Bangladesh

Over the River & Through The Fields

When I first told friends that I’d be working for some months in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, one of my most world-knowledgeable friends came back with two quick fun facts: a) that Cox’s Bazar has the world’s longest stretch of uninterrupted sandy beach, and b) something more complicated about Portuguese trading from Chittagong port, the word farang, and where Star Trek’s creators got the name for their fictional inter-stellar traders the ferengi. (Clearly, I’ll have to find time to follow up on that particular point since I would not pass the pop-quiz right now…)

Having flown down from Dhaka now more than five weeks ago, and been now numerous times along the road south from the town of Cox’s en route to the southern Upazila (and town) of Ukhiya, I have greatly enjoyed the lovely northern part of this long beach – staring out the window at waves lapping on the shore while listening to my i-pad so as to block out the endless honks of tom-toms, trucks and other cars. I hope at some point to dip further down into Teknaf Upazila and see the full extent of this lovely and extensive beach.

Up here in Cox’s, where I’m spending most of my nights and days just now, I see the beach behind tall hotels of the tourist trade – this being one of the main tourist attractions in BG: see for example the photo of our local river (chock full of moon boats), as seen from the eighth storey of the building which houses our office. Driving south, one passes many moon boats (seen in close-up courtesy of my colleague Hope, and from a moving vehicle while crossing the bridge of this post’s title, in two photos side-by-side just below), then more beach, crosses the bridge, sees more lovely beach, then turns inland past the lovely paddy fields noted in the title and seen both above and below. So…for my friends and family who wonder what I’m seeing day to day – a few shots from recent weeks of the lovelier side of this part of the world. (Plus my favorite street food while shopping, and me at dawn by the paddy fields of Ukhiya town.) Enjoy – and happy December, one and all!