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'News from Roman' is a place where I write about events or experiences that are important to me for one or another reason. It is a space where family and friends can get themselves updated on my latest undertakings, and where occasional readers can learn about issues which are important to me.

Archives (19th July 2015): An evening out

Yesterday my Bangkok friends called me up and told me to be ready for a surprise evening out. They came to my flat around 4:30 in the afternoon and announced that we were going for a dinner in Pattaya (a tourist destination, east of Bangkok). At first I thought that it was a bit crazy to go so far for a dinner only, but then it was Saturday, and I really needed to stop thinking about my recent trips to Myanmar and DPRK, so all in all I was quite pleased with the idea. So off we went… to enjoy a stroll on a tropical beach and an Indian treat in one of the local restaurants there. Turned out to be fantastic: great company of friends and wonderful food!

I was especially pleased to have an easy evening out, as my mind is preoccupied with my experiences of DPRK and western Myanmar, which I have just visited in recent weeks. A looming food crisis in Korea and an ongoing animosities between Buddhist and Muslim communities of Rakhine State of Myanmar made me feel somehow depressed. The magnitude of human suffering that I saw in these two places, and a realisation that there is very little resources to deal with these problems (read: the human suffering is likely to intensify and carry on for a long time) made me feel uneasy and helpless. A talk with friends and an evening out allowed me to have some different perspective on issues, and motivated me to stop feeling sorry but challenge myself on what I could do better to advocate for at least some action to help out at least a bit. While I have no illusions that I have no leverage on turning things around in any of these places, I can do some small bits that may have some positive effects for some communities: not ideal, but better than nothing! All in all, I am all motivated for action, however small!