Battles With Bureaucracy ATA behind the scenes

There’s this one piece of paper that everybody has told us to be a necessity. The Carnet du Passage en duane is basically a temporary import-export document for motor vehicles over land crossings, and without it we would have to pay import taxes on half of the border crossings, and still not be guaranteed to move on.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile FIA, states that the Carnet du Passage CDP, is made to help people travel. In reality it’s just like most of bureaucracy, making simple things complicated. The national automobile associations of each country grant CDP’s usually, except that the Finnish automobile association doesn’t. Sweden does it for Finland, but they said we must get it from Thailand. And of course the Thai automobile association doesn’t issue it either.

West India was our first choice after Finland and Thailand, and they answered positively already in January. They asked us to send all the documents once the registration is done and it’s a done deal. If you have followed our blog, you know that it took some time to get the registration because of Bangkok Shutdown.

Once we finally got the registration in March, we sent all the necessary documents for them. We heard nothing for two weeks and finally we got a message that they will not do it.

In the end we contacted 6 automobile association, Sweden, Germany, Malaysia, West India, East India and Pakistan. Some replied with a cannot, and other didn’t reply.

Back to square one. Luckily at the same time we had the red light, “wait for three weeks so we can finish partying”, message from Myanmar so we had time to figure out what to do.

We did what we have always done when in doubt, started asking around. We threw some nets around to see if some good idea would snatch. We dared not smuggle ourselves through, but we did try too see if we could buy a big boat and sail our Tuk tuk to India. We even read a little about the local wind and weather behaviour.

After a while we heard about the ATA-Carnet, which is a temporary importation document for stuff, any stuff, as long as it can be guaranteed to be re-exported within one year, in the same condition as importing. This too, of course, has it’s own strict limitations, and it’s all done bureaucratically through the Chamber of Commerce.

Last week we came to Bangkok to have a meeting with the Myanmar Embassy, and the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC). The Myanmar Embassy backed us up, but the TCC said they cannot issue us the ATA-Carnet.

So we went to try our luck at the Myanmar border again, to see if we could get through during the Songkran buzz. They said no, and better that way. Without the Carnet we would’ve been deep in troubles at the Myanmar-India border crossing and we probably would have had to smuggle our way through there as well. Instead we joint the party with the immigration officers and went back to Mae Moei to check the nets.

We found that in theory, the TCC can Issue an ATA Carnet for us. We contacted them again and they gave us a green light. We thought to save our little angel from extra beating and decided to take a bus.

On Wednesday we walked into the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and had a cheering welcome, as if everybody knew who we were. On friday, with the magnificent support of the TCC staff, we finally got the ATA Carnet and by god it feels good.

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

BUT…

There’s always a BUT with bureaucracy. The ATA-Carnet is not a Carnet du Passage, but it’s as close as we could get. The First restriction it brings is that India only accepts the ATA in Ports.

On friday we contacted loads of shipping companies with Mr. Pong, took a night bus to Mae Sot, and rallied back to Bangkok for saturday evening. It was a journey in itself. The heat took its toll on the engine and us also. It was over 40 degrees celsius even after sunset.

 

Including

Including

We had to stop and fix the tuk tuk 3 times because there were some problems with either the carburettor, or then maybe in the fuel line somewhere. We checked everything we could, and drove it all the way to the Bangkok shop for it’s third and final checkup.

We have now made a decision, that most likely will not change tomorrow.

Our king of the seas will sail by the end of this week, and we will have two to three weeks to find our way through Myanmar and North East India. We will go by foot, or other means of land transport to greet our pirate vessel at the Port of Kolkata.

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno
Graffiti: Pakorn

We had to use all the bureaucrobatics we have learned to gather 13 pieces of a map, that in the bureaucratic world are called documents.

It’s time for the adventure.

END OF CHAPTER 2

the Spell of Balance

We were in Mae Sot last week, and one day we went for a drive to the hot springs for a wash. We found our way there with our tuk tuk, and parked it next to a beautiful Altar that was on top of a large rock, in the middle of a lake. There was a long and narrow, wooden suspension bridge that led the way over the water.

 

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

We paid our respects to Buddha, and behind the altar we found a stone bridge that led the way to a hollowed out hole at the bottom of the mountain. It was a dark room with a statue of fertility.

Along side the second altar was a path up the mountain. We decided to go for a walk before hitting the hot tub. We were sweating like pigs already from the heat and we hadn’t thought that it’s the hottest time of day, or the fact that we didn’t have water. We learnt that these 2 things should always be taken into account, when starting to climb up a mountain in the tropics at the hottest time of year.

