thank god for mimosa. if she didn’t leave a comment on every single post on this site, i would give up writing, move to alaska and have hot passionate sex with penguins. therefore, i probably shouldn’t be thanking her, but perhaps the penguins should. she’s saved them infinite pain.
as for the other two people who’ve left comments on this site – CALove and psmithie – who the hell are you? no, please, rudeness aside, i really would like to know who you are and how you found my site. if you too have a blog, i’ll add the links to the bar on the right, which, you will notice, has grown in size as i added some of my favorite funny blogs to the list.
well, since my secret’s out (see the comments on the previous post) and all of you now know that i live in bangladesh, i guess it’s time for a rant on the country. this rant is not to be confused with the previous rant on the country, as this one is significantly longer and more graphic. if you are weak at heart or just simply stupid, i suggest you not read further. in fact, here are a list of things you could be doing instead:
2. reading a good book
3. listening to music
still reading? good. you better. so here we go:
things i detest about bangladesh
1. cool people in cool cars: allow me to wax lyrical here. the latest trend in bangladesh is to take an ancient car, usually toyota corollas from the 80s, and add so many parts and upgrades that it looks nothing like a toyota corolla from the 80s, but instead resembles a toyota corolla from the 80s with a severe identity crisis, attempting to disguise itself as a cooler car. i blame movies like fast and the furious and games like need for speed underground for this recent addiction, but i’m not complaining – it does liven the roads up a bit.
along with the new spoilers, exhaust pipes, neon and other assorted spare parts, people like to install brand new state of the art sound systems in their car, with high powered woofers and tweeters and what-not. that, in itself, is not annoying. the annoying part is the music that people choose to play with their new sound systems: stuff like michael jackson and other random assorted hindi movie crap. now, clearly the people in this country have not yet learnt the very important lesson of how to mix music for maximum effect, leading to cars with either very high bass levels, or very high treble levels. therefore, the immediate effect of such a quandary is that the chance that you will be woken up at 2 in the morning by the bass line of “beat it” or the high-pitched noise of the latest hindi blockbuster movie are very high.
if only i had a baseball bat, so many problems would be solved.
2. traffic: well, to be honest, the traffic situation, while terrible, is caused solely by a group of drivers whose driving provides ample evidence that their intelligence is of substandard level. first of all, the concept of lanes is completely lost on all these people. i was in a traffic jam today, waiting for 25 minutes, because some genius in the right lane decided he wanted to turn left, and therefore decided to block the entire road in an effort to get from right to left. even my boss got frustrated. of course, he’s generally angry all the time, so that wasn’t a surprise.
as for the driving skills of these people: clearly, they all learnt driving from satan himself. if there is a gap barely enough for a motorcycle to fit, you can bet that three different cars will try to fit into it, leading to yelling matches between the drivers of the vehicles. and when the traffic starts moving again, you can bet that the three drivers will still be too engaged in their heated argument to notice. and then everyone will start honking. like crazy.
as for when the inevitable accident happens, the standard custom is to quickly get out of your car, leaving it in the middle of the road where you stopped, in order to yell at the person who crashed into you. if you’re lucky, some random passerby will get involved, and try and beat up the offending guy (i’m not kidding). and then the cops will come along, and you know it’s time to pull out the wallet, otherwise all the honking people behind you will never get to go where they need to.
but seriously, when it takes 25 minutes to travel a distance of 2 km, you know something’s wrong. thank god i don’t drive in this country much. otherwise i would kill nearly everyone in a fit of road rage.
