The flight from Dhaka is belayed due to the weather; while the ever-present smog has saved my a fortune in suntan cream, now it’s not nearly so good.

We managed to avoid the madness of airport security by means of the VIP lounge; the name of our gracious host proved less effective on the way out than on the way in, but they seemed to accept the magic incantation of an EU passport. Inside the airport secure zone, it’s calm and relaxed; I don’t discount the possibility that this due to the absence of planes. Wandering around a photo of the Pink Palace from yesterday blares out at me, lurid in it’s impossibly pink false colour. It makes me want to see it, even though I know that the reality is more muted.

It’s been a strange experience. This is a country of extremes and contradictions, which sums up how I feel about it. I got to see Old Dhaka and the river; but was this out of a genuine desire to see how others’ life is lived or is it an unpleasant voyeurism for those less well off; I feel compassion for the beggars, with an abiding wish that they would just go away.