Four times we were going to turn around for water, but we didn’t. Curiosity always got the best of us so we continued.

Suddenly we were greeted by a humungous crack in the mountain with a large Buddha statue in front. Buddha was surrounded by 7 Naga-cobras creating a shield above the head.

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

The thirst for mystery was greater than the thirst for water, we had to see if there was a way inside.

We found a light switch, and a path was formed. We followed the lights through great halls full of bats and stalagmites and stalactites. The darkness let the mind create wild associations from the rock formations, and there was a definite pirate vibe.

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

In the cave, the air was cooler and moister, so we kept going further into the darkness. It seemed never ending. After 4 great halls and their connecting bridge ways, our thirst for water grew too strong, we had to let go of curiosity.

Before turning around, we took a last sigh to enjoy the cave and it’s a good thing that we did. Because in the darkness we noticed a small wooden box, about 20 cm from our feet.

We were so thirsty that we just took photos of what was inside so that we could remember them later on and left the box there.

We thought long and hard whether to share the photos, but we decided not to. We came to the conclusion, that Treasures should only be found by those with the will to find them. And that treasures are more valuable, when they are left for others to find.

We wrote them up for ourselves and destroyed all the digital data.

One thing we did find however, that feels it should be shared.

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the Spell of Balance

 

All together we tread alone, this life-giving planet of destruction. All pure hearts so empty with greed, pump cold blood through our veins. Deep within our shallow selves, our eyes see everything, of ourself. We hate those closest and say that we love, we love those who do not want. We want to give to those not in need, and the ones who need will not take. Self worth lies in the wisdom of reason, and reason is just idiotic. Our knowledge is a game of stupidity, and power is a game for the weak. Our world so right with all the wrong, floats upside down to sink. What a wonderful world where disaster is beauty and everything bad becomes good. Life is so normal that there’s nothing more weird, and once we understand we are baffled. I felt bad, but now I feel good, though realising makes it go back. I want to do nothing, and nothing is doing, so how do I do? It’s a knot. It’s a mystery so clear, it’s so close that it’s far, the only way to get is to give. And letting go is getting now, and making nonsense makes sense. If you think you’re confused, I think you understand, because darkness is the light. Fulfilling your dreams means emptying your self, and you will finally start to sea.

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The Karen People

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Yesterday we went for an adventure. We got fed up just lying around in Mae Moei resting, and we had finished all the unfinished work that we needed to do. So we hopped on our little monster truck and decided to do some off-roading.

Everyone says the roads in Myanmar are really bad, and the new super snazzy highway that connects Yangon to Mandalay, is a four laned, overpriced airstrip that has nothing. It goes through nowhere, has no traffic, and apparently is completely useless. We’re better off breaking down on the old road, because at least there, we might run into someone that can help.

So as a warmup we took on the mud and the holes, and our baby bird flew like an angel. She tackled everything that was thrown in her way, except Pyry’s muscles. Sometimes he can be a bit rough while screwing around.

After the breaking in, our angel had started whining a little, so we decided to tighten her up before getting wet again after Songkran. We gave a good yank on every nut and bolt we could find, and the last one, one of the four bolts that keep the front wheel connected, snapped under Pyry’s humungous strength…

Luckily we had decided to do this in front of a shop that just happened to have nice people, with the right tools. In a jiffy they took out the old bolt and gave us a new one, slightly shorter, but seemed a bit harder, so I really hope size doesn’t matter. I think that as long as it’s hard and doesn’t break, it should work fine.

After tightening our nuts, we headed off into the mystery roads that even google maps have never heard of. In the end we found what didn’t know we were looking for, a beautiful valley between two luscious mounds. Every mans dream.

We asked if we could stay the night, and like usually, we were very welcomed. Suddenly there were dozens of kids running around, some throwing our knives around and others playing karate kid with our juggling clubs. Everyone was having a blast.

Once finished, we were so hungry that we bought some of the local eggs and made a Khai Jiao, Thai style omelette on our heavenly kitchen. I think the eggs came from the chicken that was continuously watching me cook, or then from one of the other hundreds that were freely running around. These village people let all life join in the fun, and by doing that, they stay healthy, with nutritious, natural, fresh, free food at all times.

Then we went to wash up in the mountain stream and were greeted by the only man who spoke english. He asked what we were doing, and instead of camping, he asked us to his home. This is when we found out that we had stumbled into a village that has been inhabited by the Karen Tribe for over a millennium.

