The bus to Bagan

We’d heard this was not for the fainthearted, but it really does blow everything else out of the water. Forget Bolivian buses. Forget the Californian Greyhound even. Welcome to the dodgiest 12 hour bus ride awards (2011). I’ll try and set the scene. Think chicken bus i.e. baking heat, piled to the rafters, babies/grandparents and a host of characters hanging off the side with laundry/plastic furniture/their entire world belongings. And there you have our Saturday in a nutshell. We stop for food by the side of the road and you’d think the world was ending. Women stocked their wicker baskets rammed full of year’s supplier of quail eggs and betel leaves. The horrific side effect of betel leaves (apart from the taste itself and the fact that it dyes your teeth bright red – we tried it the day before just to get involved) is that you are then to endlessly spit the juice into a clear plastic bag. Which, grosser still, our bus comrades all tie to the seat in front of them. Yum.  Add to this the fun of lobbing sunflower seed shells onto the floor, only after ricocheting them into Jessica and me first. Despite this circus, luckily we have both perfected the art of zoning out i.e. iPods in, books out, and laugh deliriously at our own misfortune. That and Zanex. Our two stranded coping mechanism is to curl up so small in our tiny seats we’re like puppies fast asleep in a basket. Then film some vid clips that amuse us no end, but which will obviously never see the light of day as we resemble lost creatures from a swamp.  Minging as the whole episode was, and it was, we did get to see some of ‘off the beaten track Myanmar’ in all its glory. Namely locals pointing out villages on our map making sure we hadn’t lost our way. Also a girl staring at as for ages (we get this a lot here as the only two tourists we’ve seen so far.) We’d just started get paranoid/pissy about this, when she reached out and offered us her full water bottle.  There you go Scott Mills; a lovely Random Act of Kindness.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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