Last year (2008) during my Myanmar photo tour, I was sitting in the shade at the foot of Mingun Pagoda enjoying a Coke when a Buddhist monk drove up in a home made truck with a load of Burmese folks in the back. Being one of the few foreigners around (tourism was way down due to political unrest and cyclone Nargis), he and I started chatting. I commented on his truck and he immediately said "let's go for a ride", so I said sure and walked over to the passenger side of the truck to get in. Before I could get in and sit down he said, no you drive!
I thought what the heck, this will be fun, and got behind the wheel. This old, home made jalopy was amazing and quite a challenge to drive. It had a simple, totally exposed gear box and a most primitive steering mechanism. Its engine was an ancient, single cylinder Chinese behemoth, with a huge flywheel. The radiator was open and water sloshed all over the place, often splashing into the passenger compartment, as we chugged down the pot-holed road.
With me, the crazy foreigner at the controls, we took off, haltingly, as I began to get the hang of driving this contraption. The Burmese ladies in the back held on for dear life, and they, as well as all the people we passed, laughed hysterically at yours truly, the student driver. I took the truck for a short spin down the hill and back, before returning to our starting point.
Luckily for me, one of my photo tour guests, Robbie Hamper, an avid photographer and noted reptile specialist got all these great images of me having fun. Thanks Robbie!