Burma Bus Breakdown (nervous & other)

Finallllly found a semi-decent internet connection! Wooo. Ok, so Myanmar…

Like i said it’s wow and amazingg. Barring the dire political situation, of course. and the internet. and the roads. I’ll write about the government regime and its effect on the people one day in detail…when I’m not still in the country. The internet is inextricably linked with the politics. And the roads…

Before i came here, I read everywhere that tourists fly between destinations. But I came here hoping to see more than just tourist destinations and plus, I bused, trained and hitchhiked my way through India—how much worse could Burma public transportation be? Mistake #1. My second mistake: I booked a 16 hour bus ride for the morning after I arrived. I’m not going to count my mistakes anymore, but unfortunately I also didn’t request a seat near the front. I ended up in the dead last row of the bus, the one with seats that don’t recline. It fits five people, a sixth squeezed his way in. Ok, fine. We started through the mountains. Or more like violently off-roaded over steep, rocky, winding uphill terrain. A little less fine. Within minutes, the interior of the bus turned into a suffocatingly thick, dirty dust cloud thanks to the many holes and cracks all along the old bus’ sides and bottom.

Then the woman next to me got sick. (When they hand out plastic bags at the beginning of a trip…that’s a red flag.) Half hour later, the woman in front of me started vomiting and domino effect…the woman in front of her, too. The smell of vomit commingled with stuffy, dusty, dirty air: Soo not fine. The road was rough (understatement), reading was impossible and looking out the window garnered me a giant lump on my forehead. The entire bus ride hurt my body, like falling down stairs. for 16. freaking. hours. Oh, and I mentioned the bus broke down on three separate occasions, right?! Mistake #13,453: Not bringing valium.

Anyways, I survived. There’s a 10 hour bus ride to Bagan, my next destination. Alternatively, there’s also a four day/three night boat ride that goes there…Guess what I’m taking? Wish me luckk.

PS, Now is a good time to interject that I only brought $350 dollars with me to a country that doesn’t accept credit cards and doesn’t have a single ATM or way otherwise to get money, book flights, etc. Mistake #13,454, but who’s counting.

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