After the nine-hour trip from Yangon to Bagan, I never wanted to ride on another bus again. But there I was, two days later, climbing on the Bagan Minn Thar Express once again to make the return journey, this time overnight. And it wasn’t too bad, actually – for me, at least. There was a monk who didn’t have such a great time.
For the return trip I shelled out an extra four bucks to take the VIP (very infected penis) service, and was stoked to discover that not only did I not have to sit next to anyone, due to the coach having only three seats across instead of four, but also that there was no Myanmarese music to piss me off the whole way. Score!
Sadly, the air conditioning was turned up so far that it was like Canberra in winter as we rolled along. I dunno, maybe we had some penguins on board or something.
After a few hours, we stopped and picked up a monk by the side of the road. Don’t ask me what he was doing in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night, wearing nothing but a robe, but the plucky little chap climbed aboard, all smiles. And then the driver PUT THE MONK IN THE TOILET.
Sure, there were no spare seats, but it seemed weird for the monk to be made to sit in the toilet, rather than on the floor. I forgot about it and watched some shows on my laptop, until I was interrupted by the bus lurching violently from side to side. I don’t know if we hit something or blew a tyre, but we were rocking and rolling like Meatloaf on a bouncy castle. And then the toilet door banged open.
The monk staggered out, covered in shit, with only his big, smily teeth visible through the crud. I don’t know if he’d fallen into the brasco, or if all the turds had sorta exploded upwards when the bus went wonky, but he looked like a frozen banana dipped in chocolate. And he wouldn’t stop grinning, as if getting splashed with the arse juice of a thousand passengers was a blessing or something.
And then he just walked off the bus and into the night.
As for the rest of today, it’s been garbage. I got into Yangon at 5am and have been at the airport ever since. And Yangon Airport ain’t a fun place to be stuck. There are no restaurants, no beer, and definitely no strippers. It’s now almost four in the arvo and my plane’s been delayed by three hours, so I’ve been sitting around watching endless loops of wacky Burmese TV ads. Seriously, every bloody ad they make is basically a high tempo pop song, whether it’s about noodles or hair care products.
Ahead of me I still have two flights, one to Kolkata and a connecting flight to New Delhi. I’m already half-mad with exhaustion, so by the time I get there I’ll probably be so tired I’ll pass out in the Ganges and wake up looking as filthy as my monk friend.
I’ve just gotta keep telling myself, “This is meant to be fun, this is meant to be fun, this is meant to be zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.