Bangladesh: Elements and the Day

As seen from the street.

Elements

It’s 7:45 pm and it is divine outside.

This morning, the first thunderstorm came, leaving small lakes, clearing the air, and dropping the temperature.

For several hours this evening, the sky was heavy and filled with promise.

And then the deluge came.

More water than air. And loud.

The electricity cut off at the most opportune time, showcasing the magnificent display of lightning.

Now the air is clear, the mosquitoes are in hiding plotting their return, it is almost cool, the road is more river than land.

The day

I’ve had a day of contrasts, as is often the case in this town:

The Mighty Tower - 19 floors of UN
The Mighty Tower – 19 floors of UN

Sweating in an auto-rickshaw for 40 minutes in the traffic to get to work. Watching the driver spit through the metal cage of the door every few minutes. Most of the spit didn’t make it through the cage.

I wonder if he has TB – it’s quite common here.

Through security and up to the office – a phallic tower declaring the strength of the UN to the city. There are many lifts, a continual flow of great big UN vehicles into the basement, and guards on every floor.

Nah, I’ve had enough of this for today –

The Diplomat gives me a ride to his offices in the hospital. This road seems far less oppressive and immediate when seen from a fancy car with a flag on the bonnet.  And a driver in a suit.

Who doesn’t spit. Not ever. Not Jamal.

The Old Cholera Hospital is a far cry from the embarrassingly obvious statement that is the UN Building.   It is practical, and accessible.  You don’t have to go through a metal detector to get close to it. The wide halls are open to the air outside through metal grills, not sealed behind glass.

Feel free to delete any history you want in this country.
Feel free to delete any history you want in this country.

I split my working hours between the two. I’m keeping it real.

And home again – on a rickshaw, watching the sky darken, waiting for the rain.

In the old hospital  - Inside is quite open to the outside,
In the old hospital – Inside is quite open to the outside,
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