The future that locals spoke of varied from place to place. On a night bus somewhere outside of Inle Lake, a business man spoke of the plethora of economic possibilities as he flipped through files on his iPad-- his legs crossed underneath the traditional checkered longyi he wore together with a pair of weathered sandals.
In Kalaw, a small mountain town in Shan State known as a popular starting point for treks, a Punjabi guesthouse owner drank tea on a cloudy afternoon. His prognosis for the country he grew up in was much more grim.
"We cannot get passports, it would take years," he said, speaking for himself and other non-ethnic minority groups that inhabit the country.
In Sittwe, the coastal capital of Rakhine State, men patrolled the burned out remnants of a Rohingya neighborhood and sneered at Muslim children playing in a nearby field.
Such division is apparent in Burma where the what-is-new clashes with the what-used-to-be-old each and every day.