He showed us to his home, and we chatted for hours. We asked about the Karen people, and they asked us about Finnish people. We laughed a lot and shared very similar views of many things, including the fact that they pride themselves on helping each other, without accepting money.

In the end Juho and Santin found their deepest connection, a true love they share together, Football. It goes to show, that we’re all basically the same.

Then we had dinner. I don’t know what it was, but it was kind of like a crab and fish stew with rice. They were amazed that in Finland we have to pay for our crabs, while they just pick them up from the river. Even the water tasted like proper water, because it came straight from the mountain stream with only a little filtering, though in Finland, the ground water doesn’t even need to be filtered.

Then we found out that the Karen food, compared to Thai food, uses no fish sauce, no sugar, and unlike in Finland, the small crabs are meant to be eaten with the shell on. That way they are much more nutritious, and taste really nice. It was like eating chips.

After our tummies looked like they were about to burst, we jumped on the pick up and went to look for the Songkran after party. This time we got so lost that even the locals didn’t know where we were.

We ended up coming back to the village, where they had pitched up a tivoli at the temple grounds, and enjoyed the old school film projector, and Pyry shot some stuffed rabbits for his godson.

Then it was time to sleep.

We woke up at the third call of the roosters, i.e. 5 am, the natural wake up time. It’s amazing how one rooster starts, then the next one joins in, then the next, then a dog, and soon the whole valley is echoing with life. It is simply the most natural wake up call, and it feels good.

We packed up, checked the oil, checked the water, and rolled off towards the sunrise. It was a wonderful experience.

Ta blu dòh mä, my brothers! You shall always be in our hearts.

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Luxury life

For the last 2 days we have been resting in Mae Moei, the border town next to Myawaddy. The people here are absolutely marvellous and the atmosphere is mindblowingly relaxed. There is nothing here except a few street food stalls, a few street restaurants, and antiques, lots of them. There is nothing to do, except to be.

It seems that the bazaar here is full of ancient relics and remade ancient relics, as well as spiritual statues, charms, amulets and stones. We have been rummaging through the history and been amazed time after time. Swords from WWII, Japanese katanas, Burmese dhas, Chinese artefacts, American military axes and many, many British paraphernalia. This place shows the cultural diversity that has surrounded Myanmar for centuries, and the amount of war… Everyone has wanted a piece of it.

No wonder the Burmese wanted to keep their country closed. It is a jewel of this world that they have not wanted to be ruined by the western influence. They still have beautiful untouched lands, islands, and spirituality that has not been destroyed by the greed of money. I completely understand them, and I give them my full support. I have so much to learn from them.

We’ve been staying in a guesthouse hotel right next to the border, and they were out of non-air-conditioned rooms, so we got an air-conditioned room. It even has a water heater that actually works and the water pressure is potent. This feels like luxury.

We are cold during the night if the air-con is on, and during the day we take a cold shower, so the luxury seems a little un-needed, but every now and again, it’s nice to have it.

This is a step up from the luxury we had in Mae Sot for the one night we were there. There we had no air-con, but we had hot water without water pressure. While I was taking a shower in the warm drizzle of our Mae Sot shower, I started thinking. For me it was already luxury, but I don’t think it truly counts as luxury. Then I realised that luxury is relative, just like everything else.

When I have nothing, everything extra feels like luxury. When I get used to that extra, it stops being luxury, because it becomes normal. Then if I crave for luxury, I must get more, until that becomes normal. This is maybe why so many people keep wanting more and more and more.

In the end I realised that if I define my self worth through luxury, through the things that money can buy, I close myself from so much of the world. If I live in luxury, it becomes normal, and the rest of the world is closed off, because it is for the poor. I cannot go in the other direction because then my self worth would collapse.

If on the other hand I am poor, the world is open for me. Every step is towards more self worth. Having nothing, gives the potential for everything, and that is a luxury that money cannot buy.

To tell you the truth my favorite luxury has been swimming under the bridge in the mountain stream and sleeping in the hammock. The fresh air, true nature, and cooking on our tuk tuk is the best that money can’t buy. We’ve even been sleeping on the hard floor even though there has been a bed next to us. It just makes us feel better.

Don’t get me wrong, a little luxury now and then is of course good, it’s just a matter of perspective, and realising that everything is relative. When things become normal, they are no better or worse, so that is something I should not relate my self worth to, because it is not stable.

