Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

It’s official

I need to buy some winter clothes. No warm clothes made it into my backpack when I left London, as I didn’t believe that Bangladesh got cold.

To date, I only own one top with long sleeves. Which is from a Korean garment factory that donates its rejects/off-cuts to the children of Moanoghar. Not many children (or adults) in my size here, to I was gifted one. This top is, under no circumstances, worn outside of my house. It’s one part of my ultra sexy nightwear, the other part being a pair of old salwar bottoms. It’s all just so high fashion here in the little blue house with green shutters next to the mini-hospital on Moanoghar campus, Rangapani, Rangamati (you know, I think if someone sent a letter using that as my address, it would get here. Actually, I think that IS my address…)

So I need a cardigan (or two), to wear with my (daytime) salwar kameezes (never sure what the pural for kameez is). And socks. I need socks. Turns out two pairs of socks aren’t not enough. I am rocking my socks and sandals look every morning in the office, which results in sock hand washing more often than I’d like (my preferred frequency of sock washing by hand is never). For all the times I thought (knew) I looked hideous in the heat and sweat of summer, I think it’s possible that I’ll look even worse in the slight chill of winter. A long, baggy cardigan, worn over a long, baggy, shapeless salwar kameez, teamed with socks and sandals and, if it gets cold enough, a non-matching scarf. My only consolation is that everyone else here looks as badly put together these days. Anything goes.

But despite my wardrobe limitations, I am LOVING winter. Really, it is by far the best of Bangladesh’s 6 seasons. I’m already upset that it is only 2 months long. But autumn and winter together does make 4 months. Which is a great respite from the suffocating heat of summer/every other season here. My energy levels are well up there, I’m even doing a walking tour of Old Dhaka on Friday. I haven’t, in my 7 months here, even ventured into Old Dhaka before. It all just seemed too much like hard work in the heat, sweat and tears (mine) of full blown summer.

I do wonder how much more fruitful my placement would have been, if Bangladesh was this temperature all year round. Really, I’d be able to do five times as much if I didn’t have to suffer through the heat. It’s incapacitating, suffocating and revolting. I’m only signed up for a year here with VSO, so I’ll be skipping outta here at the end of April. Which itself will already be hot, but I’ll be escaping before it gets unbelievably, scratch your own eyes out, hot. I don’t think I could face another summer here.

So in the mean time, I’ll be loving every minute of winter. As soon as I get some warm clothes.

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