Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bagan to Mandalay, Myanmar

Cruising in a mini bus as love smitten white Asian teens sing of their artificial love for one another on the inbuilt TV. The cement road is encased by sand on either side and is only just big enough for one car to drive along comfortably. We occasionally enters the dust as an one-coming vehicle does the same. A tut of the horn forces the smaller two wheeled entities to skirt the edge as we past by in haste leaving waves of dirt. A toddler dressed in pink pokadots amuses herself looking at my face, I smile provoking a mirrored reaction causing her to shy away only to return a second later to ogle some more. Fields of farmhands wearing circular hats bending over whacking, raking and collecting dried harvests. Children yell and follow the bus before giving up the chase for shade. A large boat glides through the glistening, welcoming waters in the distance as we cross a single tracked bridge. Scooters carrying helmet-less passengers laden with hard-earned produce drive through the shallow under passageway avoiding the toll. One pauses to inspect the watery depths as another plows in, the river only just meeting their feet. A herd of mixed cattle is urged on by its herder dressed in an assortment of colours. They cry out and wave their cane commanding the passive animals onwards. The promise of a drink enough encouragement for them. The fleeting view outside constantly changes as the day grows into the lightless night. My head bobs as the heat lures me towards sleep and I eagerly agree only to be jolted awake as the bus speeds over a for from even surface.

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