Juho just came back to the room. He had gone to find some food while I had fallen asleep, but ended up playing Sepak Takraw with the local police and motorbike taxi drivers in front of the police box. I told him I feel so serene after sleeping that I feel like crying. To which he replied, that the sunset this evening was more beautiful than any he has ever seen. It coloured the sky with every shade of blue going into violet, and the clouds burned so red, that he too, wanted to cry. I think today we have let go of something, again.

“I should not define myself by what befalls on my path, but what reaction I take on it.”- Juho Sarno

Songkran

Snakes keep popping up everywhere. Not a single day has passed for the last week or two where someone hasn’t mentioned them, or a picture hasn’t popped up somewhere, or someone hasn’t given us a Naga Buddha amulet.

Nagaland is calling hard, but alas, we must not hurry ourselves.

In the modern day with Facebook and Twitter, everything seems to go faster and faster. But life doesn’t. Life goes at it’s own speed and it does not bend to anyones will. We so want to leave Thailand already, and everybody else wants us to also, but life has different plans it seems. We must respect it.

Here are todays gifts from people we met and talked to.

Buddha protected by 7 Nagas. We were given 2, one each
Photo: Pyry Kääriä

 

Buddha with a protection prayer on the back given to Juho
Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Enlightened Buddha given to Pyry
Photo: Pyry Kääriä

As well as all the niceness from the Mae Moei people, one really good thing has happened. Our tuk tuk man, Mr. Pong, may have redeemed himself and made himself one of our best assets. He managed to help get the audience with the Myanmar Embassy, and he is trying his hardest to use all of his contacts to speed up the process so we can leave.

But alas, he is only human, like all of us. We can only do our best and nothing more, though I must say, that so far what I know of the Myanmar people, they really do their best. Especially when it comes to Songkran. Most of them seem to have eyes that penetrate the soul, and they party like there’s no tomorrow, for two weeks.

We crossed the border yesterday, again, and I have to say that the old saying, ‘third time is the charm’, should be changed to, ‘first time is the charm’, so that we wouldn’t have to do everything three times. We got through no problem, but our tugboat on wheels didn’t.

The letter from the Embassy had not made it to the central government of Myanmar before Songkran, and there, the party is just too good for anyone to answer phones, so we must wait ’till the party ends.

We used our chance while in Myanmar and spent some time partying with the Myawaddyans. After getting soaked within the first ten steps we went to find some food by the river. The locals were summersaulting into the river so we decided to join them. Very nice people with very potent self made drinks.

 

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

 

 

Then we came back towards immigration only to be stopped by a big group of ecstatic youngsters dancing like hell and squirting water every which way. By this time the alcohol had hit, and jumping around looked like fun, so we joined in and had a blast.

 

 

Video Screenshot, Tuk Tuk Travellers

Video Screenshot, Tuk Tuk Travellers

 

Not knowing if it was 5 o’clock already we went back to immigration just incase. The border closes at 5 and we were told to return before that. We found Myanmar Immigration partying also, so we spent our last hour dancing and drinking in no-mans land with them.

 

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

Myanmar has taken our hearts already.

We left with huge smiles on our faces and this time, we got a phone number for one of the Immigration guys so we can call him, and make sure, that next time we will definitely get through.

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Lucky no. 13

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I think the number 13 has become lucky

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Photo: Juho Sarno

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We arrived to Bangkok 4 months ago, on December 13th, and it was the beginning of our journey in Thailand. It just happened to be a Friday.

One month later, on January the 13th, came the first lucky blow, and I’m glad it happened. Bangkok Shutdown stopped us from taking things too fast. It also changed things here in Bangkok, at least where we have been. The roads aren’t so congested, the air is cleaner, and people seem to be even happier.

And now, on Sunday, the 13th of April, we set off.

We wanted a big party when leaving, but didn’t know how to arrange one. We had almost given up hope even to leave. But by luck, the 13th of April marks the beginning of Songkran. We’ve had the western new year, the Chinese new year, and now the Buddhist new year will finally send our Klongboat of Freedom on it’s way.

Songkran is the worlds largest water fight festival, and in Myanmar, the party lasts for 2 weeks. We will set off through the biggest carwash ever, and be cleansed all the way to and through Myanmar. I can already feel the change starting.

The moon is heating up, and we can hear the snakes.

The gods of Nagaland are calling us to India.

We cross during blood moon.

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My Theory of Understanding

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We are driving back to Bangkok even though we said we weren’t going to make a u-turn, but we did. The last few days have been frustrating, and it’s been my turn to do some self reflecting, so here’s what I came up with. But before we go on, here’s a short film I made In the midst of my frustration. It’s a zen-type short film called U-turn.

