My bus trip from Yangon to Bagan, Myanmar was interesting, to say the least. After cabbing it to the outskirts of town to catch the beautiful (not really) Bagan Minn Thar Express, I was squished into a tiny seat next to an overweight man and his two children, behind a monk, and in front of a teenage boy who would, at regular intervals, reach over and caress my hair. Halfway through the journey he even leant forward and kissed me gently on the elbow. Sadly, I forgot to get his phone number.
The entertainment was just as outrageous. First I was treated to two hours of Burmese pop songs by a chubby, balding paedophile, which became even better when I chucked Cypress Hill on my iPod and pretended he was B-Real. And after that I got to watch the zaniest movie I’ve ever set eyes on. It was in another language, so I couldn’t pick up all the major twists and turns, but it seemed like a real Academy Awards contender. It had slapstick humour, bus crashes, elves, ghosts, homoeroticism, extreme violence, bad dancing and a chunky guy on a pogo stick. So that’s where Adam Sandler gets all his ideas from.
Naturally, being a bus ride through Asia, it took about three times as long as it should’ve. We broke down twice, stopped every time we saw a monk to give him water, delivered vegetables, and even took a detour so the driver could buy some chairs. Luckily, no chickens were brought onboard – they were kept underneath the bus, where a couple of peasants were riding, too. Still, more comfortable than flying Jetstar, right?
Once you get out of Yangon, Myanmar is desperately poor, brown and dusty. It reminds me a lot of Cambodia (not surprising, given how close they are), but even more povo. Where Cambodia has nice buildings in each village, Myanmar has wooden shacks that look like they’re about to fall over. Poor people lined the road we drove on, hoping someone would throw money at them. I was unable to, as I was too busy either playing on my computer, reading my Kindle or listening to my iPod. Sorry, poor people.
Unfortunately, the air con packed it in near the end, and the temperature headed northwards and settled at around 38. That was bad, but what was worse was the blokes around me, who started to spread their legs and flap their skirts to keep cool. Now, Burmese blokes don’t wear undies under their skirts, so I copped an eyeful of tiny, hair wangs wiggling about between big, meaty thighs – and the fellas were grinning their heads off while they did it! If I’d filmed it, I could’ve given it to the government to use as a public service video to stop young dudes becoming gay.
I was wrecked by the time I got into Bagan, but from what I’ve seen it’s a nice, quiet little place with a lot of backpackers riding around on bikes. Which is exactly what I’ll be doing tomorrow, when I head out to see a few of the 2000 or so temples that are bunched around this town like schoolboys around a stolen porn magazine (I’m showing my age now – I’m pretty sure the young blokes skip the mags and go straight to 30-man interracial anal gang bangs).
I was meant to be in Delhi tonight, but I’m happy to be in Bagan, and very excited to see what this joint has to offer. And how will I get back to Yangon in a few days? I don’t care, fire me out of a cannon, fold me up and put me in an envelope and post me – just don’t put me on the bloody bus again!