Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Why don’t things just work here?

I’m having issues with all things electrical at the moment. Can something please be done about quality assurance in this country?

After suffering with an intermittently working hurricane lamp that I bought in Dhaka, I got off my lazy arse and went out and bought a new one here in Rangamati. Yay, a lamp that actually worked! For about a week. So yesterday I went back to the shop to exchange it. Obviously it worked when the shop guy turned it on. So I made him sit and wait, because it WOULD die soon. And it did. Ha, there you go shop man, it’s broken. Trust me next time, as believe me I do not do this return thing for fun. He offered to replace it to the tune of 200 taka. Sigh. Banglish haggling ensured, and I got my new hurricane lamp for zero taka. Why must we do this haggling dance everytime. It’s boring dude.

Armed with my new, tested-in-shop hurricane lamp  I expected great things. Got home, in a a power cut, and the fucking thing didn’t work. Obviously. So tonight after work I must go back to that man and go through this fun exercise again. And who knows how long the next one will last. And this fun is to the backdrop of a lot of power cuts in Rangamati right now.

My iron is also on the blink. Bought in Dhaka so I can’t return it here. If I wiggle the wire, and hit the sweet spot and hold it there, it works. Same with my phone charger. Are products actually tested before they leave the factory? Does anyone actually care? My electrical equipment rage isn’t reserved purely for Bangladeshi products, a special shout out goes to all the Chinese crap that floods the markets here too.

In other self-harming news: Yesterday, in my little (and by little I mean little) local shop, I forgot the door frame is about 5 centimetres shorter than me, and moered (slammed) my forehead into it on the way out. I now have a very fetching bruise and small cut on my forehead. This goes nicely with the bruise on my arse from when I slipped down Laura’s steps in Bandraban. Our group of volunteers were carefully walking down the super slippery concrete steps from Laura’s flat, when Laura (who walks these everyday) slipped and bounced down about 5 stairs on her arse. After I finish shouting ‘I’m so glad it’s not just me!’, I cock up and bounce down the same 5 steps on my arse, almost taking recently-recomposed Laura out again. Laura’s neighbours run out to the sounds of the commotion, and roll their eyes when they see it is just Laura and mates going down the stairs the bideshi way. Apparently Laura does this a lot. I can’t wait for this rainy season to be over. Let’s get back to dry land again please?

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1 Comment»

  Old school « Postcards from the Edge wrote @

[…] new hurricane lamp I exchanged for my 1000th broken one isn’t working. And hasn’t worked since I brought it home from the shop. I just […]


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