A mission in Loikaw for a photo assignment that never happened. These are the isssues that an editorial photographer sometimes have to face.
*Tip: check the time...
Thursday 2.00 pm – Bus Departure from Yangon to Loikaw
Travelling to Loikaw with Mratt, the journalist from Frontier Myanmar Magazine. A trip that takes 18 hours.
Friday 8.00 am - Arrival in Lai Kaw (18 hours later)
9.30 am - Arrival in the hotel
The only hotel that accepts bookings from foreigners.
10.00 am - We realize that I will need a permission
10.30 am - I meet Mratt and his contacts in a tea shop to drink a coffee and a soup. I am waiting, waiting, waiting... “Shall we go?”
I suppose we are going to the ministry to apply for my permission.
11.00 am - Nope, we end up in a house with Mratt and his contacts. I am waiting, waiting, waiting
12.00 am I will ask... «Excuse me what we are waiting for? Shall we go to the ministry? »
«Yes, yes! We will»
And they continue speaking in Burmese and scrolling on Facebook.
«We are waiting for my friend, he has some other things to do, in the meantime you have to fill up these papers»
12.10 pm - I fill up the applications…
1.10 pm - Mratt’s friend is coming
1.20 pm - We are leaning and I suppose we are going to the ministry.
“Let’s have launch!” said Mrratt
1.21 am “But...What time does the ministry close?”
2.00 pm - During the lunch
“Well, we have some issues. It seems that we don’t have time to apply and we need to provide to the ministry a local partner”
“Is there anyone to help us in that”
“I am trying to find one” and he continues his lunch.
2.15 pm - I call my editor
“Hey Oli! Listen, send a local photographer to cover me, no reason to try it more»
I am in the same bus to go back to Yangon. It is an approximately of 500 klm and 18 hours and 4-5 stops…
Βut this time my seat is in the aisle of the bus. Yeap! This small and uncomfortable seat... In between of monks.
During the trip I realized that I fall asleep on their shoulder of the monk that he was sitting next to me.