ok, so this is an epilogue. I’ve been back in Britain now almost three and a half weeks, which have been packed. I’ve got a job working for CAFOD, which is great, my grandmother died, which is awful, and Tottenham are not quite playing to their full potential, which is ugly.
Life in Britain is in many ways just as I remember it, but now I notice the little side shows, the vignettes of life that make Bangladesh so enthralling a lot more. I find Britain ridiculously over-bearing and constrained compared to Bangladesh, and also a lot quieter, but I can cope with the calm. I feel like we are so reserved and acceptant – when I arrived at Heathrow there was a queue of about a thousand people waiting for immigration, but it was an orderly queue, restrained and decent – when I think back to trying to cross the border to India with a few thousand Bangladeshis at Benepole, the comparison is hilarious.
The biggest difference is that everywhere is smoke free, which I don’t approve of at all – this is why – but apparently it makes public places more sociable. And yet when I was in a pub recently, they started to play ‘Lifted‘ by the Lighthouse Family, which I find incredibly anti-social and instantaneously vomit-inducing. In fact I’d rather be forced to eat a packet of Marlboro Reds and then smoke my excrement than listen to the Lighthouse Family. So the world’s gone mad, in pubs anyhow. Continue reading ‘Back in London’
Published September 3, 2007
Bangladesh , Books , Corruption , Cultural Differences , Democracy , Development , London , Media , Military Coup , Politics , State of Emergency
My contract with VSO was for a year, and today I will leave Bangladesh and return to England, bringing this time to a close. And almost certainly this blog, bar a possible epilogue from London. How to surmise a year? I haven’t found religion or myself, but I haven’t really looked. What’s so distracting is Bangladesh; it throws up surprises in every corner and I can’t help but be transfixed by it. Continue reading ‘Shesh in the Desh’
Published February 4, 2007
Bangladesh , Dhaka , London , Media , Pics
One of my best friends in Sylhet is a 13 year old boy called Kobir. He lives with his family in a small house just outside Sylhet, with his parents and eight brothers and sisters. They’re incredibly generous to me and lots of fun to be with.
Kobir speaks good English, because he’s been learning from Luke, who came to Sylhet nearly 3 years ago with VSO. Kobir also acts as my official interpreter! I am trying to teach Kobir cockney, but I probably shouldn’t. Luke helped Kobir create these three websites.
Kobir went to England over Christmas. This is his story of the trip.
Kobir also has another website about Bangladesh, which he showed to an English school he visited. It’s got some good pictures and interesting info, and a quiz to test your knowledge.
This is a website of pictures by Kobir’s brother, Samir. Samir is 15, completely self-taught, and really good. He’s also very generous, and a couple of these pictures now brighten up my dining room.
Published November 19, 2006
Democracy , London , Politics , Semi-Serious
Total bollocks, but no less than the normal rubbish that sits in Westminster. And almost more fun.
Check them out here
Published November 4, 2006
Environment , London , Maps , Pics
This used to be illegal, I think, but some clever guys with far too much time on their hands have used GPS technology, the freedom of information act and data released under a creative commons to create maps of the London tube network, as the lines physically are underground – as in not in the nice, ordered layout that makes it one of the best and simplest maps in the world – but how the tunnels actually cut through the earth below.
My friends Seany and Joe, this is for you especially.
Check it out. Awesome.