Matilda Kivelä

I’m a writer currently represented by Agency Leroy.

Myanmar Diaries: Rotting Fish and Monsoon Rain

Myanmar Diaries: Rotting Fish and Monsoon Rain


Yangon is the most beautiful city in the world.

It isn't beautiful like the old university towns of Europe. Its streets reek of fish sauce, rotting fruit and musky incense. The city looks like it had been pieced together by a blind man haphazardly grabbing at anything that he guessed would fit together. Decaying colonial buildings seem to crumble away minute by minute, their high ceilings and white pillars giving in under the pressure of time. 

Every morning at around five o'clock, the monks start their alms round, going from house to house in the hopes of securing donations. At the end of their daily round, they have more neatly pressed bills than I carry for a week. 

By six o'clock, the whole city has woken up. The markets are alive and the men and women of the city sit on tiny plastic chairs and slurp their breakfast noodles at makeshift restaurants on the sides of the roads. 

At ten o'clock in the night, the city is tired of the hot day. Only a few streets are lit. Dogs fight in the distance — the city sleeps.

Myanmar Diaries: Hours on the Road

Myanmar Diaries: Hours on the Road