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During the national holiday on monday, for the king I think it was, we decided to hike up to Huay something Waterfall in Chiang Mai, and our only idea was to pitch up our hammocks and read a book. Of course I forgot my book, so Juho pointed at a local book shop and told me to buy one from there. I didn’t want to. It’s either the book with the amazing story about Chinese food, or nothing.

I’ve never been into books, though I’ve been trying to get into them more. Instead all throughout my childhood I’ve spent a lot of time within my own head, thinking. So while Juho was reading, I took some of these thoughts of mine and started my own in-my-head rubick’s cube, and tried to weave them together.

First thought:

Most of the different healing things of the world have a basic thought, that it takes about half the time that a problem has been, to get better, and that the process of healing works in a way, where the problematic feeling, be it pain, anxiety or whatever the person has attached to the problem, comes back, before it starts to feel better.

Second Thought:

The way that I have learned my circus is not by doing, doing, doing. I’ve been trying to find a balance between doing and resting. The doing period is where I go forward, this is when I experience.

The resting period is where I go backwards. This is the frustrating part, when my mind and body retrace the path back to step one, the one where I started. By returning to square one, I begin to understand. This is the only time when I see the same thing I did before, but this time in a new light. I have something to compare it to, so I start to understand what has happened and I create trust in myself.

Third Thought:

Everyone I think has experienced going to an unknown place, either walking, car, tuk tuk, whatever, and then returning from that place to the beginning. Isn’t it always much faster to return, then to go?

I had this thought the other day and I talked with Juho, that it could possibly feel the same half the time less, as with the healing idea.

(I would be interested if someone actually would test this and see what people say is the difference in the time they experience when going some place new, and coming back. We theorised it’s either half, PI, or the square root, but who knows.)

Fourth Thought:

Time does not exist.

Time, I think, in essence is the same as change, which, I think, in essence is life.

Fifth Thought:

Everything is relative.

That’s why, I think, that going to a new place takes longer than coming back. The more things change, because everything is new, the longer the time feels. On the way back things don’t change so much because you know some of it already, so it feels like it takes less time.

Time depends on what you relate the idea of time to. Without something to relate things to, there is no time. (The modern second is related to the caesium 133 atom)

So in essence I put all of these thoughts together into this:

The key to understanding, is to live life by taking one step forward and one step back.

At first I thought its idiotic to to do this because you would stay still, but this is not what happens. The step back, is only half a step, because it takes half the time.

This thought then continued.

Every time I learn I have a new square one to return to, but what is the root square one? The first one.

I slept in the back of the tuk tuk, and the closer to Bangkok we got, the more I started to understand. I come from my family. They are my root, and they are my beginning.

I can roam the world as much as I like, as long as I want, but it’s not until I return to my family, when I understand how far I have gone, how much I have seen, how much I have changed. They are my starting point, and they are the ones I must relate everything I am to. Maybe that’s why they are called relatives, who knows.

Bangkok is closing in, and I am glad to be returning. Bangkok has been a huge square one for me since my teenage years, and I’m finally starting to understand. If my only direction is forward, I will never get anywhere.

I think this half step back, is more important for us, than the humungous leap we have already taken.

Odyssey

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First barrier broken, our own fear.

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We were as high as we could get in Thailand, at the Northern most point, smack bang in the middle of the infamous Golden Triangle. “What if we just go through here? We’re not a threat to anybody, on the contrary we want to help everyone as much as possible. What if we just ask?”.

So we did.

In the morning we were scared as hell. We decided that we are just going to try and cross the border to Myanmar. I don’t know which was scarier, the thought of actually being let through, the thought of ending up in a Myanmar jail, or all the other unknown possibilities how it could end up going horribly wrong. But we had to try.

The Thai personnel were a little iffy at first, but talking mano-a-mano, we bonded and they let us through no problem. They even shared their breakfast with us.

The Myanmar side was also close, but like we thought, it’s not so easy. They did their job like they are supposed to, and we had a good laugh. They looked through all our papers and said that we need to get one paper from the Myanmar embassy, and things should be ok.

We didn’t get too far, yet, but now we know it can be done. It is no longer a question of the unknown. We realised that we need to have no fear, in order to go through the borders. We realised that we were the ones making the border, by believing what we are told, like always.

