Language Lesson #3: Burmese

“Shu shu” – the Burmese term for the uncomfortable, or “ana”, act of peeing your pants in public.  Though not a word you’ll use much on your visit – unless you find yourself wedged into a minivan on its way across the country, unable to climb out the window in time for a rest stop – it does politely cover a rather awkward action.

Me: “Why isn’t Chi Chi going to school this week?” I ask my coworker,  while her five-year-old daughter scampers around the office.

Sey They: “Oh, she made shu shu…”

Me: What?,  I shoot her a puzzled face.

Sey They: Points to the toilet door, then squats down and flaps her hands around her butt as if she’s sprinkling urine over the floor in a baptismal blessing.

Me: “Ohhhh.”  They always say 80% of communication is non-verbal, I think in awe.
What I don’t say aloud: “When I was her age, on my first day of kindergarten, I also made ‘shu shu’…afraid of the Muppet monster hiding in the bathroom, I did just what Sey They showed me and watered the school carpet with about eight hours of anxious pee.  Teacher couldn’t move me from that spot for the rest of the day.  Hopefully, your daughter’s ‘shu shu’-ing didn’t involve the laughter of 14 other students with snide comments and very dry pants…”


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