Sydney: Fantastic Tales of a Former Burmese Boy Soldier (Part 2)

Apr 27, 2011

Violence, drugs and weapons. Life in Down Under's glitziest city may not be that different from that in the jungles of Burma.

Bus load of blue overall-clad cops just appeared out of nowhere and most rushed into the club and some started clearing the club entrance. A major police raid on the notorious joint was on the way with sniffer dogs and drug squad and all sorts of cops. A large copper came over and banged my window. Move on cabbie, move on, he ordered. I’m waiting for the passenger, he hasn’t paid me fare yet, I answered. I don’t care, police operation in progress, move on or I will book you. He threatened me with a ticket and I had no choice but to drive off.

I was in the shit now and I didn’t know what to do. I drove around the block and came back but the cops were still there and I had to do another round again. Maybe I should just go home and disappear with the cash; a thought came into my mind. Nope, he would find me and kill me. No way he could, if I stop driving cabs. The bad thought kept on coming back but I decided I just had to find him back and return his cash.

Finally after more than two hours and on my 6th or 7th round I saw Michael standing on the kerb not far from the club, waiting for me. I pulled over and unlocked the door. He hopped in and immediately said where the fuck you been, I’ve been waiting for hours. Jesus, I’ve been driving around with your fucking roll of cash for the whole bloody day. He took the roll back though.

He then laughed and said you’ve saved my life mate, if the pigs caught me with this roll in the club I’ll do five years in big house. They frisked me like hell inside, fuckwits. The dirty German Shepherds sniffing me all over, fucking dogs.

Do you have to go get heroin from Singapore? Not really, I have mules, sexy blonde variety.

I had to drive him to his flat in Rose Bay. I’ve never seen that much money before, on the way I tried to start conversation as I was curious. All from drugs mate, you know heroin, come from your country, Golden Triangle. He was so open, I was surprised. How did you get it here? Easy we get it from Singapore. Do you have to go get heroin from Singapore? Not really, I have mules, sexy blonde variety. He was quite talkative for some reason.

I have connections there and my girls take the money there and bring back bricks of pure heroin. Double UOGlobe brand 100% pure heroin from the Golden Triangle of Burma, so pure the junkies here die if they inject it uncut.

He was quite open and friendly, so I told him about what I saw back home in the army and how easy it was to buy that brand of pure shit in our neighbourhood. He seemed very interested. If I have a direct connection in Burma I will make more money; fucking Chinese are asking more and more for their shit, he remarked.

He directed me to an expensive-looking water-front apartment block and got out after giving me 5 notes from his 100 dollar roll. He then leaned back in and said we could do business mate, if you’re interested. Not really, I don’t do illegal things. My answer really upset him. He got back in and gave me a long lecture about why his criminal acts were justified.

Do you drive cab all the time? Not really. I have a day job. So you work weekdays and weekends. Sort of. Why, heavy mortgage and young family? Yes. What’s the interest rate? 17.5%. Fucking Jesus and Mary!

You see that’s what’s so wrong with you people. You work your arse off so that you can pay high interest to the banks hoping you will one day own that little house of your in some shitty western suburb. My dad did it too. My uncles did it too. You all do. There is a name for people like you in the bad old days. A slave, a serf, chained to the landlord, or to a bank nowadays.

Houses are so expensive because of fucking banks and the fucking government. Do you know why? Dearer the houses people like you have to borrow more and pay more interest and banks make more shit load of money. And the fucking government keeps on raising interest rates. They will squeeze you dry and force you to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week for most of your fucking adult life for that fucking little house.

I borrow no money from no fucking banks. I run my own life. Laws are made by the governments for the banks and the rich to keep us as slaves. Not for me. I am free and I am strong. No society will tell me what I can and what I can’t do. I do what I want. Especially not this fucking Anglo society!

How about all the overdoses and broken families and the miserable lives because of your heroin?

The law of the jungle. That’s the only law I obey. The survival of the strongest.

Fuck them. They are weak and in this concrete jungle the strong survive and the weaklings get eaten. The law of the jungle. That’s the only law I obey. The survival of the strongest.

Okay, I don’t want to keep you any longer. If you’re not interested that’s fine. But if you are, here is the card for my bar. Just call me or visit me one day if you change your mind. I could use someone like you.

He chucked his card onto the dashboard, got out and disappeared behind the steel gate. The card basically advertised a seedy bar on the Kellet Lane in the Cross. His talk made me think of what was happening in my life here in Sydney though. I was then truly sick of working two jobs days and nights and seriously thinking of looking for a job with higher pay.

But for better or worse a couple of months later, a large engineering company had bought our company out and changed my life forever.



Hla Oo was a former Burmese boy soldier who later deserted and later taught engineering, moved to Australia, started an import-export business, traded stocks and is writing and driving cabs while suffering from liver cirrhosis from an old battle wound. His blog is at


This post was originally published on Hla Oo’s Blog in October 2010.