musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia


I could spin you a long, tall tale about how I got sick when I was in Mandalay and resorted to visiting a local practitioner to get healed, but that wasn’t exactly the case. I was invited by Ye Win Zaw, one of the kids from 90th Street in Mandalay, to visit this particular traditional doctor, who just so happened to be his grandfather!



As often happens in these cases, I’ll meet a local and speak of bit of Burmese with them, which only makes them think that I am more fluent than I actually am, and encourages them to speak non-stop for the next thirty minutes, convinced that I understand what they are saying. If I’m lucky I can comprehend fragments of the discourse and perhaps understand the gist of what they are saying. Just don’t ask me for details!



This particular doctor is also a Buddhist monk and he uses traditional herbs and remedies to heal patients with various ailments. He has a whole wall — make that four walls —plastered with photos of many of his patients, presumably ones that were successfully treated.


I asked Ye Win Zaw and some of the other kids who accompanied us (there is always a throng that comes along on these impromptu outings!) if the doctor’s remedies did the trick and made these sick folks better again, and they answered in the affirmative. It appears that the old doctor must be doing something right!



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