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  • Writer's pictureVoita

An extra day in Khulna

Pritish works and studies late into the night. I suspect he's making up for the time devoted to me earlier in the day.

It's a common wisdom that the brighest rise early, but the busy people are out of luck, sooner or later trapped in falling behind living up to all their ambitions.

Truly, it's a mystery to me.

dorms entrance

I sleep well, but Pritish's sickness develops and he needs more time to rest in the morning. Pretty unfortunate timing on my end.

He could go to the hospital, I'm told the basic health care is free in Bangladesh - if he weren't so busy with tutoring to make ends meet.

Doesn't it remind you of someone?

Pritish's DYI desk

Tanwi, his younger friend hailing from the same village, comes out to give me a tour of the town.

There is maybe half a mile long street brimming with spices, vegetables, chicken, legumes... inviting to peruse and sample, until you get honked at ten times a minute by rikshas pushing the crowd. And well, in my case, constantly yelled at by the friendly onlookers who somehow seem to lose the ability to judge when they spot a white person.

Bengali version of the Indian t-shirt could simply have an outline of any country, with any name and everyone would be ecstatic.

rail station

In the afternoon I head out to see nearby Unesco - protected ancient mosque.

It's 15 miles out of Khulna and I figure since there are direct buses, it'll be a straightforward affair.

My undying optimism will be the death of me.

I have 2 hours to get there, to be able to spend an hour on location, before returning in time to catch my night bus out of town.

city park

One CNG later, I'm getting on a bus, which seems full and is just pulling out.

Two crossroads later the driver leaves everyone inside sweat and stare at a battery of beggars and peanut sellers swarming the still bus.

After twenty minutes we pick two more customers, unload the pandemonium and get back to the business.

dealers in notebooks and shame

But the bus has had it with the bothersome humans and few miles in the engine bursts (nearly) into flames.

We pull to the curb.

It's boiling inside, but people wait. They've given up their money already. It reminds me a hostage situation, like back in Nepal; we'll go further, after you pay us more!

when your bus is one fire, pump it up!

30 minutes pass and the window for me to visit the landmark closes.

I argue with the tout, who doesn't want to give me back the fare, but since I'm standing in the door with other passengers outside, he angrily throws some change at me.

right back at'cha

Guinea pigs have more personal integrity.

fresh air please

On the way back I decide it's an opportunity to invite my hosts for a coffee, with the saved money from unpaid entrance fee. Certainly a much more delightful and reasonable investment.

Sightseeing in Bangladesh simply isn't my thing it seems.

...they're both too busy to come. Of course. But I manage to get a coffee to go and few more fruits to accompany another delicious Tanwi's dinner.

Reminds me how we used to cook in Italy for our friends, who'd as a thanks bring drinks and deserts. It feels so friendly and natural. Do you do the same, or something similar? Share in the comments!

landcruiser

Quick shower afterwards and off to the night again. I spot few real buses, with beds inside, but end up boarding another seater; there's always tomorrow's night to catch up on sleep. Right, early risers?

off into the sunset

The goal tonight is Chittagong, Bangladesh's second largest city and their major international port.

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