Shit, Lust and a Million Miles of Mirror… Burmese Days – Part Three

Day 17

Asleep at eight and awake at five, ready and waiting for the sun to rise. I feel totally elated by what i have captured with my camera.Over fifty truly beautiful shots, the black & white almost making me high. Strolling long paths in hundreds of meters of water, full of lotus pink and sprouting up all around. Pagodas and mist with soft mountains in the background, framing all. The dark light turned into dense mist before the sun rose from behind the soft hills. Full of the warmest energy and full of creativity to capture this beautiful country. Sensitively and through thoughtful eyes. Creative again after years of being sucked dry by students.

Day 18

The second day in Inly Lake. A motorised boat and a six-hour cruse around the waters. Villages on stilts, floating markets, gardens, tomato farms. Visiting traditional textile mills and silver smiths. The lake itself is vast and expansive. The sky reflecting on it’s surface at every turn. Like sitting on a million miles of mirror. The final stop was to a monastery to watch cats jump through hoops. Trained by the monks the cats are famous in Burma. Very much a tourist trip but beautiful non the less.

Day 19

The following morning we decide to travel to Kallow, a small trekking base on the way to Bagan. Two hours through countryside and we arrive – all the way on a roof. Utter hilarity if not slightly un nerving at times. Miss Smith and i singing the whole way as various landscapes whizzed past, following the sun.

Day 21

Yesterday i was out of action. Waking up at five AM with the worst stomach pains. I darted out of bed and straight down the corridor towards the shared bathroom. It was engaged. I trotted on the spot trying to distract myself for what felt like forever. Approximately eight minutes. I ran back to my room where the only option was to throw a towel into the rubbish bin and squat. Before i could even remove my underwear excrement was squirting out of me, down my legs, aiming for the bin but mainly hitting the floor. I tried my best to clean up and retired to bed, wondering what on earth to do with the shit. Such guilt for soiling the guest – house’s goods and the worries of where to dump.

Several hours later i found a bin for the goods and cleaned what i could in the shower. Not much! The rest of the day was toing and froing back and forth to the toilet to squirt water, finally upgrading at nine to a room double the price but with attached bathroom. Some things must just be done. So ill but it passed. Back on the antibiotics. I have a twelve-hour bus tomorrow when both my fingers and legs will be crossed.

Bagan will be the final stop before heading back to Yangon to fly to Bangkok – then travel overland to Cambodia. I hope this is a wise and fulfilling choice. I guess experiences are experiences however way they come. Burma is coming to a close for me , but not so much that i can reflect on the experience as a whole. There has been more joy than misery, more high’s than low’s. I hope Bagan will blow my mind. I have high hopes. Time to sleep. Nothing interesting to say. Over and out.

Day 24

Rocks on mountain roads, people chopping and clearing the way but it’s only a cement project. The bus floating on the edge of the mountains but it’s mainly in my mind, my perception. Climbing high above the sea into the hills with a view, an out look i should be loving but no. Rolling mountains of lush green that just bring back the earthquake. Crammed into a death trap of a bus with the driver high, red stained teeth. A hard reminder of months gone by but it stays fresh on my brain. I leave and climb to the roof.

Little space i become entwined with others. Miss Smith, TT and a boy fresh from the army. Thrown into directions beyond reality. So beautiful its impossible to think. Taken by surprise of tall dark handsome. A stare. A connection.  A roof and a feeling of lust from Inly to Bagan. A sweep across like a spring clean in a winter light, not expected. Eyes that i could fall into and lips to only wonder about. Thick black hair that stands and sits and blows in the wind. A feeling i am not able to feel. Twelve hours on the roof of a truck wrapped in arms and legs. Wind blowing and trying to get lost in the moment with the reminder that i cant. Tender sweet sweeps, looks but no. I made my decision and will stick to it. I focus on the day and the flowers and the cakes. The car, the dancing and the commitment. Then a sweep and a head resting on my arm, a hand on my thigh bumping and throwing through the Burmese countryside on a roof. What do you see? Wanting to let go and embrace the new but no. I am not. A difficult test. Is one supposed to forget feelings of lust after a certain date? The same type of feeling that took you to that?. Hard to experience when staying so true. Hard to write but these words are honest and something that are really mine.

Day 26

Sunset. The tired old page with my words, read one thousand times is now ash. Black dust on an already dusty street, in a dusty town. I abstract myself. “How much is one shot of Mandalay Rum?” 100. ” One please and one cigarette”. I sit at the table facing the front door, looking onto the street, abstracted. A moment to myself and a strong sweet mouthful curling down my neck followed by an inhalation of secret self-indulgence. Passion in my ears and a mandatory block on my heart. The final ride south to Yangon after a month of beauty. Breaking apart like i said i may do in the very beginning. But only for the good, i think.


  1. shellyshellyjeffrey

    WOW! Amazing shots, I love the clouds and the lily pond-I seem to have an affinity for lily ponds, is that the right term, bit spaced out today(Must be the new meds. morphine patches!! green?lol)
    Love your honesty, it shines through in your words and photos, you express what others hide or lie about.
    Shine brightly my little pink star
    Love Shelly x


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