Myanmar Style

16.05.14, Kalaymyo

Three days ago we bought two bicycles from Bagan. Regular everyday ladies’s bicycles. They were a little bit old and shaggy so we took them to a repair shop to grease them up because we need them to last all the way to India.

All together we have 1 large rucksack, 1 broken backpack, 1 small backpack, two hammocks, 2 ukuleles, 1 wok, 1 orchid, many gifts we couldn’t mail and 3 Energy Efficient Cooking Stoves to give to someone in need. It’s quite a lot to fit on bicycles, but luckily we have learned something called Myanmar Style.

Myanmar Style

Myanmar Style can mean many things. It can mean stacking a motorcycle so that the driver can barely be seen. It can mean taking apart the engine to tune up some cog wheels for more torque when a truckload of rice, that has been loaded Myanmar Style, cannot be pushed by 4 men and 2 circus artists up a 2 meter uphill over the train tracks. It can mean taking apart the old dock and moving it every single day for the boat, because the river evolves. Myanmar Style doesn’t bend life to it’s will, it goes creatively with it.

In short the best way I can explain this wonderful phenomenon is that Myanmar Style is the physical counterpart of a Finnish term called Sisu. Sisu means inner strength to carry on, even if it feels like theres nothing left to give. Myanmar Style means to make things possible, even if it feels like there’s nothing to do it with.

The essence of both is that there’s always something, so we packed our bicycles and got ourselves going, Myanmar Style. That was three days ago.

We’ve used pedals, buses and riverboats to get all the way to Kalaymyo (Kale), and for me it has been the best part of Myanmar. There have been ups and downs mentally, as well as physically on our path upriver and over a mountain range.  At times the heat seemed unbearable, but we have the Sisu.


We experienced many indescribable moments that range from sleeping in a hammock in amazing mountain river scenery to a near fistfight for money that luckily changed to a fight for togetherness because of a sudden sandstorm. I finally saw with my own eyes, that even in the greediest of people lies a heart full of love. First impressions easily deceive, and the only way we can change it, is by keeping our own hearts good and pure.

Too much has happened to write it all down and there’s no point. If pictures say a thousand words, video says a lot more.

We have 120 km left to India and 15 000Km home. There are no obstacles, physical or mental, that can stop us. We’ve had Sisu since the beginning, and now we have Myanmar Style to back it up.


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