30 Final Days of Bangladesh – Day 9 – Bargain shopping

 

 


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Today Wifey, Surola mashi and I went into town for some last-minute shopping.

Taking a vangari, we enjoyed the view of the fields between LAMB and Parbatipur, our nearest town. Then, into the market area to get the shopping done. We had three things on our wish list.

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Surola mashi dealt with the food needed for Thing I’s impending teenage biday party coming up.

Wifey and I went to get cases we desperately need for leaving. Staff at LAMB  are beginning to panic about the four large barrels of stuff we need shipping and seven cases plus a sitar coming with us on the plane. With all the hartals going on, it is difficult to persuade anyone to transport anything at all. One friend today reported that twenty-two people have been killed in blockade skirmishes in the last five days alone. The Dhaka Tribune reports that petrol bombs were thrown into a bus full of people killing three so far with more expected to succumb to burn injuries soon. The current plan is that we pack everything in the next week and send it off to Dhaka living out of one case and our hand luggage for our remaining time at LAMB. I’m not sure how easy that will be but, needs must…

We managed to buy four cases after much damadami, bargaining, and a fair amount of tea drinking. These were then loaded and secured on to our vangari. 

The third thing was gifts for all of Wifey’s staff at the Rehab centre. After much more damadami and a fair amount of trying to explain to the dokaners that identical punjabs for the male staff would make their gifts look more like uniforms than something special, we managed to secure the gifts and get home.

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A quick visit to another dokan for some bits and bobs and then we found out vangari wallah and headed back to LAMB .

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By the time we got home, the Opposition party had announced yet another 72-hour hartal beginning on Saturday at 6am. The current 131-hour one hasn’t even finished yet. I really have no idea how this stalemate will be broken.

Update: It was only after I completed this post that I realised just what date it is. I knew it was coming but my mind obviously blanked the day out itself. Four years ago today,  I lost my father. I remember my sister’s text message that morning telling me to “ring Mum” and the swift arrangements needed to get my family and I home from Bangladesh to the UK for his funeral.

It was ironic that while I was further away from him than ever in my whole life, I couldn’t have been closer.

About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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10 Responses to 30 Final Days of Bangladesh – Day 9 – Bargain shopping

  1. Pingback: 30 Final Days of Bangladesh – Day 16 – A celebration, not a Goodbye | kenthinksaloud

  2. Pingback: 30 Final Days of Bangladesh – Day 10 – A Teenage Biday | kenthinksaloud

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness ken….you don’t do things by halves! I hope and pray that you and your family. …and for that matter all your things….get back to the UK safely.
    I remember how I learned of your father’s death…I was at a carol service when prayers were said for him and all of you and your family. I imagine he would be extremely proud of what you and your family have achieved at LAMB.

    Like

  4. Anne Negrini says:

    I am sorry for all that messy situation, Ken, but TIB … and you still have time to send your suitcases and barrels by vangari to Dhaka … I love reading your daily account of moving out, it reminds me of the time we left!

    Like

  5. Norah says:

    I’m sorry Ken. Hope you’re doing okay. I’m sure if your dad was around today, he’d be very proud of you and your family🙂.

    Like

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