Friday, 17 April 2009

Ali Baba's Rickshaw Ride

Meanwhile, back at the Nabanna we started the day with another big breakfast and then took some take-away shingaras for our lunch. What a treat they were!
Millions of rickshaw wallahs were waiting outside our hotel and as we walked onto the street, we became the centre of attention (yet again!). At this point we met Ali Baba; well, that’s what all the other rickshaw drivers call him. He was friendly and had no problem taking us down south in the direction of Inani beach.
The rickshaw ride turned out to be longer than we’d expected, and poor Ali Baba looked a little knackered towards the end. Finally we went just past Himachari, where we went before, and went to the beach again. We did not forget to leave Ali Baba a healthy looking tip for all his hard work. This actually made him so happy that he was waiting for us halfway up the beach to take us back again. However, we had very sore behinds from the one-and-a-half hour rickshaw ride outwards, and so we relished the opportunity to take a long walk back home.
As we walked up the beach the weather became very dramatic with clouds of doom and gloom. Up to a certain point we thought we were in the eye of the storm as not only could we see heavy rain and choppy waves out at sea, but also bucket loads of rain pelting into the sand ahead, creating an atmospheric mist. Just when we thought we had got away with it, the rainy weather turned in our direction and soaked we were, with several miles still to walk. The rain was a cooling relief from the hot and humid environment.
We later met some herdsmen with their cattle walking along the beach, which was marvellous. The old herdsman spoke to us in Bangla and we responded with our basic knowledge of this beautiful language.

As we carried on up the beach towards Cox’s Bazar we suddenly heard some fishermen shouting to us and miming things with their hands. It soon became clear that they needed help recovering their boat from the water’s edge so we made our way over to help. We noticed a modest catch of small, bright, shiny fish glistening on the deck of the boat. It didn’t seem like much, but it was enough to feed their community and make some extra money
As we gradually pushed the lumbering gondola up the beach we all sang to the command of the captain: he chanted poetic phrases and we all responded heartily with “Hey-ya”. They were grateful for our help, but alas, we trundled on towards the Angel Drop for a lassi. However, we did not drink lassi due to yet another power-cut in the region.
By the time it was time to eat again though, there was electricity all over Cox's Bazar.

1 comment: