Starbuck Coffee & Burmese Tea House (February 6, 2003)

Part I
A group of friends sitting at a TEA HOUSE in Yangon, Burma, and having some chat.

Aung: “Hey guys, have your heard about our friend, Shwe in USA?”

Bo: “No! What’s going on?”

Aung: “He is a lucky guy. He has gone to USA for only a few months, and now he is sending US dollars to his family in Burma.”

Win: “What kind of job is he working?”

Aung: “I’m not sure but according to his close relatives, he is working at a factory or something like that.” “I heard he bought a brand new car also. Man, his life is much better than us now.”

Bo: “Yeah …. Look at us, we have nothing. No job, no future, and we are just wasting our time. I wish I could go to USA.”

Win: “Yeah, me too.” “Everything must be very cool if we could go there.”

Aung: “Well, some guys have luck. Some guys like us have no luck.”

Bo: “Anyhow, got to go home now. Let’s pay the money for our tea.”

Part II
At the same time, in other part of the world, another group of Burmese friends are chatting at a STARBUCK coffee shop in San Francisco, USA.

Shwe: “Well, another weekend comes, no way to relax yet. Still got a lot of works: do the laundry, clean the house, and buy some foods for next week.”

Maung: “Yeah, life in USA just like a robot: go to work, come back home, sleep, the next day, get up again, go to work, and come back home. I’m really sick and tired of doing the same things forever. Even on weekend, still got a lot work to do”

Myint: “Me too. Tired of work but it’s impossible to quit the job. Every month, we got to pay our car loan, rent, phone bill, cable bill, Internet fee, car insurance, and credit card bills. Man, it looks like I have to work forever. Shit!!!”

Maung: “Job market is really tight these days. I heard one of my friends hasn’t found a job for three months even though he is a graduate student. He even tried an internship working for free, and no one offered him a job.”

Shwe: “Look at the place I am working. About 20 guys got laid off last week. Company’s business is really slow. I am scared my turn will be next.”

Myint: “I really miss Burma. What a good life over there. What were we thinking at that time before we decided to come here?” “I heard our friend Aung is doing very well in Burma. He has his own small business. He can go anywhere at any time. He is really a free man.”

Maung: “The other day, when I called Burma and talked to Aung, he said he went to Mya Yeik Nyo Hotel to watch Three Men Show, Lay Phyu, Myo Gyi, and Ah Nge. That’s great.”

Myint: “OK, I think I got to go now. I have to go to COSTCO to buy some diaper for my child, to buy some veggie at PACIFIC SUPERMARKET, and to pick up my wife at her job. I don’t have time now. Let’s go!! Hurry up!!!”

Well, friends, how do you think?
When we were in Burma, we thought it was boring and wanted to go somewhere else. Now we are thousand miles away from home, we want to go back home again.
No matter where we live, how well we are doing, how successful we are, and how much we are earning, we are never satisfied with our current condition. Why is that happening?
What is happiness by the way?