All Eyes On Me: As a blonde, western woman, I stood out from the crowd on Yangon’s Circular Railway.
The Circular Railway in Yangon, Myanmar is a commuter train that connects the city to the surrounding suburbs. To ride the train with the locals is a fantastic glimpse into everyday life of the Burmese People. You need to have a local guide escort you– the schedules are too confusing to navigate yourself. Fortunately, the staff at The Strand Hotel hooked me up a local guide who showed me around. While there was a First Class car, I rode in the Ordinary Class Green Car, which was the class of service used by the locals for their daily commute.
I sat next to a young girl who hadn’t seen a iPhone before and kept asking me to show her my images in between shots. When I showed her my captures, she kept giggling. While I missed an opportunity to shoot during these moments, the interaction was priceless and sort of a great example of where Myanmar is at the moment. Opening up and curious, yet (at least for now) still very much sheltered and off the grid.
Visiting the Circular Railway I was very taken by the Burmese people. They are friendly and completely not jaded by cameras. While a few people smiled for the camera, most of them simply went about their business. No one asked for money for posing, nor did any of them flinch from my lens. While I had my DSLR with me, my mobile images are the ones I like the best. Because this commuter train is off the tourist grid, documenting it as unobtrusively as possible felt the most natural.