Mandalay – Myitkyina Train Trip – 3

Inside a train from Myanmar

For you Grandpa, you always traveled by plane, or by luxury cars, so you would not know about these. That is why I was thinking of you all the time. You have never experienced such kind of things, so you would not know what we, your grandchildren, had to experience. You have a very fortunate life. Grandpa is so rich that you don’t need to experience these things. Even if you ever had to encounter such a condition, other people would make sure you never see these things. I think, if you were me in this place, you would be swearing at these bugs. If other people came and sit in your seat, you would push them out yelling “this is my seat”. Well, if you don’t know any of these and always thinking all the people are as problem-free as you, I have nothing more to say.

If you ask me if these were all my problems, I would have to shake my head again and again. Do you believe Grandpa that the train from Mandalay to Myitkyina took 30 hours? Yes, it took more than a day. The train left Mandalay at 5 PM and arrived to Myitkyina Station at 10 PM the next day. I was always very careful of the food whenever I traveled, because I was afraid to use the toilets on the way. Now, my friends who did not care of the food they ate had problem. They could not go to the toilet. Do you know why? Because there were FOUR people inside the toilet! And also there are a lot of luggages. However you talked to them, these four people would not move a limb. An old lady sitting beside our seat told us that in her last trip, one young teenage girl couldn’t control and passed stool on the seat! Let me tell you how you had to go to reach that toilet. There are a lot of people in the aisle that you had to walk with your shoes above other people’s head. How disgusting! Look inside the toilet. There was no light, no water, a lot of urine and stool on the floor. The door could not be closed so had to be pulled by hand from inside. When the conductor came, we told him our problem and asked him to help vacate the toilet. He didn’t say anything. The second time we told him, he yelled at these people inside the toilet to leave. Finally, we had to solve our problem by climbing out of the crowded train at every station and empty our bladders somewhere outside.

Trains are very important in mass transportation. As far as I could see, all the passengers on this train, even if they were without ticket, paid for their trip. For ordinary people, there is no other way to travel. What I would like to say is, in our country, even if you pay money, you don’t get the satisfactory service worth your money. We paid for our trip, but were scolded by the conductors and train guards.

Original Post by Nyi Lynn Seck at Wish Grandpa to take a train trip. Photo by Claude Barutel

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