Last Stop Mandalay

Well Lenny and I were pretty exhausted from the vacation by this point so I think we slept in until about noon on that first day in Mandalay. We had the forethought to book a hotel for the night we took the bus and email them letting them know we would be there late, so when we arrived at 3AM then they were there and ready to check in. We adopted a British guy for the night because he had no where to stay and then he left in the morning for another place.

First thing, we left the hotel in favor of a cheaper hostel in a better area of the city.

Then we walked a block over to look for motorbikes! 

And (not sketchy at all) we just sort of rented a bike from this dude on the corner for about 10 bucks. It was a manual, and I can’t drive manual so I was passenger all day.

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And the first day we just rode way out into the countryside. And after an hour or so we decided to stop because despite popular belief it actually kind of gets tiring when you are riding a scooter. And driving in Myanmar was crazy! Lenny had to only focus on driving and I was the GPS because there were a million intersections but no stop signs or stoplights. When you came to an intersection you kinda just had to cross your fingers and go for it. We nearly died many times.

The second day it was actually raining and we came to an intersection and this one bike was going and we were going and we thought they were going to stop and they thought we were going to stop and so finally we did have to stop and we slid and nearly fell over and I seriously saw my life flash before my eyes. But the Lenny kept the bike up, and we kept going, and luckily we were right by our hotel and it was almost time to go because we got off the bike and I was not getting back on.

So anyway, we’re in the countryside, and by the way this was after I found the University of Traditional Medicine and I was like “hey, my mom would love that!” so we went in and then were politely asked to leave. It was the nicest way I have ever been kicked out of a place.

OMG. SO ANYWAY.

We stop to rest and this nice Burmese guy sees us, rushes inside, and then brings us cold water. It was like heaven. He didn’t speak English but I think we conveyed our thanks. These people are just so freaking nice.

So that night we went on an adventure outside of the city to this bridge we had heard rumors about and we were supposed to watch the sunset. After a few wrong turns and a struggle explaining our goal to the Burmese people, we ended up at the bridge. It was pretty cool at first but then the sun started setting.

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Seriously the most beautiful sunset I may have ever seen!

So then, it’s dark and we’re trying to head back and we get on the bike to discover that the back wheel is super flat, but this bridge is like in the middle of nowhere so honestly we’re thinking we’re shit out of luck. So we stop at this little restaurant on the side of the street and point at the tire like “help”. So they sit us down, take our tire off, and then go to get it fixed for us.

This is where the crazy story happens. So we’re sitting down and this Burmese guy comes to try to talk to us, but he doesn’t speak any English and he kinda looks drunk or maybe just like kinda crazy. And he’s miming about driving and going around and sleeping and guns and something and we’re getting relatively freaked out. But then the people come back with our tire and everything is all good.

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So we’re driving away, and remember that its considerable dark and we are kind of away from society, when suddenly there is like rapid honking and the dude from the restaurant is riding up behind us on a scooter and the most eerie part is that he doesn’t even really look at us. He doesn’t even really have an expression, he’s just driving and he passes us, gets up in front of us and then slows down until we pass him. Then he starts honking and comes up fast pass us again! And he does the same thing.

And I’m like “this is freaky” and he’s kind of wobbling around and I can’t tell if he’s drunk. But we think we’re okay because we’re about at our turn and he goes in front of us again, so we take a quick turn and he goes straight. So we are like phew until suddenly we hear like rapid honking again and he fucking found us! So he starts doing the same thing again. And we’re freaked out, so when we finally get to a place where there are shops, we wait for him to pass and then quickly pull over, turn off our lights and run into the nearby barber shop.

So that finally lost him. But I was wary the whole ride back that we would see him again because that was freaky.

The last day in Mandalay we did more driving on the bike and playing games on my iPhone. So the funniest part of the day was when we were looking for a gas station, and our bike was almost running out of gas. And we kept pulling over to ask people where to get gas and they would point like a block or two ahead and we would be like “thanks” and drive off and see no gas station! And then the next people we ask point back the way we came. And we drive around in circles for a while until we finally ask yet another person and he’s like “yes I have gas” and he pulls out this 1.5 liter plastic water bottle filled with gas.

So for $1 we got a liter and half of gas from this random guy on the side of the Mandalay street.

We took our last VIP bus that night to Yangon for our last day in Myanmar.

I’m just gonna finish the story now then:

So we get to Yangon in the early morning after a relatively good sleep and we’re not gonna go to a hotel because we’re leaving later that day. We decide at first to go to a pagoda to chill, but after an hour we are both looking at each other like “is there anything else we wanna do in Yangon?” and we’re like “nope” so at 9AM we decide to go to the airport even though our flight isn’t until like 7PM that night. We figured that the airport will probably have food, wifi and air con and room for us to maybe sleep a little bit.

Well we get to airport and hadn’t even thought that maybe they won’t let us check in. Which they won’t. So we’re suck on the one side of security for about 8 hours and all there is a shitty coffee place and little stand that sells mayo-covered hot dogs. Lenny blows up his mattress and goes to sleep. I watch youtube videos for about the whole 8 hours and drink 3 coffee drinks.

Finally we get home at about 11PM and take a cab home. It’s probably the worst cab ever. The driver has a lead foot and it’s late, I haven’t slept, I feel sick in the rocking car, and the ride is about 2 hours.

But we get back!

And have another one of the best sleeps of my life. 

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