I can hardly believe I'm writing this, but our container finally left Yangon on Wednesday.
This is the third time I've had this feeling in the last year. The first was in August, when after three months sitting in the port, our first Covid-delayed container finally left. The second was late-January, when our second Covid container, delayed at sea for four months, finally approached Southampton. And this is the third. A container delayed not by Covid, but by a devastating military coup which threatened to put our business, and the support of the hundreds of people whose products we sell, in jeopardy.
So this time, it's a harder feeling to clarify: while I am absolutely overjoyed to have thousands of products heading to fill up our empty warehouse shelves, the pain is far from over for everybody we know and love in Burma. While here in the UK we enter into summer and the prospect of those beers on the beach that we were denied last year, everyone in Burma is trying to work out how to navigate the ramifications of a political nightmare, expanding civil war and looming economic crisis.
That said, through a rather roller-coaster five years of running a small business in Burma, I've become quite good at balancing great happiness, frustration and sadness, and understanding that they can all coexist, and that one needn't cancel out the other.
So while you're cracking open some beers this weekend, and thinking about the picnics, dozy post-wedding Sunday lunches, and long-evenings in the sun which are filing up your diary, have a look at what we've got coming in our giant pink container (see below... she's an absolutely beauty), and sign up for a back-in-stock alert for the things you're waiting for.
Assuming no blockages in the Suez Canal, or any other surprises from global ocean freight (we've had quite enough of those for one year, but that's a story for another time), the contents should be ready to shop in mid-July.
Ps. Here she is. Fair winds, sweet maiden...