Pest Control, Myanmar Style

So, there I am in the middle of my Burmese language lesson, and out of the corner of my eye, I catch sight of something streaking across the kitchen floor. And it is then I realise that the mouse problem is back.

I’m not averse to sharing my home with small, inoffensive rodents, but they tend to multiply pretty fast, and without some kind of action, the fear is that we’ll soon be far outnumbered.

Fortunately, however, my Burmese teacher steps in with a solution. All I have to do, she assures me, is get myself some chalk and write the following words on the wall, either inside or outside the house (or, for good measure, both):

ကြွက်ရောင်းရန်ရှိသည်

(Mice for sale)

It is important, apparently, to write this in Burmese — because although the mice around these parts are very learned and have a better grasp on Burmese script than I do, their English is in want of improvement. Anyway, my teacher — who is also very learned (and, it should be said, an excellent Burmese teacher) — told me that this is a failsafe method of getting rid of the critters. So who am I to disagree? And so, later this afternoon, I’m going to go out to the market to get myself some chalk and see if it works.

If, on the other hand, I come back from the market to find that the mice have got there first, and the walls are scrawled with the words လူသားရောင်းရန်ရှိသည် (Human beings for sale), then I’ll concede defeat and pack my bags.

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