The trishaw rider then took me on to an eating place—at no stretch of the imagination could it be called a restaurant—situated on the riverbank. I was given such a massive pile of food I could not eat it all so I had it boxed up as takeaway.
Trishaws here were motorbikes with a small—very small—seat attached alongside. They were always an extremely tight fit even for my hips which are generally considered slim Once a rider had to seize me by both upper arms and haul me out bodily, like extracting a cork from a bottle.
The market was close to the Attran, just a short walk along the street one back from the riverfront which appeared to be the main business area. Where were the shops though? Apart from a couple of tiny places that looked like delis, I saw none and the street was quiet and devoid of pedestrians. The market was a different proposition altogether. It was monstrous and frantically busy and noisy with countless trucks, tuk tuks and bemos picking up and delivering. It backed onto the riverfront and that side of it was also a frenzy of loading and to-ing and fTo-ing.
Burma Map Road Gallery Photos
Burma Map Road
In the evening I tried to get into a bemo taxi—a three-wheeled motorbike with an attached cabin behind it for goods or passengers. You were meant to clamber into the cabin over a back tailgate, but I was wearing my longii and, short of hitching it up over my thighs, I couldn’t get my leg high enough to get in. I gave up and took a trishaw.
At the Breeze Rest my bus ticket had materialised. I stayed for a while talking to the manager, a kind gentleman who, when I said I wanted some yoghurt, walked me to a shop that sold it. Unfortunately it was sitting in the open in a huge metal vat and looked putrid. We went elsewhere but with no luck. But he did direct me to a place to eat. Called the Help Grandfather and Grandmother Cafe, it is a charity that supports old people. It was basic but the food I ate there was about the same as anywhere else.
As I left it began to pour and there were no trishaws in sight. I walked, getting wetter and wetter, hobbled by my longii, all the way back to the Attran, arriving absolutely soaked. It was dangerous underfoot too. I was likely to slip over on the uneven ground. During the night the rain came down with such noisy ferocity that at times it sounded as though my room would be washed away. The TV had been running constant news of the floods still occurring in Japan and China.