On our way back to Chiang Mai, the rain came again. It cleared the air and now its easy to breathe. The sky was beautiful, with to nicest cotton swab jesus cloud there ever was.

Photo: Juho Sarno

Now we know what we need to do to get ourselves and the tuk tuk past the border, but this time, everything remains possible. We learned from our last mistake.

Today is a public holiday in Thailand. It means that we can rest today, and tomorrow we will walk in to the Myanmar consulate. Let’s hope they will be understanding. If not, then there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Nobody would remember Ulysses if he would have found his way home on the first try.

The Odyssey continues.

Cotton Flowers

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I had a dream last night where beautiful cotton flowers were falling from the sky. It was as if the softest parts of the clouds descended down, and covered the entire ground. It was like powdered snow, only much more beautiful.

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Everyone stopped in amazement to watch, and as the snowflake-like cotton flowers softly caressed everyones cheeks, the whole world smiled. I have never seen, or felt, the world in such softness, such ease, such unitedness. It felt like everyone was able to let go, and sink into a state of bliss. It was beautiful.

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Then I woke up on. The hard tile floor was cold as ice, and I had only 35cm of room between the wall and the bed. Juho was sleep on the soft 80cm bed with a nice warm blanket, and all I had was a sheet, and a bottle of Hong Thong.

Outside I feel cold, but inside I still feel the cotton flowers. My heart feels soft, and I like it.

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For the last few days we have been mapping out many different possibilities on how to get from Thailand to India. Ferries don’t really sail the Indian ocean, but cruise ships do. Cruise ships are also full of people, who like to be indulged and entertained. I’ve noticed circus being a good tool for that.

We’ve also been to the Chiang Mai airport to ask about air freight, and we’ve contacted many cargo companies. Soon we will have some information about those also.

We sort of gave up the idea of driving to India, but yesterday we got some good news. Tomorrow we see how far that gust of wind takes us.

I hope that our next blog will be from India.

I think we might have a problem.

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We felt that we were

on top of the world

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Now we feel that we are

six feet under

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Last week we begun our journey and headed north so we’d be ready to cross the border as soon as we get the permit from the Myanmar authorities. We already had the permits twice, but couldn’t cross the border because we missed the registration. Now we have the registration and applied for a new permit. Myanmar authorities had been really helpful, and there shouldn’t be any problems.

Yesterday we finally got the answer, and it wasn’t what we were hoping for. The Buddhist new year is closing in and they asked us if we could postpone till after the Songkran. The sad part about it is that they celebrate the Water Festival for 2 weeks, starting April 12th.

It felt like a blow to the abdominals.

For the first time I lost my courage. We are almost three months late of schedule, our Myanmar visas run out by the 10th of april, we don’t have enough money to wait for three more weeks, and even worse, if we wait for three more weeks, monsoon season might catch us, and there’s no way we can cross the muddy Myanmar roads with a tuk tuk.

I felt disappointed and paralysed, I felt that I disappointed all of you who are following our journey, I felt that I disappointed my family at home, and I felt that I disappointed myself. All of our plans vanished into thin air.

I lost courage, but Pyry didn’t. He answered for the concerning authorities and contacted all our contacts in Myanmar. After that we went to have a walk, we ended up in the old city walls of Chiang Mai, clasped our hands and took a symbolic fools leap over a crumbled gap in the wall.

It made me feel better.

Today has been all about self reflection. After all, it’s not the first time we face obstacles. The only difference is that this time we had an expectation of how things would go. And as we all know, things never go the way you expect.

For me disappointment is that things are not going the way I want them to go. But life is not my playground, I never made a deal that life is fair. No matter how hard I work, I still might fuck up. Life has it’s own flow, and it can’t be harnessed. As humans we must adapt to life, not vice versa.

Now it’s time to adapt again. I have no reason to feel disappointed, not as long as I’m doing all I can to make this happen. I want to get home.

I got my courage back. There was no reason to lose it in the first place. It was just a misunderstanding in my head. A simple misunderstanding, where I thought I was in control of life.

I’m in control of my life, and there’s a big difference. I’m in charge on what I do with the circumstances. It’s still possible that we get the permission to cross the border before holidays, but if not, there’s more than just one way to hurdle obstacles. The possibility of failure is real, but it has been real all the time. The possibility of failure doesn’t mean that we are giving up. It means that we will do all we can to find a way.

Tomorrow we will go to perform in a local orphanage. We are feeling blue, but we know that nothing delights more than seeing children smile.

We have no idea of how things will turn out, but stay tuned. Somethings is definitely going to happen.