Chicken breast stroke
Jiajia and I have been tied to the bathroom for the last day or so! Today we were determined to get out and see "a sight" before leaving Khulna tomorrow. My guidebook described a pleasant rickshaw/ferry/bus trip to an ancient mosque. We took a rough hour-long rick ride to where the ferry should have been, only to find a huge bridge there now [see top left]. Undeterred, we found a way to get up onto the bridge and started to walk across. Half way, the heavens opened and we were getting drenched, when a motorised "baby-taxi" stopped and offered to take us to the old mosque. The roads quickly turned to mud [see top right] and it took us over an hour to complete the "30 minute trip".
The mosque was quite old, quite attractive [see above] and quite interesting. Nothing very impressive! Despite buying tickets to enter, and being very sensitive about those praying and not eating, we were quickly approached by the Imam (Head Muslim) who told us to please leave as soon as we had seen what we had to. Not the welcome we had expected - if you don't want visitors, don't advertise or sell tickets!
A nearby (dull) mosque held an unexpected surprise. Behind the building was a large man-made lake (built for water storage). As Jiajia and I sat there cooling off in the breeze, a man approached carrying a live chicken. "I wonder if chickens can swim?" I joked, and then to our surprise we watched as the man lobbed the chicken into the lake! And what do you know - chickens CAN swim! As the soaked and exhausted chicken reached the bank, the man picked it up and headed back to the mosque [see photo above left]. I suspect it was a ritual cleansing before a sacrifice ...or perhaps just a prelude to dinner? The journey back was by two big buses in torrential rain [see photo above right]. Ava raised plenty of glances as ever - it has been quite rare to see women in public here, and foreigners even more so.
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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