Border towns

SPEAKZEASY

Tachileik, Myanmar


International borders can be difficult to cross and easy to hate.  Lines are long, tempers short, guns plentiful.  BORDERS mean hassles like paperwork and annoying questions —– exactly the sort of nonsense you want to escape when you travel.  By their very presence, borders are inconvenient, an obstacle separating where you are from where you want to be.

BORDERS also hinder.  No wonder, charitable organisations choose names like ——- Doctors Without Borders, Teachers Without Borders or even Clowns Without Borders.  (It is only a matter of time before we witness the arrival of Cartographers Without Borders)  The implication is that humanitarian impulses observe no limits, especially those imposed by politicians.

wagah border ceremony


BORDER TOWNS —– a certain kind, anyway —— can be even worse.  They are rife with “naked opportunism”.  And, nowhere is this more true than in the Burmese border town of TACHILEIK.  Snuggled along the Thai border, it’s one giant bazaar, a warren of…

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