Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Every man and his cow

…was out on the roads yesterday. And it seemed, specifically, they were out on MY road yesterday. Dhaka to Chittagong. So many cattle markets along the way, with people walking their Eid cows and bulls home on the road. Plus the usual traffic chaos, plus the Eid exodus, plus some garment worker protests somewhere in Dhaka. The usual 6 hour journey between these two cities took 13.5 hours yesterday. Thirteen and a half hours to travel 260km…most of it was bumper to bumper, and for large sections of the day the ‘highway’ turned into a very long car park. Engines turned off, drivers and passengers out maxing and relaxing on the side of the road.

My bus driver though did his utmost to make up for time on any stretch of road that opened up even just a little bit, and went hell for leather on the Chittagong to Rangamati section. The driving is usually bad, but yesterday it was well scary, especially the last few hours. I strongly considered getting off at Chittagong and phoning some Chittagong based volunteers to see if I could spend the night with them, to then travel to Rangamati this morning. But then who knows what new chaos today could have brought, so instead I spent the last 2 hours of trip with my eyes closed, trying not to fall out of my seat.

But it could have been worse. Obviously. Loads of buses on the way had people standing for the entire journey, and many had passengers on the roofs. So you know, I’m trying to be grateful for what I did have. A seat.

See that’s part of The Secret isn’t it? I recently bought the DVD in Dhaka. Am I the last person to watch/know anything about The Secret? Anyway, so being grateful for what you do have is a part of it. Then I think it’s like Ask, Believe and Receive or something like that. So I did ask the universe for a pain-free travel day, and I really did start my day with all sorts of positive thoughts. But I expect I was asking the universe just a bit too much to rearrange itself to such an extent as to provide a pain-free travel day, on the last working day before Eid, in Bangladesh. But I’ve only watched half of The Secret so far, so perhaps I’m missing some important steps in my asking favours of the universe. I fully expect I should be starting a bit smaller.

A Special Thank You: To Julie for my Gulshan holiday. Highlights were Julie’s hospitality, hot showers, use of a washing machine, comfortable bed, shopping tips and laughing about life in Bangladesh. It was fun, and it goes to show that sometimes it’s the random connections that make life most enjoyable.

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