Business Cards Will Take Over Your Life
One of the things you will notice when landing in Yangon, is the proliferation of business cards. Not only the domain of businessmen and women, these cards can be found in every shop, restaurant, bar and office. Because of the previous lack of internet connectivity, or laptops, handsets and other mobile devices, coupled with a lack of either online or hard copy directories, these cards are the only way to find and keep the address and contact details of businesses. Many feature English on one side and Myanmar on the other, and the really good ones include a small map. These cards are absolutely invaluable when getting around town because you can show them to taxi drivers to help you get around.
Because of the very cheap cost of printing here, business cards are also carried by individuals, which is another way of quickly exchanging contact information without resorting to the old pen and paper method. It also helps enormously with any language barriers; it’s not always easy to jot down numbers and names correctly, so having a card with the details clearly printed out is a godsend. Certainly many people will be surprised if you do not carry business cards of your own, even if you only have your name and telephone number printed on it (and email address nowadays of course). Swapping business cards is a feature of most meetings, however casual and you will often see individuals handing out their cards to a whole group of people around a bar. So quick, so cheap, so simple!
Therefore a really good business card holder is a good investment. In varying price ranges and finishes you should be able to find one to suit you and most will hold at least 100 cards. We add another one each year and a stack of these folders rests by the phone. Because we had to travel a lot in our first year here, we got so used to picking up business cards wherever we went and now have folders for Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and of course the UK too. It’s one way of remembering favourite restaurants and shops, though perhaps a bit quaint and old-fashioned these days!