university lecturer in journalism and communications, and most recently a journalism trainer in Myanmar. He currently lives in Queensland and doesn't have a cat.

Peter is also the author of A Dozen Dopey Yarns: Tales from the Pot Prohibition (JJ McRoach) and A Salute to the Humble Yabby.

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