The postcard vendor looks at me blankly
From which country?
I am in Bangladesh, the country without picture postcards.
- The muezzin starts singing in Arabic at exactly 5:15 pm
- The rikshaw driver swears in the rikshaw jam
- The traveling salesmen sings about the quality of his fish in the streets
- The boat’s prow divides the murky waters of the Buriganga
- The badminton ball bounces across the illuminated net in the evening
- The döner kebab spit revolves around its own center
Somewhere in this country incredibly many people die of starvation every day. I sure didn’t come here to feed on someone else’s food.
As soon as I am fit again, I eat normally. I do not see anyone starving. I see poor people and rich, overweight and skinny. I see fruit sellers, tailors, students and booksellers. Bangladeshis are at the first glance hardly different from Indians.
- shopping malls
- luxury hotels
- a Muslim festival
- a people’s concert by the lake
- a rock concert on the university campus
(with an Iron Maiden cover song)
I sure haven’t imagined Bangladesh like this. I even find myself a cheesecake in a posh coffee shop.
a Bangladeshi comments about the extreme foreigner curiosity of his countrymen
You are being stared at, approached and touched everywhere and always. Often enough, you are surrounded by a cluster of staring locals.
The most successful export good of Bangladesh, next to inexpensive jeans and cheap T-shirts, seems to be a good conscience.
To be honest, the offer is tempting.