An unexpected chance to get killed in Mandalay

I’m going through past journals for a project, smile-inducing memories on every page… I’m glad I posted this back then, because the notes about it, written on a bouncing bus, are nearly illegible now.

Vagabond Urges

My ride to the bus station in Mandalay, Myanmar, showed up 45 minutes late, unhurried and calm, and led me out front to our ride. One of the little motorbikes that zip everywhere in this country, 125 cc at absolute maximum. I’m guessing half that. I looked at it with my big bag on my back, shoulder bag on one side and water bottle in hand.

Mandalay traffic“On there?” I asked.
He smiled. “Yeah.”
“Am I going to fall off and die?”
He smiled. “Yeah.”

We cram ourselves into the internal combustion frenzy of rush hour traffic, although “rush hour” seems to last about 15 hours a day here. The sunlight flashes off grimy tailpipes, gangs of diesel fumes drift around looking for vulnerable lungs to pick on, and the spastic percussion of pointlessly insistent horns is as unceasing as ever.

His turn signal beeps its intention to turn, and passing…

View original post 479 more words