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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Fleeing India

Delhi is, and I think always will be, the least user friendly airport in the world.

Departure highlight:

The X-ray guys, all three of them, sitting for minutes in a mindless topor, staring at each other, the baggage on the belt, the waiting people... eventually they push around one or two bags... and return to their blank stares, with legs stretched up.

And bags pile up, and people wait, and the cops don't give one ounce of shit.

On the bright side, Indigo acknowledged the existence of VoA (visa on arrival) and let me board the plane; first set of hurdles crossed.

last change exchanged - keeping the rare 20 INR coin / the messiest ticket ever

Plane's half empty and after an hour of flying away from Delhi, we start seeing the ground again. In another thirty minutes, we're above Bangladesh, whose highest mountain stands proudly at 4.200 feet. That's even less than Britain's Ben Nevis! You could trip over it and not notice.

they make up for it with 99% humidity

in 99% of the country

leaving endless Delhi

almost European countryside

First impression:

Chimneys everywhere, especially in the water. Perhaps to let the fish smoke? And panel buildings, which are essentially chimneys with people stuffed in them.

submerged country - 79% of Bangladesh is a river delta

count the chimneys!

First Bangladeshi joke:

How can you tell Bangladeshi from an Indian? Bangladeshi remains seated, when asked to on the plane.

landing in Dhaka

one forgotten bag please - and a fistful of a new currency

Immigration.

Visa on arrival is not $21, as the official website says, but $51. Good thing I got the whole dollar-alphabet. Gotta check if e-visa would've come up at the lower price tag.

can't, it'd only show after submitting

anyone coming to join, who'd check?

The cop doesn't care for the flight. There goes thousand dollars (back to my brother, I hope).

Or my bank statements.

"How long do you want to stay?" "A month." "...but you only booked two nights." "I might want to travel..."

The officer looks at me in disbelief.

"Book the full month."

First rule or a wise traveller: lie.

Second rule: make shit up.

Third rule: deny everything.

So I do. What even is the point? Ever since bookings are made and cancelled in seconds online. To deport me, if I dare to wander off? Mayhaps.

The cop laughs, when my booked place has no name. But it has the best reviews across all booking apps.

Finally when I say that I'm a writer, he laughs and asks me to write something nice, in my words, about his country and send it to him for a read. I may actually do that... after I leave.

Be wise. Lie. Say nothing.

Isn't the world we live in beautiful?

welcome to Bangladesh!

Well, Bangladesh is.

It's as noisy as India, and as busy, but it gives a little more space.

The bus ride of 10 miles to the city center takes an hour.

in India buses resemble gods on wheels - here war conducting circus escapees

By the time I get off of the bus, it's night.

And I have no data - no way of contacting the property.

I go find dinner and wifi.

"Do you want chicken, mutton or fish?" "Anything veg?" "Like ... vegetables?"

I get chicken with rice, and, just for me, few slices of cucumber and a lime, and a small pile of chillies.

I skipped lunch - I shovel it all gladly in and manage to reach the guesthouse owner in the meanwhile.

day's largest challenge - sleeping without a blanket. I dare you to try!

The room I booked is full. I suppose he figured I wouldn't show.

wrong house

I didn't show in Lahore, Pakistan ---

Operatively, he relocates me to another property - a call centre.

If you, or someone you know, gets scammed tonight, let me know and I'll tell my new friends to send you your money back!

that's Kolkata

stop hating India already!

fair. moving on.

Bangladesh.

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