Burma Border Boogie


Being a producer means my creativity is often expressed in the form of resourcefulness.  


A recent morning in southern Burma was an extreme example of that.   Already 4 hours into the journey to the closest local airport, which involved walking through swampy mangroves while balancing our bags over our heads, followed by dusty motor scooter rides, we made it in the nick of time, or so we thought.

The local airport was really just a small squat pink building with one dusty runway, blocked by one parking stanchion, across from a few food stalls.  However, 5 policemen squashed into the security booth made things feel a bit more official, especially when they announced that the airport was closed & that they would not allow foreigners to take even the late night flight.  Driving 26 hours north to Yangon was not an option, in order to make the next schedule deadline. 


Plan B: Found a willing taxi driver to navigate 7 hours of dirt roads to the Thai border. I was rattled & shaken, teeth clenched, but running on adrenaline. We careened into the border area, just 20 minutes before they closed the border for the day. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, I was taken across the No Man's Land in an ancient Ford pick-up truck, while the Thai woman driving belted out her version of Adele & John Legend tunes. She surprised me with a detour to the River Kwai. In Kanchanaburi, I negotiated another route of transportation with bird cages strapped to the rooftop.  17 hours of travel later, made it to Bangkok. 


Produced the heck out of that potential disaster, by turning into a memorable travel experience. 

Production Tip: Have USD$ bills ready to grease the wheels & speed up the control stops.