How to kill one's appetite

Trip Start Mar 03, 2005
Trip End Apr 08, 2006

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Flag of Bangladesh  , Chittagong,
Monday, February 27, 2006

Never a dull moment in Bangladesh! I arrived back in Cox's Bazar the previous evening, and after dinner I met Abu and a friend of his for some tea. He invited me to another friend's place for lunch which seemed like a good plan as the bus to Dhaka wasn't until 8pm meaning I had the entire day to kill.

After a reasonably quiet morning spent either on the beach or in an internet cafe I met Abu who took me to his Awami Students league office. Awami are one of the major political parties in Bangladesh, although currently the BNP holds power. The walls of this office were absolutely covered in political posters and Abu did his best to explain what all of them meant. The thing I'll forever remember about this place though aren't the posters, but a friendly lawyer I met. He offered me a wife, and seemed quite surprised when I told him I wasn't after one!

I also met the student's league president of Cox's Bazar, a man by the name of Kanak. He seemed to find my mere presence utterly hilarious, and it was to his house we went for lunch. Whilst we were waiting for the lady of the house to prepare lunch (an absolutely stunning woman who unfortunately I only got a fleeting glimpse of) Kanak showed me a photo album which included shots of him and Abu with the Awami league president and former PM Sheikh Hassein, as well as a few disturbing shots of bloody bodies. I must say this freaked me out somewhat, but it was nothing compared to the book he later showed me, called "Rape of a Nation". It contained some horribly graphic photos of corpses and rape victims, who were members of the Awami league. The book seemed quite professionally made, with text in Bangla and English, and glossy pages with full colour photos. It was obviously written by the Awami league trying to highlight the atrocities committed by the ruling BNP, and all of a sudden I could understand why Kanak wanted to leave his home country so badly. However I can't say I was all that impressed by being shown this propaganda, and it certainly killed my appetite. I wasn't sure what Kanak hoped to achieve by showing me this, as my lone voice could hardly stop these sorts of killings.

After a late lunch we had some tea and then went down to the beach to watch the sunset. As we rode in a rickshaw I couldn't help but think about how bizare Cox's Bazar really was. It certainly had a nice beach, but the town was filthy, there was a large Burmese presence and destitute looking prostitutes everywhere. By this stage Abu's constant hocking of his lungs was really getting to me, and after a short walk along the beach I said goodbye and went back to my hotel. I was looking forward to getting the hell out of there!
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Munim on

i believe KANAK thought of u as a foreign journalist... so u would make a story about it on a foreign paper. these politicians are not the main-streamers of out country. please avoid these corrupt ones. we Bangladeshis hate them.

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