Social infra

social_infra
Outside of this downtown Yangon teashop on a main thoroughfare around 10 AM on a Saturday morning, the lines between public and private space become blurred as sidewalk planters become tables that are conducive to conversation. How does this compare to the infrastructure dotting the sidewalk around where you are? Does it encourage interaction – assuming social convention allowed the placement of chairs around it?
Usual weekend sidewalk social conventions mean passing acquaintances of the initial group of customers who sat down also often sit and engage in conversation. For briefer salutations/interactions, there is no compulsion to order and the visit can usually be timed to sync with the amount of time it takes to down a cup of (free) Chinese tea. If one plans on really chewing through some of the latest local news or gossip, though, one will usually order something, even it is as small as a token cup of tea. 150 or 200 kyats (U$ .20 to .25) is the price of syncing with the pulse of the neighborhood.
Note also the relationship between age/cellphone usage (quantity/color of hair and cellphone usage also works). With two out of five sitting around the more conventional table in the foreground engaging with cellphones (and one more handset sitting on the table next to the man reading the newspaper), one can glimpse the variations in behavioral cues associated with socializing across different age groups.
One more thing: the only woman we see here (foreground, pink, visor) is an employee of the adjacent donut shop.

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