University of Life

  • I had formal schooling, but several of the materials I posted are from the “Lay Na Ban (Lan Na Bay) Tekkatho” (AKA as the University of Life).
  • Barbers, Cab Drivers and Say Sayas often turn out to be good story tellers.


  • Ko Thet was a neighbor and friend of the Academy award winning actor Yoyogyi Zeya. He was a barber and would tell stories. He also had cameo appearances in some movies.
  • There were several barbers at the “Pann Yaung (Pinky) San Tha”. My cousin uncle U Win Tin would wait for his favorite barber and also tip him. It was an early example of Customer Relationship Management.
  • In the USA, I notice several old customers with little hair. They would wait for their favorite hairdresser, and then spend a long time talking. Some take their “hair cut” almost every week.

Cab Drivers

  • The bad traffic in Yangon is sometimes unbearable.
    I was told that it would be faster to walk than sit in the cab behind a long queue.
  • Some cab drivers take the “short cut” to beat the traffic, but often find “like minds” doing the same.
  • Fortunately, the pain caused by traffic can be eased if the cab driver is a good conversationalist.
    One young driver provided examples about the decline of moral values, and the need to reintroduce Ethics in the present curriculum.

Practitioners of Indigenous Medicine

  • I visited an old dhamma friend.
    She has an indigenous clinic that was manned by a former monk (Dhammacariya and an excellent conversationalist.
  • Another Say Saya was a Thakin and member of the Burma Communist Party (BCP).
    He had interesting stories.
    He and his spouse went underground.
    A few years later, he returned to the legal fold.
    Sad to say, his spouse remained underground with his former boss.

U Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76) wrote :

  • When you are in ‘captive audience’ like situation, like a haircut or in a long taxi ride, and the other person happens to be a good conversationalist, it could be very interesting.
  • I just went to get a haircut couple of days ago, my hair stylist happened to be a good conversationalist and we touch upon several subjects. She was born as a Hmong near Laotian border, left there at the age of 2 upon her father’s death by the government.
  • These are very enjoyable moments, talking with complete strangers, learned and shared part of each others life/experiences.

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