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Cox's Bazar


Everyone knew Cox's Bazar as Bangladesh's dedicated tourist resort town, and after frenetic Dhaka I certainly fancied the chance to chill out and savour the allegedly freely available beer. The shock of unusually aggressive touts and rickshaw wallahs upon arrival just re-affirmed my determination to go my own way, but it was a bit of a runaround before I managed to secure a bed. The eternally overzealous room attendant boy would not let me be until he had changed my clean looking bed sheet for a noticeably dirtier one, swept the spotless floor and emptied the empty bin. It may have just been motivated by a quest for baksheesh, but like many incalcitrants I had dealt with they seemed to have a slave mentality almost symptomatic of the Caste system, and I was always referred to as "boss". Unfortunately fatigue then got the better of me, I paid for not even having the resolve to rig my mosquito net effectively and so managed little more that day besides an hour on the remarkably available net either side of its non connection. A very good restaurant was still cheap though, and in wandering the gloomy streets that night just to check things out I surprisingly ran into Luis, the Catalan nationalist I had met the week before. He was singularly determined to tell all-comers that he was from Barcelona and not Spain, a thorougly inappropriate point which I'm quite sure was lost on the locals. He had just received the same zealous welcoming committee as I and so after finding him a very good value bed he promptly resolved to leave immediately the next morning. I took his point that it was a shame some of the locals had adopted the money grabbing mentality so symptomatic of India. It had unfortunately broken the spell of the Bangla peoples' charm to a degree, but I still didnt understand why you wouldnt at least spare an hour or 2 for the joint. For better or worse, Cox's Bazar still had its place, and at 300 metres wide and a whopping 120Ks long, it was ground zero for the worlds longest and widest beach no less. Surely that deserved at least a peek? I toyed with the idea of accompanying him to revered St. Martin's Island the next day, a coral paradise and Bangladesh's most southerly reach, but my shortly expiring visa would have meant going there just to immediately come back. Next time, I promised myself, there was Rangamati and the Hill Tribes to investigate too. Issuing only a 15 day visa for this country really took the piss, and they certainly could do with the extra cash.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Bangladesh

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