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Despite the comfortable ride something still managed to go wrong. I did not arrive where I had intended, Bago. I instead was carried on to Yangon. We had passed through a fairly large town that might have been Bago, but the bus didn’t stop and by the time I had thought about it, it was too late. No worries. At the bus station in Yangon I took one of the share taxis that waited there and finally got back to Motherland.

On the way it started again to pour rain. Visibility was almost nil and the streets were flooded a foot deep in rushing torrents. I got drenched going in to ask for a room I wasn’t surprised to be ever so kindly rejected. Motherland was a popular place and I didn’t have a bloging. I moved on to the Queens Park Hotel where I was received cheerfully even in the drowned rat state I had achieved by then.

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Unpacking, I found that water had leaked into my bag and all my clothes were wet. That was the last straw for me with that bag. I had put up with the drunken behaviour of its wonky, wobbly foot and its handle that wouldn’t retract without a serious battle, but now it had to go. This wasn’t so easy. It refused to leave. After all, it had been with me for years and it wasn’t leaving without a struggle. It kept following me around. Twice I put it by the bin downstairs and twice I found it had boomeranged back into my room before I managed to convince the staff that I really didn’t want it.

After breakfast the lovely girl at reception rang a bus company for me and arranged a ticket to Taungoo (or two tickets, actually, because I am greedy). They cost eleven dollars. Then I went to the market and bought a suitcase, this time a solid one that wouldn’t leak.

The deluge of rain last night had been followed by more this morning and now that it had stopped it was very hot and humid. I went to Motherland for lunch and to blog a room for when I came back from my trip north. Then it was on to the shopping centre around the corner. Going around the right corner this time, I found it easily.

On the way back I stopped to admire an enormous tree that stood in the middle of the footpath. It had originally been contained in a massive pot, but had long ago outgrown that and sent its roots out down the sides of the pot and all around it to take over the entire footpath. No one minded this; in fact it had been encouraged to prosper by the addition of two shrines and a spirit house. How could I not love the Burmese? Instead of cutting it back, they worshiped it.

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