Air Bagan Crash on Christmas. Could have been worse.

It happened yesterday.  And it’s all over the news.  But just remember.  It. Could. Have. Been. Much. Worse.

The pilot, who happens to be the father of my childhood friend, seems weary with the thought that he has let his passengers, his staff and the company down, from his hospital bed at Rangoon General Hospital.  That he successfully performed an emergency landing and evacuated 97.3% of 71 people on the plane into safety within 90 seconds, albeit with one casualty on board and one on the ground, seems to me a remarkable feat but not enough for him.  He wanted to save ’em all of course.  And we haven’t even yet informed him of the one casualty on board.  On top of all that, he was maneuvering a 23-year-old hell of a machine (Fokker 100, if the plane type means anything at all to you) amidst early morning fog of Shan State during winter.

The domestic media outlets haven’t been too kind on the entire incident.  Understandably, Air Bagan’s management is not the most popular business around here and people are quick to point fingers.  At the end of the day, no one knows what is going to happen to my friend’s family.  Will his health allow him to continue this line of work?  Will he lose his job?

It’s rare to come by someone as professional as this man in Myanmar, and I don’t say this about anyone easily.  He’s a breadwinner in his family, a great father and a wonderful person in general … other than of course not allowing my friend to go salsa-dancing with me due to his conservative values. Oh well I guess I can forgive that at this point.

But here comes the real tofu of the matter.

What do you bring when you go see a patient at a hospital?  Ideally, some fresh flowers would be nice, which is a practice uncommon in Myanmar and it’s likely that someone will take offense (since you bring flowers to funeral services).  So I look at what others have brought to the hospital this evening: apples, apples and more apples!  The more creative types brought some imported fruit including dragon fruit and grapes that made it all the way from Florida.  Then, there were instant mixes: Milo, instant oat meal, and boxes of cookies.

You wouldn’t want to eat any of that, would you?  How do you know that the pesticides from the apples wouldn’t harm the already vulnerable patient?  (According to Environmental Working Group, apples topped 12 foods with most pesticides in a 2012 report.)  Are instant drinks as nutritious as advertised?  Or more importantly, do they even taste good?

When I have a baby and have to stay over at a hospital, here’s a list of things I would want you to bring.  Thank you in advance.

  • Full dairy Ice-cream.  Not frozen yogurt.  I don’t kid around with my source of calcium and protein.
  • Simple, home-made chicken soup.
  • Pork chops.
  • Brianna’s apple cake.
  • Sweet Potatoes from Heaven.
  • If the doctor will allow it, some sashimi, with ginger and wasabi.
  • Lomo saltado.
  • Frittada.
  • Quinoa salad with cucumbers and black beans, with a dash of paprika.
  • Elk sausages.
  • And of course, a fresh bouquet of flowers!


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