This financial speculation essay acknowledges the inspiration of the Dick Jensen version of the song, “Try a Little Tenderness,” in its principal guiding pun; it is a suggested pairing to savour while reading.
Oh, they may be weary. You’ve reached the end of your stay at a small hotel in Myanmar. Your bags are packed; you’re ready to go. The manager at the desk, Ma Thuzar presents you a carefully handwritten invoice in English, with the total amount written at the bottom in US dollars. Fishing into your billfold, you retrieve your US cash and present the friendly woman with a $100 note. Ma Thuzar receives it in her right hand (her right forearm supported her left hand) and within the moment her polite expression transforms to a gaze of scrutiny. She holds the note three inches from her eagle eyes, verifying the year of issue and series. Her brow furrows as she visually traces the edges of the paper, studying its material integrity. Flipping the note over, her scanning eyes stop at a soybean-size ink stain in the lower right-hand corner. She flips the note again and sees that the stain has permeated both sides of it. Ma Thuzar places the banknote on the counter, “I cannot take this one. Do you have another one?”