Saturday, January 21, 2006

The ties that bind

So we’re all back in Dhaka and as I briefly mentioned in the last post, the visits to the other places in the country will have to wait for another time. Probably cos’ the one thing I hate about visiting Bangladesh is the lack of even mundane things to do on daily basis. If it weren’t for the few sources of entertainment I brought with me (i.e. the books and Mp3 player and access to Dad’s laptop) I would’ve either lost my bearings and/or finalize my plans to go to Malaysia and Singapore.

Thankfully the latter materialized and I got Dad to pick the tickets up for me from the local Singapore Airlines agent in Dhaka because for one my Bengali sucks and I can’t let that get in the way of dealing with the booking agent and risk further embarrassment. Anyhow I’m due to fly out to Singapore from here in 5 days time for a two week backpacking tour of the island and onto Kuala Lumpur and Penang and/or Langkawi in Malaysia. It doesn’t seem like much but I haven’t gone backpacking before and I’ve got a tight budget so this will have to do for now.

Ok so that’s roughly my travel plans for there. After we all got back from Sylhet yesterday (the ‘coach’ was a tin can on four wheels) I sort of had a small succession of epiphanies, I think they were brought on by my experiences of sheer difference between the people I met in Sylhet and the ones in the city of Dhaka! By that I mean the down-to-earthness of the people I met in my Mom’s hometown of Comilla and those I met in Sylhet.

I think what I’m trying to get at is how we’re all insecure in our own little ways but these insecurities manifest themselves more or are at least more visible in city folk than those who lead a considerably simpler lifestyle. And you sort of see it more in developing countries because people’s desires are – how can I put it?, more primitive.
Everyone’s at each other’s throats when it comes to the acquisition of property, land, belongings etc. From the politicians in their daily mudslinging contests right through to the kids playing on the streets everyone has so much contempt for each other.

In the midst of it all – and more importantly as an observer, you realize that all this crazy behaviour is borne out of those more subtle and sensitive parts of the human psyche. Parts such as feelings of intense frustration, desperation and just general insecurity about our own existences.

For me personally, epiphanous revelations like this come and go usually but I refuse to let this particular universal notion of what makes us all human (and thus fragile beings) to just slip away and not have an active and positive impact on my ways of experiencing…well life really.

That’s enough ranting for today, next entry will come to you live (hopefully) from Singapore.

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