– ODO- 16036 – 16156km
– Location- Diak-U, Myanmar
– Weather- 26-29 Rain showers throughout the day
After three days of torturous heat I woke up at 3am to make use of the coolness of the night. This morning though the storms had built into a near solid cloth of cloud. I’d written off the afternoon and with a cold returning I gave myself a guest house to reach for lunch only 100km down the road. The morning passed slowly but without struggle and I reached the moated town of Taungoo at half twelve.
My guest house was called Yuma and I found it on a small sand backstreet after a wrong turn and backtrack through some village houses. The wood framed, brick lined buildings surrounded a small courtyard. I pulled my bike up first to the wrong entrance, then looking round I saw a man standing under a the reception sign on the other side. The tall thin man in a longyi rose from his chair. He was older with white and black whiskers sprouting from his chin and jowls and piercing smokey blue eyes.
As I handed him my passport and sat down he began telling me about his 7 months in the London and Oxford in 1988. He studied IT and engineering with the help of the NCC. He spoke of the time fondly and with clear English rare in the older Burmese. As we spoke a buzzer went off and a bulb began to flash. He jumped to his feet and threw a huge physical electrical switch and the lights across the building flicked off and on. He’d put his skills to use in this place he explained. The grid power is unreliable so all around the guest house they had two generators and a bank of batteries hooked up through a complex circuit controlled by a panel 10 by 10 of sturdy switches and circuit breakers. It was a full time job managing the current dials and keeping the lights on. I returned to my room and slept reastlessly with my cold.