3. pedestrians: while this should be a part of #2, i feel it is imperative that it is addressed seperately. the intelligence quotient of the average bangladeshi pedestrian is somewhere between that of a snail and that of the rock that the snail is trying to crawl under. clearly, it is a fashionable trend to cross the road without looking to see if traffic is coming. the other day, while driving along gulshan avenue, i felt it necessary to stop the car and have this conversation with someone crossing the road:
me: pardon me, sir, but is your name gulshan?
pedestrian: [confused] umm, no
me: then stop crossing the road like you own it, asshole!
the other annoying habit of pedestrians is noticeable when you are the only car on the road and someone wants to cross the street about a mile down the road. these people will stand there, staring at you like they’ve never seen a car before, and then, just when you are a few feet away, they will attempt to run across the road like a rabbit on steroids. of course, this can only have one of two possible consequences:
1. you slam on your brakes, hitting your nose on the steering wheel; or
2. you hit the person.
now, there is no way to escape this situation without pain. either you could hit your nose hard on the steering wheel, or you could get beaten up by a massive crowd that suddenly materializes out of nowhere on what you thought was a deserted street. and then the cops show up, and you have no choice but to pull out your wallet and bribe them so they don’t drag you off to jail and rape you. so you end up with a broken body and no money. great.
4. law and order: ah, i’m sure you thought that this would be #1, didn’t you, especially after this. but there isn’t much to say. the last time i got mugged, back in january, a policeman was standing about 10 feet behind me when it happened. and that is the primary problem in regards to the law and order situation. the policemen are out to make a quick buck, in any way possible. therefore, when not mugging people themselves, they get a percentage from the muggers themselves in exchange for looking the other way. however, if the intelligence of the last two muggers is any indication, mugging will soon become a lost art of bangladesh. sigh.
5. the roads: once again, this goes hand in hand with # 2 above. i don’t know what they use to make the roads here, but i’m absolutely certain that it is water-soluble. why else would the roads suddenly melt away and disintegrate as soon as the first rain drop of the monsoon hits them? this invariably leads to huge gaping holes big enough to swallow half the universe at one go.
6. kids: first a little clarification – by kids, i mean anyone younger than me, which, at last count, numbered in the millions. these kids, who definitely have watched more television in the last week than i have in my entire existence, seem to be taking over the country. it is nearly impossible to go anywhere without bumping into at least one of these specimens. what bothers me about these kids is not the individuals themselves, but their confusion over who they are. let me elaborate: these are kids who grew up under the influence of cable television, which brought the best of hollywood and bollywood into their lives. therefore, under the influence of these conflicting worlds, where people either wear skimpy clothing, or wear skimpy clothing and prance around, they’ve lost touch with their own culture and what it means to be bangladeshi. the other day, i saw this kid, not more than 15 years of age, in a black t-shirt with a heavy metal bands logo, what seemed to be approximately 52 piercings on his face, with a real live snake wrapped around his wrist. and with him was a girl in a tanktop and skimpy shorts. five years ago, both would have been stoned to death – the boy for being a gay wannabe, and the girl for being a slut. being the lover of nostalgia that i am, i chucked large rocks at them until they figured out which direction the rocks were coming from and proceeded to chase me. but i outran the little fuckers.
and then there are the ultra-extremist bangladeshis, with long hair and huge flowing beards that would make gandalf jealous, adorned in panjabis and, just to prove that they are still slightly modern, a pair of jeans. these specimens freak me out more than anybody else. i’m afraid to walk down a dark alley with them, because i fear that they will corner me and burst into some deep bengali poetry, possibly from tagore or from jatiyo kobi nazrul islam, that will leave me with nothing but an intense desire to kick them in the balls. the kids, not the poets.
but they should all be shot. or locked up at home and beaten with belts. until they learn to:
b. cut their hair
c. not pierce their faces
d. wear clothing that covers more than 0.02% of their body
e. not carry wild reptiles wrapped around their wrists.
whew. i’m tired. all this ranting has made me exhausted. i’m going to go now and finish this list sometime later. in the meantime, i must admit mimosa has the right idea: don’t come to bangladesh, if you value your life. you’ll be mugged in a dark alley by a cop while a bengali hippy recites some ancient poetry, and then you will fall into a huge gaping hole in the road, which you will climb out of with great difficulty, only to be run over by a car blaring michael jackson’s “bad” at tremendously loud volumes, which swerves to avoid a dumbass pedestrian crossing the street without looking for oncoming traffic.
that is, of course, if you’re lucky.