One for the road?

by valexposed


I’m in the bus on the way to Bagan and its three hours into a ten hour journey. We arrive at a pitstop. A lady hands me a packet of tissue and a toothbrush.

“30 minutes”, she says.

The guy sitted next to me in the bus, Tham Zaw, from Thailand, joins me during this little break. We barely understand each other, aside from general handsigns.

He orders a beer, and so do i. Nearly everyone working at the rest stop smiles and laughs. Tham Zaw looks at me to reassure that a beer was what I ordered. So I gave him a thumbs up.

I would prefer to use the word rarely but with all honesty, I have not once seen a Burmese lady drink or smoke a cigarette.

I felt out of place for a bit – am I being rude? What’s so funny???? But it’s really good beer and I figured it’d help me catch some shut eye during the bus ride.

While they laughed harmoniously, I laughed alone wondering, is this so rare? I then ordered my second glass. 10 minutes left.

Tham Zaw humoured with the random faces around us; he spoke Burmese aside from Thai. Not being able to comprehend what they were saying and to know that it was about me, the glass of beer and cigarette in my hand – it became amusing more than strange.

If I could only pick a handful of Burmese men/women and gently drop them in Clarke Quay on a Saturday evening. A thirty minutes pitstop maybe?

I wonder.

23:13 – 16/12/15