Drivers Wanted

As we were returning from dinner with our good friends in Shwe Sa Bwe restaurant, we suspected that our driver is drunk, as he barely managed to extract our car from the parking lot, missed the crossing of Parami and Kaba Aye Pagoda roads, would not stay on the lane and in general took very dangerous moves. We had to tell the driver to slow down and return home at senator’s pace.

During the 2 years I have been living in this country, I have seen a number of drivers. My little family share two cars and drivers with my wife’s parents and sister. If one of the drivers has been with us all these years, we were not so lucky with the second driver. In Myanmar, it can be quite difficult to find good drivers and then keep them, because the turnover in a full-employment country is be very high, resulting in either low-quality and/or more demanding applicants (we are quite open).

We got so far:

  • the trusty and reliable driver, who drives safely and can anticipate our every move to save your time. He stayed with us for more than 2 years, even if he once considered becoming a taxi driver, we treat him as if he is family.
  • the young and impertinent driver, who abandons the car and visits my friend’s house without asking for permission. After he was resigned we found out that he had show us a fake driving license.
  • the 65 year old, quite friendly driver, with his tattoos and large smile, who (at our surprise) left after 3 months because he wanted to earn more to sustain his two permanent mistresses.
  • the youngest of all, our interim driver, who is paid by father-in-law’s company and that we borrow every time we need an extra driver. I like him quite a lot even if his English is limited.
  • the last driver, with his teeth stained by betel, who drove us while drunk the other night.

We decided to let that last driver go on 31st December because of his unacceptable behavior. However, he surprised us by resigning on his own to “become a taxi driver”. My mother-in-law was so pleased that she let him go early with his full month paid. My father-in-law doubts that he will be successful as taxi driver, as he has to learn to not scare away the clients. We will know soon what happens to him, because taxi drivers have to pay 10.000 kyats (around $12) per day to the taxi owner, which is quite a lot for local people.

So, if you are a skilled driver looking for a new home in 2013, who behaves well, please contact us. You will be paid well and have bonuses every time you have to stay after 19h00.

Dear reader, I wish you a mingalar 2013, that is a year of joy and prosperity.

Anxious Christmas

The Diva and her mother spent Christmas Eve in Mandalay, paid handsomely to entertain the guests of the Christmas party at the local Grand Hotel. They were to return to Yangon on the next day.

On the morning of 25th December 2012, as the Diva was in the air, rumor spread that a plane headed to Yangon had emergency landing near Heho airport then took fire. The rumor came from a friend who is working in the travel industry and whose client is waiting in Heho. At the moment, it was impossible to get news about the accident, impossible to contact the Diva on the phone.

Text messages are sent. Google is queried. Facebook pages are reloaded. Anxiety grows. The wildest speculation take place. What if the Diva was on that plane? After all, doesn’t she use to fly all the time with that airline? Can it be her plane that just crashed?

Finally, the Diva called, she just arrived at the airport, and did not know about the drama going on. Everyone is relieved. By sheer luck, she took another plane, as the Grand Hotel booked her tickets on another airline.

May the disaster of the W9-011 flight and the death of two people have the effect to force Myanmar government and airlines to work together to improve the lacking security.