The long road to Cullaville

Stories from my travels to every country in the world

Chapter 2
There you are: your Coke!
[Myanmar, 2006]


There it is again, that choice which keeps on coming back. What should I do? Should I stick with the predictable and safe option, or go for the adventure and the uncertainty? In all respects, the rational choice of waiting patiently until we get to a station is far better than a risky jump between the Burmese sleepers. At the same time, I have a bag with food and a drink that Nana needs to get well which I have to deliver as soon as possible. Plus: I'm impatient.

To my surprise, I tighten my grip on the plastic bag, look for a spot with fewer stones next to the sleepers, and jump. The landing goes splendidly and I try to carry the speed of the train into my sprint. I manage to ovetake its speed. Slowly but surely, I work my way past the front of the last wagon. I can see the bar and the metal steps of the penultimate carriage in front of me. Now, it's now important to catch up before we reach the highest point of the bridge and the train builds up more speed. Centimetre by centimetre, I succeed in doing so. When I'm under the bar of the stairs, I jump. I grab the metal with my right hand, while the abrupt movements make the plastic bag in my left-hand swing dangerously. All the while, I am praying the plastic doesn't break - then everything would have been in vain.