Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

High Horses

Yesterday we got an email from VSO Bangladesh, advising that their office hours had now changed from 9am – 5pm to 10am to 6pm. As per the government order issued from the Ministry of Establishments…

What? Why? Is there is Ministry that sits around and makes random decisions about changing office times? Why on earth? What the …? I jumped onto my Logical High Horse (which is a lot like my Moral High Horse, but obviously used for different injustices to my sensibilities). This harked back to when the government changed the school times, which happened just after I arrived here. And the Day Light Savings debacle. This new office time change just doesn’t make sense, surely this is just bureaucracy gone mad,coupled with ministers with too much time on their hands?

Turns out this office time change is just for major cities, in an attempt to ease the daily traffic gridlock (or so my colleague tells me). They are staggering office, school and university starting times, so not everyone rushes out and onto the streets at the same time for morning and evening commutes. So I guess this does make sense after all? But some reports say the people drop their children off to school on the way to the office, so who knows how this staggered office/school/university start time will actually pan out. But maybe I spend too much time looking for things that Just. Don’t. Make. Sense. here that I’m way too quick to find fault in almost everything. Sometimes. And FYI, apparently the current Day Light Saving time will not be set back to standard Bangladesh time. Moving time forwards and backwards in a tropical country like Bangladesh doesn’t make much difference in the first place, as not much daylight is actually saved by it…but let me not get started on that…

I would have known about this office time change of course, if I actually read the paper here. I try that every now and then. But give up pretty quickly because

a) Stories are spread across about 12 pages. You start reading a small column on page 1, which then refers you to page 4, then page 7, then page 3, then page 16, then page 14…You spend most of your time just paging through the damn paper just to put the pieces of the article jigsaw puzzle together. Why don’t they put the full article onto just one page? Why the need to slice and dice them so many times?

b) I find the language so hard on the ear. It’s English, but not as I use it. The sentence structures are long and awkward, using very odd/unusual turn of phrases, peppered with words I didn’t even know existed. Perhaps they use a dictionary or thesaurus dated around 1900?

c) It’s depressing. Very depressing.

Perhaps someone can recommend a good online news site for Bangladesh / South Asia. I really should make an attempt to keep up with the happenings and going-ons. And the office time changes.



  Julie wrote @

Despite the chaos it would cause, I actually wish they’d change the time back to old time. I am sick of getting up in the dark.

Do you know I’ve tried telling various newspaper editors how annoying it is to turn to page 15, only to turn back to page 1 etc etc etc. They reckon they tried but the people did not accept the change. Liars. They just like doing things in a 17th century fashion and making life difficult for everyone.

I suppose you know Marginally better than having to keep turning the page but still covers the same silly stories. Like this morning when I logged on the lead was “Prime minister Sheikh Hasina met with senior cabinet members Tuesday to identify strategic issues ahead of her visit to India next month.” Yawnsville.

  estellevisagie wrote @

I’m guess I’m lucky as I live 10 steps away from my office, so I roll out of the house at 8:55am, Have heard of bdnew24, but never actually checked it out. Thanks for the link. I honestly don’t get far with reading the traditional news here. Maybe one day the format change…and who knows, maybe even the content too.

  Julie wrote @

Here you go:

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