day 152: bumpy

Taking the train from Yangon to Mandalay is – let´s call it: special. It´s an old and solid train probably from the colonial times. It´s made out of full steel and is painted torquise inside. The upper class has beds and a ride costs around 10 Euros. The journey takes 14 hours.

Slowly the train starts its shaky journey through the houses of Yangon. It goes slowly. On the tracks children are playing, someone is taking a piss, little shacks are built right next to the tracks. There is a lot to watch out for. When the train leaves the city behind and the first brown, harvested rice fields appear, the train takes on speed. When I look out of the window I see men working on the fields, using a plow pulled by water buffalos. I see a woman with a herd of water buffalos walking through a little river. With a plastic bucket she pours water over the buffalos. The houses are made out of straw and wood, and most on them are on wooden feet. Chicken run around, childern are playing, old men and women sit around, chatting, holding a baby or watching the train go by. The sun is setting and everything is touched by a golden light. Once in a while you see a golden pagoda between the brown fields.

And then the bumpy ride begins. I don´t know what happend to the rail tracks here, but this train ride is BUMPY. You jump around while sitting. I´m not joking. I was unable to sleep because I was thrwon around so much by the train ride. But it was also fun. I was laughing so much with my friend. Worn out I arrived at Mandalay at 5 in the morning. But also happy. It´s absolutely worth the ride.

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About Michaela Krimmer

35, anthropologist, Austrian, female

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