Pros (and cons)
Bangladesh hasn't been the toughest country I've travelled in (Paraguay - I'm looking at you!), but it's probably in the top (bottom?) three! Ava's found it particularly hard - vomiting for days on end takes the shine off any adventure. On the positive side though, it is country #95 for me - one closer to the magic 100 - and it does make you grateful for what you often take for granted (unbroken pavements, clean food, cool climate, etc). It's also been quite cheap and just a 2 hour direct flight from Kunming. But by far the most impressive memory I will take with me has been the friendliness of the people. Some are just "helpful" in the hope of a tip, but the vast majority are genuinely outgoing, curious and delighted to meet a foreigner. The opening question has always been, "What is your country's name?" - an unusual and quaint construction, but eliciting an excited response when England is named ("Britain" gets a blank stare, sorry!) as the conversation rapidly turns to cricket (of which I know nothing). One 20-second greeting stands out for me; on hearing I was from England, an elderly gentleman with remarkably good English simply said, "Ah, England. A land of great civility. Sir, I apologise for our country's infrastructure but hope you will experience the warmth of our people." And with that he smiled and walked off.
Comments are closed.
Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
Past blog entries