In 1970, Burma's brutal military ruler, General Ne Win, was worried that his country's politics were drifting too far to the left. After consulting his astrologer (always sound political practice!), he decided to cosmically counteract creeping communism by switching the side of the road his people drove on, from left to right. See? Already there's less left! Brilliant! Anyway, that's why all of Burma woke up one day to a frightening Mad Max reenactment.
"I live, I die, I live again ... because I'm a Buddhist, and that's what we believe in!"
Due to a little problem called "being an international pariah," Burma couldn't import vehicles with the steering wheel on the left. They had to buy cheap used cars from Japan, which puts steering wheels on the right. Forty years later and everyone there still drives around with huge blind spots. Even riding the bus is a mortal game of Frogger, because the doors are on the wrong side and passengers have to disembark in the middle of the fucking road.
The Rosa Parks of the Burmese revolution merely demanded to get off at a bus stop.
Incidentally, this wasn't the only time that Burma's junta went mad for astrology. In the 1980s, they issued bank notes in the supposedly lucky but extremely awkward denominations of 15, 35, 45, 75 and 90 kyat, which caused a financial crisis. In 2005, they moved the capital, literally overnight, from Yangon to Naypyidaw -- a brand-new, purportedly riot-proof city secretly built in the middle of the jungle, just because the location had a better feel.
Weird, then, that the country's ruling military council was dissolved in 2011. You'd think the Board of Astrologers (an actual government department!) would have seen that one coming.
Abraham lives in Mexico and he loves tacos de suadero and gorditas de chicharron. You can say hi to him on Twitter here, or visit his DeviantArt here. Cass Wong lives in Hong Kong, where parody writes itself.
For more insane things done by the powerful, check out 6 Rulers Who Abused Their Power In Hilariously Insane Ways and The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Rulers Of All Time.
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