Mobilitea

Mobilitea

This mobile tea vendor sells tea out of a modified stroller (“pram” for Brits) containing his business’s accessories: a trio of thermoses and a bucket of water built into the foot-strap area where a child’s feet would rest. The water bucket contains used glass cups collected from his more “permanent” (non-mobile) customers, such as market vendors. Whenever a usual customer sees him approaching, they raise their glass teacup in a toast of sorts, signaling him to come over and collect the empty cup in exchange for a fresh glass of tea.

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Non-stationary customers such as myself and other customers wandering through the market at a given moment are provided with a plastic cup for their tea. Besides the standard plastic/glass cup size, he also carries a tin cup in the beverage-carrying device mounted on the handlebars. Equivalent in volume and value to three cups of tea, some customers who are getting tea for their friends (or perhaps just have a long day ahead of them) opt for the 300 (U$ .40) kyat tin-cup option. In this case, the tea vendor fills the tin cup from a thermos and then dumps the contents of the cup into a plastic bag which he then ties off and hands to the customer.Each cup of tea is 100 kyat (U$ .15), and each thermos has a 25-cup capacity.

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The tea is “regular” flavored (the standard ratio of strong black tea and super-sweet condensed milk – nothing fancy) and is all brewed at the tea vendor’s house. Working every day except Sunday, he visits two markets daily, embarking on a 6 AM round to catch the height of activity in the morning market, and then another round at a second Yangon market at 2 PM to catch the afternoon slump when people lust for their daily caffeinated jolt.

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