Filed under: Burma
To: Mack Hagood
Subject: The Burmese Enclave
Peninsula Plaza is essentially a five story shopping mall. But I would say that more than half the shops / internet cafes / restaurants were Burmese. Apparently this is THE place for Burmese people to hang out in Singapore. So the place was PACKED. And they were all looking at the tall white guy and his pasty female companion wondering what the hell they were doing there.
Most of the shops had food items and textiles, plus a lot of books and weird little homemade looking prayer cards (or, at least that’s what I think they are since they have pictures of either monks or Buddha on them). A number of the shops had a desk up front with a stack of leaves, with a mortar and pestle with some kind of white paste. At first I thought maybe it was Betel nut leaves… But now that I’ve looked up what those look like, that wasn’t it. Any idea what’s going on?
A few of the shops had CDs and cassettes. One place had just stacks of tapes. I dug thru them for a while, and had to stop myself. I could have easily been there all day. And since I don’t know Burmese, I’m just going by cover art. But I got six tapes for S$10.
After that, we went to the restaurant we saw online. It’s called Inle (www.inlemyanmar.com.sg). Even though it looks kinda fancy (i.e. “tourist-y”), most of the patrons were Burmese. Actually, there was a wedding reception in half of the place, and I noticed that some people had a different menu than what we got that was entirely in Burmese (and no pictures of the food). I always figured that the country between Thailand and India would have amazing food. And I was right. The food was great.
10:58 AM, May 17th, 2009
I wish I had written down the name of that shop…
Catalog number and label unknown.