Switch­ing trades in the rainy sea­son

The Myanmar Times - - Business - MYAT NOE OO my­at­noeoo@mm­times.com

RAIN or shine, life goes on and so does busi­ness, but many firms and their staff are adept at mak­ing the tran­si­tion from wet to dry sea­son and back again. They have to be. Take the vel­vet shoe busi­ness, for in­stance. No­body wears vel­vet shoes in the rain.

Shoe­maker Ma Thuzar, 25, who lives in Yankin town­ship, said, “I’m work­ing in a pet food shop on a fixed wage now. When I make and sell shoes I can choose my own time to work, but there’s no trade in the rainy sea­son.”

Ma Ei Mon, 24, of South Okkalapa town­ship, still buys from vel­vet sup­pli­ers to make ac­ces­sories, but dur­ing the rainy sea­son she makes most of her money sell­ing food at a stall she has set up in front of her house.

“Peo­ple don’t like to ven­ture too far out of doors, so the stall is con­ve­nient for them. I sell tra­di­tional fried snacks. It brings in a bit of money, but mak­ing the rounds to buy the in­gre­di­ents I need is very tir­ing,” she said.

But street ven­dors who pros­per in the sun­shine also pre­fer to find other work.

“This is my first rainy sea­son since I opened a fruit juice shop,” said Ma Myint Myint, who lives in South Dagon town­ship. “Busi­ness has fallen off and my in­come is down, so I also sell boiled noo­dles and sal­ads with rice. I’m not used to the work and it isn’t easy,” she said.

News­pa­per ven­dors who sell di­rectly to traf­fic wait­ing at the lights must per­form feats of jug­gling to keep their wares dry. And driv­ers don’t even like to open their win­dows when the rain comes down, said U Nyi Nyi, who lives in Hlaing Thar­yar town­ship and sells pa­pers at the Dham­mazedi traf­fic lights in Ba­han town­ship.

“We have to make sure the wa­ter doesn’t de­stroy the prod­uct,” he said.

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