A trip up the river (2/1/10)

2010-01-25

Today, we went to the bazaar in old Dhaka. After a long drag across town for an hour in polluted air, we got to Sadarghat ferry terminal where we took a dubious ride across the river; again, we were the focus of attention at the river. It's clear that they don't get too much crazy westerners down there.

The boat trip which is a narrow, flat bottomed boat, skulled by one of the three people who appeared to make their living from it. The river, again, was polluted with an oily surface and lots of nasty things floating in it; surprisingly, it even had some plants floating on the surface; it was slow-running and smooth.

Many of the boats shuttle sand up and down the river; these amazing vehicles float unloaded about 3m out of the water, proudly displaying their load lines high above our heads; when loaded they almost disappear, the water from their bow wave splashing over their deck. Travelling through the boat yards, it's all done by hand; they are building massive ships here, riveting them and shaping their with sledgehammer, painting them with brushes.

We finish to with quick trip to Ahsan Manjil, the Pink Palace. Not that great, although I get my photo taken many times, while hanging around in the grounds.

Bangladesh has been an amazing and depressing experience in equal measures. There is, perhaps, surprisingly little between this society and my own; modern technology is here, but it didn't develop alongside the organisation that we have in the UK. Everybody might moan about the system at times, but in the UK, it's not so bad.