Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The rains have come...

Streets were already starting to fill with water. Everyone was carefully hiding under the street-side roofs while trying to get a CNG rickshaw. While a local musician was blowing his flute, one local was trying to be the first of twenty (including us) to get a CNG rickshaw, bolts of lightning were striking the heart of Chittagong, and we were getting a cold because temperatures suddenly dropped to 25 degrees, a very kind and soaked man with umbrella was throwing himself at the traffic to make a CNG rickshaw stop for us.

And off we went into the night in a rickshaw that was surprisingly dry, while streets were surprisingly wet. It is sheer impossible to get public transport when it's raining, unless you're willing to be soaked. Rain is not only good for the land, it is also good for the CNG rickshaw drivers. They take the risk of damaging their motors, while they can make twice the profit (no bargaining once you are safe and sound under the rickshaw's roof!).

Once at our guesthouse, we had to wade through the local sewer: our front gate appears to be the lowest land of the neighborhood. I think we mentioned something about sanitation issues in our latest blog. This time the fishes came for us, no need to go on field trips purposefully! Just on a side note, there is no sewer system in this city. People use sceptic tanks, if they can afford it. If not, then they either use latrine pits or the local gutter... which is the one that ends in our front gate...

...all our experiences here are intense. We live a hundred lives and there is something magical about this place that is hard to put in words. The feeling of relief that comes with the first rains is a real experience: even the rickshaw wallahs were laughing and having fun while getting soaked to the bone.


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