October 16 – 9.01am. Gate 1X at Dhaka international airport. My flight is in 2 hours.
My adventure in Bangladesh ends here, where it started 2 weeks ago. Just 15 days have passed but I feel I’ve been here much longer. In these 2 weeks so many things have happened, so many wonderful people have crossed my path. I still cannot believe at what I’ve faced during my stay in Dhaka and surrounding. Dhaka, a city that I didn’t even know it existed, has stolen my heart. And not for the city itself. As I said time and time again, Dhaka is not a beautiful city. It’s not even a friendly city.
Everything is a mess, it’s dirty, is tourist unfriendly, it’s chaotic, it’s hot but Bengalis are the most amazing people I met in my life. To them the guest is the king, the guest deserves all their attention, the guest has to be attended in every possible way. The guest doesn’t have to miss of nothing.
During my stay in Bangladesh I’ve felt like a movie star. Never in my life I had so many pictures taken. Strangers in the street, at the restaurant, in the park stopped me to take a selfie with me. I have been stared at and scrutinized to the point of being uncomfortable. But I felt like home everywhere I went. The Bengalis heart is bigger than anyone’s heart. I’ve been helped by total strangers, I’ve been given food and drink for free, just for being a guest. I’ve been asked time and again where I’m from and what do I do in Bangladesh (just visiting??? As if they could not believe that someone wanted just visit their country).
Bangladesh, where men go hand in hand on the street, where the ads are still hand painted on the walls, where having drinks means drinking tea at the closer “tong”, where there is no official bus stop and traffic lights are non existent, where Barcelona is know for Camp Nou (Sagrada Familia… What’s that?), where people eat with their hands, has a special place my heart.
But many of the people that have accompanied me these days have a dream to leave the country. Usually to Canada or Germany. I discovered that there is a big community of Bengalis in Italy. Youth don’t like their country, they wanna flee, they believe that everything is corrupted and that there is no future for them here. Government doesn’t make things easy for anybody. This is a jungle (especially in the traffic) and everybody tries to survive as best as they can.
Once again I didn’t travel to the “best” parts of the country. I haven’t been to Cox’s bazar, the longest beach in the world, I haven’t been to the islands or haven’t seen any waterfall. But this place will always be special to me.
Thank you Joy, Shoshee, Rossi, Rasel, Pryom, Adnan, Shammi, Mukul, Shariful, Dola, Ishti and everybody else for making this trip memorable. You will always have a friend in my. I will never forget you.