Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

It’s not you, it’s the bed

After 6 weeks of waking up cursing and getting generally very upset with my mattress, I actually gone and bloody done it and bought a new one. Well, it’s more of a cheap bed roll that has just been put on top of the existing shitty mattress. Even though I bought the wrong size (too big), I  just didn’t fancy the lus involved to attempt to get it changed (if you’ve ever transported a bed roll/mattress in an auto rickshaw then you’ll understand). So the bits that are surplus to requirements are just tucked under and smothered in a sheet to keep it in place. Despite this, it turns out that 1 x shitty mattress + 1 x cheap bed roll can actually make for a fairly decent sleep. Or it could be that my standards have slipped and I’ll take anything that doesn’t result in the need for a hip replacement every morning (I like to sleep on my side).

So, I’ve been sleeping pretty well lately. Except… except, except, except. Two things really, or actually if you add it up it is one thing for every hour of my so treasured slumber. The night guards here bang a gong every hour, through out the night from 8pm. This offending gong is situated close to my house. For 8pm, it’s 8 gongs, 9pm it’s 9 gongs and so on and so cheerfully forth (thank god they don’t follow a 24 hour clock here). I’ve asked why such a amazingly, wonderful thing is required, and I’ve been told so that the students who don’t have watches and who might wake up in the middle of the night can know what time it is. Yes. Indeed. Um, great idea, but what if they don’t wake up exactly on the hour to hear the gong, how does this help…ok, never mind, this could take all day (and really it could, try applying some old fashioned logic here and see how far that gets you). OK. Fine. I actually now sleep through most of the hourly chimes. 

But… but, but, but. At 4:15-ish am, the night guard bangs the living bejesus out of the gong – to wake all the students up to sing the school song. At 4:30am. To sing the school song. At 4:30am… Can you tell I’m having difficulty understanding this particular gem? And the night guard appears to be taking this little job more and more seriously as my time here progresses, and now puts some serious muscle into it. No freaking way I can sleep though it. In the words of the Counting Crows, 4:30am on a Tuesday*, it doesn’t get much worse than this. 

* Yes, I know today is Wednesday.

2 Comments»

  Amanda wrote @

You want me to send you ear plugs ???

  estellevisagie wrote @

Alas, ear plugs don’t block out the gong. I’ve tried. However the 4:15am gong-ing either didn’t happen this morning, or it was with less gusto and I slept through it. Either way, a much more pleasant morning!


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