This is Dha-ka…
People, people, people. Noise, traffic, pollution, confusion and mosquitos. I’m in the VSO office in Dhaka, while Ollie (English volunteer) does a booze run to the fine establishment that is Hotel Galaxy. Ollie needs to vent, I need to drink, I think we’re going to get on just fine tonight.
Sample conversation from bus trip:
Bangla boy from seat in front: Which country are you from?
Me: South Africa.
BB: But you’re not black.
Me: No, I’m not. But I’m still South African.
BB: South Africa has black people.
Me: Yes, it does. And also white people and various colours in between.
Silence. Blank stare.
Me: (Sigh). You like cricket?
Me: South African cricket team?
BB: Yes, South Africa is Shaun Pollock* country.
Me: And he is white. And so are most of the SA cricket team, no?
BB: Ah. Yes. (Thoughtful pause) Tick acche, apnar desh South Africa (Ok, your country is South Africa)
Me: Ta, thanks.
That conversation actually happens quite often. Only by reminding people of the SA cricket team (who they all know and love) can I convince them that South Africa also has white people, of which I am one.
* Does Shaun Pollock even still play for SA?