Wow--that last post was incredibly long!!!
Anyway, my latest adventure in Yangon has been househunting with my friend Georgina. We have looked at so many appalling places--rat poo everywhere, dust an inch deep, the derelict, the shabby, and we wonder at our agent for taking us to places that obviously we would never consider. We went to some wonderful places--a lovely old place with real character at the top of a hill, but too far away for George who works downtown. Then we found a lovely place with the best set of stairs I've ever seen--think ladder and stairwell, but impossible to describe, really! But it had 6 hours of electricity cuts per day, and a huge hulking ugly generator (which I suppose in retrospect, was needed!).
Then on Saturday, we found it. THE house. We were both excited and enthusiastic. It was within our budget, was wonderfully well-kept, and the land-lady seemed fantastic. So we agreed to come and sign the contract and pay a deposit the following morning. Overnight the electricity problems nagged us and there was a bit of back-and-forth negotiations for a generator, and finally everything was concluded this morning.
It's possible that we will still have electricity and water problems (they are very hard to avoid here!) but it really is a lovely place. Of course, the landlady told us after signing that we are responsible for things like installing the washing machine, finding a gas man, and getting an electrician to move the fridge, but I suppose those are all things we will now be responsible (as well as carrying all rubbish to the local market every day!). Still, I can get two kittens, enjoy the gorgeous gardens (complete with two mango trees), and as Heather says, the true cultural experience of Yangon-ites! Even if we pay our bills in $$ at some price so high it truly is robbery (normally foreigners are not declared and pay the local rates), it will be fun!
We move in on May 10th! Yay.
Will try and post some pictures soon.