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  • Writer's pictureVoita

The southern ends of Bangladesh

We leave shortly after five and by half past are sat on a bus. It's another hour until the bus is ready to leave the city, and by then Ponkaj announces that he has turn back on urgent business. I can't help but wonder if that's because I refused to pay for his ticket. Something about Bangladeshis expecting me to take them with me, if not to Europe, then at least around their country...

departure

Chattogram river


Five sweaty hours later I'm in Cox's bazar, the major tourist location of south. But since I'm alone... it'll be better to go all the way first, to give myself easier way out. And it'll be kinda iconic... from the southernmost end of Bangladesh, to the northernmost parts of Pakistan ... coming up next week.

skipping Cox's bazar

mighty bottocks

I catch another bus running the usual strategy - drive people out for ten minutes, to deny them changing their minds, and sit idle for forty minutes, baking everyone inside. And it's sunny down south, and hot. I'm well baked in, by the time bus finally fills up and gets moving.

road south views


Myanmar over the river / Google's "ferry port"

There are massive marches taking place throughout the area, screaming for the death of Izrael. Utterly pointless? Getting people used to violence and killing as a solution? Promise that if they die, they'll be avenged? Welcome to Christian world, 700 years ago, brought forth by a religion 700 years younger. Isn't it amazing, how human creations - states, religions, follow the same human patterns of maturing and expiring, except on much grander scales?

protests



Anyway, we take four hours instead of two, to reach the southern tip of Bengali mainland. Far too late for me to catch any ferry to the famed island of St. Martin, as few young guys explain to me in a prolonged, Google Translated debate.

"Hiker?

My jaw drops as that's a word several levels above the standard local knowledge of English. I'm on my 4th hotel, checking for prices and possibilities to pay by card. I nod.

"I told them and asked to drop the price for you. And they agreed.

Sometimes things seem so simple.

official looking hotel

mosquito net fixing

views

In the evening I go sit at the beach to watch perhaps the first proper sunset I witness in the country and it paints the whole place in bright, warm colours and for a while, world seems like a better place. I get chatted by another group of local teens who are also able to take the conversation well beyond the stock you country?. What's up with this place?

I'm warned not to linger on the beach after dark, as misplaced Burmese refugees come out to prey on tourists and generally cause mayhem. Doesn't that remind you of anything?

beach sunset



The cheap room would be ok... had the power worked. Without the fan in full gear, I'm once again reduced to a dead bug melting into the bed, exhausted waiting for my demise. In the final minutes I retreat into the shower, and barely make it out. It's hot down here.

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