Journey to Kalaw


It was still misty. The unexpected cyclone in the middle of the winter had caused havoc on the road up the mountains to Kalaw. Twenty miles outside of Kalaw the large air-conditioned bus with it’s frozen passengers came to a halt. Christmas morning was fast approaching and my family was gathering in Kalaw this year, I was anxious to arrive. In the last few minutes before the sun rose I was advised to go to the toilet.

“Why?” I asked, expecting to hear some explanation about how if you pee before the sun comes up it is much better for your body than if you pee once the first rays are shining down on the earth.

“Because once the sun comes up everyone is going to see you, there are trucks backed up all the way around the bend,” came the logical answer.

I quickly went and did my business. As the sun rose I went to have a look at what was holding up the traffic. After passing about fifty huge buses and trucks on their way to Kalaw, Inle and Taunggyi, I finally came to the source of the problem.

A truck overloaded with cabbages had tried to pass another large truck on a corner and the edge of the road had crumbled after the unexpected heavy rain. The truck was lucky to still be on the road, the front left tire hung over a drop that quickly disappeared into the mist.