Day 11 – Who needs a bus when you have…

Finally, the half day. Not that the week had felt particularly long really but who doesn’t like the weekend? I was beginning to find positives in not understanding Bangla as I can excuse myself from every MDT and ward round, a luxury I could never have in England. And when you’re in an MDT that you can’t contribute to, it ain’t fun. Before that, my educator and I had tried to work through my objectives but had somehow wandered onto the topic of idioms after a strenuous half an hour trying to understand an ASIA Ax for SCI when the air con was non-existent in 30 degree heat, not an easy piece of cake.

After lunch I’d talked Irisa into breaking her ‘quarantine’ and heading out to Gochan because even though all she had was a dry cough, the housekeeper, Shamoli, was already wearing a mask around her. But considering she still lived with us, it wasn’t real quarantine. The Bangladeshi are so chill that even if covid-9 stared them in the face, they’d probably swat it away and then spray some insect repellent.

We walked out of the unimart in Gochan crippled under the weight of a pricey £40 shop where anything that was imported was basically around £10. So that meant that Aaliyah’s shop came to £60 just for buying M&S biscuits. It was a clear indicator that there really was no point cooking your own food because anything that they grow themselves goes into a curry and they would clearly know more about that than me.

But the real reason I’m writing is that 6pm came around and found ourselves and all our numerous bags of shopping riding what was effectively planks of wood balanced on a bicycle down the main road to Savar. A simple explanation would be that we were trying to find a bus to take us back. To add complications was our shopping and limited knowledge of Bangla. It had started with asking one person for directions to get a bus; this lead to an increasing crowd of people looking for business and eyeing up our westernised clothes and English words. Then suddenly one man was gesturing for us to follow and then revealing his pride and joy of a rickshaw and wanted us to get on. So we did.

If we hadn’t been stared at enough already, our celebrity status just went up to royalty. Irisa and I were sat on either side of the rider and Aaliyah was on the back. At one point we even had a hitchhiker trying to sell us children’s books like it was a damn bus. My toes were gripping my flip flops desperately and my hands balanced biscuits in danger of falling out of shopping bags. But there was the fresh breeze of Dhaka dust flowing through my hair and into my eyes and mouth and nose, all the leg room I could want and an attentive chauffeur who spoke moderate English. It was almost tempting to let the guy take us all the way back to the CRP. I’d definitely ride with him again.

We never found a bus heading in our direction so we ended up getting a taxi again and he tried to fleece me 300 taka so I definitely don’t want to ride with him again.

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