Going to Burma? Not by Bus

Occi-Oriental

My maid is from Burma, or, as the Thais say,  “Prateht Pamaa” (I’m no cultural or political expert of course, but the Thais, as in fact most of the Burmese I’ve talked to here, have not gotten the memo on the fact that their country is now officially known as Myanmar). JOI has a six year old son who’s being raised his granddad (JOI’s father), back in her native city of Yangon (Rangoon). She was thinking of flying back in October, during our kids’ fall break from school, since she hasn’t seen her son since his birthday in May. I helped her out by looking up air ticket prices online…. anyway, she decided she can’t afford the approximately 3500 Baht (TBD) round-trip ticket (that’s about $120 U.S.), in part because she has to pay the Thai police 4000 TBD every 3 months to renew her work permit (that ends up…

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