Monday, July 6, 2009

Mission to (Myan)mar[s]

Before I get on with it, I have a fun tidbit for my pun title enthusiasts:

The word "Mission" can be a title pun with both Myanmar AND Burma. I uesd the Mission to Mars pun up top; which may seem obscure until I tell you that the other pun is on Mission of Burma, a band that no one has ever heard of, ever.

Okay, so, as you might have gathered from the title and my blathering, I went to Burma this morning on a mission: mostly spreading the Word of the One True Lord, but also my visa expires on Tuesday and I wanted to do the opposite of getting arrested indefinitely and paying a huge fine. The process for that is crossing the national border, and then re-entering the country with a new visa.

And so at 5:15 this morning I boarded a bus to Mae Sai, Thailand, to cross over into Tachailek, Burma. If you are wondering whether I got any sleep the night before, the answer is no, I did not get any sleep the night before. But I did sleep all the way to Burma, which is good, because the bus was blasting low 60s freezing air and high-volume Thai musical ballads. Thank you, Steve Jobs, for inventing the iPod; thank you, Grizzly Bear, for having a full sound and being easy to sleep to.

My bus (about 20 people?) reached Burma around 9:30, and I walked across the border at 10. My return bus wasn't until 2:30, so I had some time to...SHOP! Basically on the other side of the border is a huge market of cheap ripoff goods aimed at Westerners and other tourists who must go to Tachailek to extend their visa. Coming down the stairs and into the market, I was greeted by 4 Burmese teenage boys hawking American cigarettes and Viagra.

To be continued pending sleep. A nicotine-and-erection filled sleep...

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