Amazon Woman

img_1964I doubt that this beautiful lady’s life is some romanticized imagining, but, she certainly didn’t need to smile or even tolerate me. She could have told me to eff off. Instead, she put up with my lens.

img_1940This lady, in her practical rubber boots and long sleeves (and ripped t-shirt), was a strong contrast to the locals who dress up in traditional costume for the tourists every day. img_2246

I wish her well.img_1954

Day Boat Trip Out of Dhaka

Our proud prow.
Our proud prow.

It is possible to take a one day boat trip out of Dhaka. We used a company that charged around 2,500 Taka per adult if there there at least 20 adults. The boat is spacious (and shaped like a peacock!) and we had it all to ourselves. Lunch and several touristy stops were included: we had a quick walk to an old estate, a stop for a swim (dolphins were also promised but alas), and a visit to a village where the laborers make “jamdani” saris. The “jamdani” clothe is a woven gauze and very expensive due to the labor involved in weaving it.

The country estate.
The country estate.
Jamdani weavers working on saris.
Jamdani weavers working on saris.

I enjoyed sitting on the rooftop deck, in a comfy chair, watching the river float by. Plus, there is a toilet on the boat. So the day out included two hours in traffic, six hours on the boat, and an hour back to Dhaka.

Grab a chair in the shade and enjoy the breeze.
Grab a chair in the shade and enjoy the breeze.

Fishing for Rocks in Jaflong

Medieval misery in Jaflong's rock fisheries.
Medieval misery in Jaflong’s rock fisheries.

As an alluvial delta, Bangladesh has few rocks. In Jaflong, in the northeast corner of Bangladesh, they fish for rocks. The rocks are fished from the river, broken, loaded onto trucks and taken off to be turned into cement. Jaflong sits on the invisible border with India and was once considered a beautiful place. Even now, amidst the horrors of backbreaking labor and touristy traps, you can still see the faded glory in the bridge and the hills.

Moving rocks from river to boat to truck.
Moving rocks from river to boat to truck.

It’s hard to see the beauty through the lifeless eyes and the maelstrom of medieval tableaux.

Sun sets on Jaflong.
Sun sets on Jaflong.
India is on the far side of the crowd.
India is on the far side of the crowd.

 

Pottery Village Trip in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi river boat driver.

Photos are still the best souvenirs. The one I got here of our boat driver was my favorite from the hundreds I took on a touristy trip to a village where they make pottery. While the trip was geared for tourists and the villagers are used to being photographed, they were still kind and friendly to us. I didn’t feel so milked as I have in many other “villages” around the world. On top of which, at this village, the forced shopping component was at a pit stop along the road back to Dhaka. It was a fun day out.

The expert fixing one of the bowls.

The bowls we got to try our hands are mainly used for yogurt.

Stylish lady and her 95-year-old mother.
The villagers asked to have their photos taken.