(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

This time next week, I'll be sipping tea half a world away in Myanmar (Burma), land of gold, need, a junta, and working elephants. The tea, strong and milky, is at ten cents a cup still a significant outlay for people who make about a dollar a day, but my friends there will never let me pay. Though foreigners aren't allowed to stay overnight with locals, I will be invited into their homes during daylight to nibble at tea leaf salad, listen to music, and generally enjoy the famous Burmese hospitality. Internet access is sometimes sporadic, but I'll send pictures of city life, Burmese-style, if I'm able. In the meantime, best wishes for a season of joy and peace.