Self-loathing expat New Year resolutions

This is the year you’re going to turn around your life in Myanmar. Because 2019 is the new 2018.


1. Start Myanmar lessons again

You used to diligently attend language class three times a week. Now you’ve lived here 18 months and can’t even ask for “no milk” in your iced Americano. Definitely time to email Saya Aung and get things moving.

Of course, you need a few weeks to get your schedule organised…

2. Finally use that rice cooker

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It’s been sitting on your counter for more than a year waiting for the day you choose not to just buy rice from the tea shop downstairs.

3. Give up and just give the rice cooker away at a wedding

You still have the box somewhere, right?

4. Be the one to make other people use your messaging app

Some people insist on using their preferred digital chat platform. Others find themselves checking Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Hangouts, Skype, Line, WeChat, Signal and Telegram. Time to become one of the former. And just for good measure, you pick Snapchat.

4. Finally read past the first chapter of The River of Lost Footsteps

Wait, did you already do a number 4? No bother. Like the building your apartment’s in, this list has two number 4s.

5. Learn all of your local colleagues’ names

At this point you’re too embarrassed to ask people’s names again, so your current plan is to take secret photos of everyone in the office, get one of your co-workers drunk, have them identify all the photos and finally cover your tracks by convincing them they dreamed the whole thing.

6. Finally start going to cooking class/yoga/salsa dancing/life drawing/Body Pump/rugby/Mundo Lingo/the Yangon Animal Shelter

7. Give up and just go pub trivia at 50th Street Bar again

8. Beat The Quizzards at pub trivia

9. Delete all the random strangers from your Facebook friends list

But wait – don’t you know her from somewhere? Isn’t she from Accounting…?

10. Convince your mother that no one is going to machinegun you

They’re targeting foreigners over there. She saw it in the news. And you should call more. Why don’t you call more?

11. Make the leap and try Tinder

You are beautiful
You are so sexy
I found u on FB already
You can be my girlfriend [heart eyes emoji]
Send nud pics right now please.
Haha jk [wink emoji]
How are you beautiful?
I can be your bf
Why no nud pics? [cry emoji] [wink emoji] [heart eyes emoji]
How are you?

12. Visit Hpa-an

Your work mate told you it’s amazing, it’s been on your list for you don’t know how long, and you have a long weekend coming up. Oh, wait, that’s the night of Erik’s going away, plus there’s a boat party. But you’ll find a weekend to go, for sure…

13. Catch up on Myanmar politics

Although your office has a subscription to Frontier, you still never knew that Myanmar had two vice presidents, let alone what their names are. Don’t worry, you can Google it later.

14. Update your LinkedIn page

Of course you love your company/organisation and your co-workers so much! But you just, you know, want to see what’s out there… and maybe do an interview or two…

15. Quit Facebook

Yes, it’s a distracting time suck that spreads hate speech and reminds you how much more successful your friends are. But really you just want to brag about how you quit Facebook. (Via Facebook post, of course.)

16. Spend less time writing funny columns, cartoons and crosswords, and focus on serious journalism


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