The thing about travelling or living in developing countries is that a serious stomach upset is going to find you, sooner or later. And certainly more than once. And when it gets you, it gets you bad. It got me on Wednesday afternoon. It was a particularly unpleasant 24 hours. Again, I’ll spare you the details.
Power outages are on the increase here. It’s approaching the hot season, so the use of fans and air conditioning (for the lucky ones) is high, which causes issues with the already low Bangladeshi power supply. There is daily load shedding here, much like we had in SA for a while, except there appears to be no communication about when it’s going to happen. There is no rhyme or reason to the timings, which are different every day. And it happens a lot. During my day indoors yesterday, it seemed like it was an hour on, an hour off (when the power goes out, it’s always for at least an hour). And I retract my previous statement about water cuts being more irritating than power cuts. Power cuts are far worse. It’s not the lights going out that is the issue, it’s the ceiling fans going out that is the real problem. It is already really hot here, about 35 degrees during the day, and it doesn’t cool down that much during the night (about 25 degrees). So without fans our flat is like a hotbox.
And Dhaka can surely claim the title for the most windless city in the world. Air just doesn’t seem to move at all here. It’s also a seriously dusty and polluted city, and it’s particularly bad at this time of year because there hasn’t been a drop of rain since December. So with no wind, the dust and pollution just hangs above the city like a murky cloud. I know I complain about the south-easterly wind every time I’m in Cape Town, but I’d swap the stillness here for the south-easter any day. Any Capetonian will understand what a serious statement that is.