Ride On / by Cyrus

 A homemade sound system somewhere north of Hpa-An in Kayin State, Burma


The pagoda attendant took a break from his somewhat incoherent explanation of militia-inspired religious art to play some music for us. An unexpected and beautiful moment.

We're still on the road, figuring this new life out.  People have taken us in, despite some initial apprehension in most towns we've visited.  Not a lot of foreigners in these parts, and no one's quite sure what to do with us.

We spent the night in a monastery watching downloaded youtube comedy videos with the monks and the kids that sleep in the monastery's main outdoor hall. At lights-out one of the teenagers living at the monastery brought us a blunt and the rest of the night I listened to the bugs and birds of the surrounding jungle with paranoaic fascination.

This morning we were up with the sun and filmed a father and daughter musical pair. The father played the Karen mandolin and his daughter sang the twisting, lilting melody in a soft high voice, extending her long neck in order to hit the notes.  The best music I've heard on the trip.

Jacob's bike, Matilda, broke down on the outskirts of Thaton.  A mysterious kid rolled up, fixed it in 30 seconds, and rode off. He returned again a couple minutes later to ask for a cigarette.

We'll just keep going.