My last post may have come across as slightly irrelevant, since I talked more about dodging ting than cycling. But fuck it, I’ve never been very chronologically gifted- I’m a right slag for a good tangenting.
Today’s story is brought to you by The Shadows of Hope. Who or what on earth are The Shadows of Hope? Well, as anyone who’s ever donned a backpack and a traveller bracelet can attest to, you meet some right weirdos travelling. And not just your garden variety, ‘Pepsi not Coca Cola’ weirdos. I’m talking straight up, dropped-on-your-head-as-a baby, once-ate-my-own-fist-accidentally strangies.
Enter The Shadows of Truth, a clandestine, theatrical ex-military rag tag group of social justice warriors causing quite a stir on the border of Thailand and Myanmar right now.
A small disclaimer at this point- you can assume that everything I’m about to write is well researched, bone fide fact. Notable exceptions are stuff I didn’t know or hear from my mate Keal, and everything I made funnier with a healthy sprinkling of conjecture.
Keal and I had just arrived in Mae Sot and having met a couple of NGOs in the hostel, set out for grub. No more than a sandal-cladded foot had we stepped outside when suddenly, leaning serenely against a well graffitied wall, stood a man I would later learn to be the self styled saviour of Myanmar, leader of the quasi-guerilla group, The Legion of Justice. His one remaining eye defocused, gazing longingly across the Thai landscape, bald head wrapped in a bandana, Skyhawk looked like a cross between Che Guevara and a 5 foot tall pirate. He was a man with a dream, a calling. For months he’d been hanging round the city, spreading his message of Rambo-inspired justice and recruiting a crack team of boys to right wrongs, kick ass and take fucking names.
I knew as soon as gave us a wide, almost toothless smile that we were in for a treat.
Now Myanmar is a place with more than its fair share of problems. For decades the corrupt and often brutal military leadership has persecuted ethnic minorities in the country, of which there are over 150 separate ethnicities. That’s where The Clouds of Peace come in, apparently. This, however, is all I can say about the details of their modest revolution. I was assured though that the practicalities are nothing for me to worry about, so that’s a relief.
Here’s a run down of some of the heroes we came across who were dedicated to the cause. Midas was second in command. A maverick with a dark past and nothing to lose, he was the team masseuse. The fucking masseuse. Presumably he was there in case anyone got cramp on the battlefield, or to give happy endings to local villagers in return for their support come the revolution.
Then there was Jake. With boyband looks, a charming half smile and a guitar with a burning eagle on the case, he was the team musician. I fucking give up.
If you want to find out more about The Knights of Cydonia, I kid you not, they have a website. Check out www.shadowsofhope.org