I was thrilled to arrive back in Rangoon, as I had enjoyed it so much when I was here with Jim last year. I stayed at the same Japanese-run guesthouse, ate at the Nepali restaurant, and patronized Nilar’s yoghurt (by-day) and whisky (by night) shop, (I only go during the day!). Downtown Rangoon is a chaotic mess of overcrowded belching buses, broken sidewalks, dilapidated colonial architecture and foul and delicious odors. Street vendors almost block the sidewalk hawking everything from ancient British-era textbooks to as-yet unreleased Hollywood DVDs. However, the item that fascinates me the most is the small mechanical people counter, you know the one with the button and the revolving numbers? Almost every hawker has one or two and some have several models to choose from. Who is buying these things? How many jobs involve counting to the degree that you need a counter that goes up to 999? How many entry level job starters are there in Rangoon that need to buy a new set of clothes, a little set of stacking stainless steel tins for their lunch and a brand new people counter? I sometimes feel I may go to my grave without cracking this particular enigma.