What I did today....
Came late for internship, went into the room.
I sat down and introduced myself in Burmese, which I tried to do everyday so that I don't forget the phrase. As you can imagine, this moment is awkward.
I take out my sketchbook and start to draw the old man next to me who is smoking tobacco and creating a nice frame for the old poster in 1960s.
He asks me simple questions for me to learn Burmese.
The other man comes in and greets me. He also makes frame for the old arts.
We are surrounded by historical materials but every single thing is dusty. I always feel like I am in the colonial period of Burma since the collections are mostly from that term.
I finish my sketching and get down stairs to eat Burmese lunch.
I meet new visitors there at the gallery where I have lunch. Visitors come from all over the world. Business, Volunteering, creating democracy, sightseeing, art buyers, they have their own purpose to visit here. The owner treats them equally and serve tea for each person.
I finish lunch and go back to the research center. Two old man trying to explain me about the incident happened in 2011 which is not the Monks demonstration.
The story ends up talking about whether Japan should have military or not.
Then one of them starts to teach me Burmese.
I always wonder if they are sacrificing their time to spend good time with me or if they are just enjoying the moment. We have been talking and talking for hours. They are both very very very experienced men, who are making frames for arts now.
The guy offered me to eat another Burmese food and we continued talking about Burmese history and culture.
"I believe that foreigners should go back to their country and just think about their country. They don't need to come here and take everything. I am not talking about you, you can come here and spend your time."
The guy is really nice but he is sometimes critical about fully accepting the foreigners. I sometimes get mixed feelings talking with him.
The rain gets harder and they go back home earlier than me.
I get back to the shelf which I was cleaning up and categorize the files.
A girl come to me and take pictures for the art journal that they are making.
I smile and go back to my work.
I am not helping the poor people, I am not directly supporting democracy in Burma, I am not teaching for children, I am not helping the injured. I am not in NGO.
I do art and I enjoy it. I talk with people and I enjoy it.