Ramadan is almost over and everyone (except the guard, the dog and the cat) has left the office/house to spend time with their families for Eid. For the first time in my life, I have a real understanding how non-Christians must feel at Christmastime.Eid is a BIG DEAL, so we’re taking a week-long break from English class. All of my students have invited me to their homes for the celebration (which is the sweetest, most heart-warming thing ever), but unfortunately, I can’t go, and I’m sincerely disappointed about it. It would have been so interesting to experience this new-to-me holiday in such an authentic way, not to mention getting an even closer look at Bangladeshi village life while bonding with my students.
So why can’t I go? Well, the village is an hour away and I have no transportation of my own. Even if I did, I’m not sure I would risk driving there; the road conditions are beyond insane — so insane that I intend to write an entire post on it. (Update: Post written here.) Suffice it to say, every single time I travel to the village, fear grabs my heart and throws it into my stomach as we narrowly avoid collisions with countless obstacles — and that’s with a professional driver behind the wheel.
And forget public transport. On normal days, the buses are overcrowded with people packed in like sardines, limbs hanging out windows, numerous passengers sitting on the roof alongside piles of cargo. I’m told that during Eid, it’s a thousand times worse.
I could have gotten a ride. One of my students offered to come to Jessore on his motorbike and take me to the village. I was ready to do it, but then the HR manager said it wasn’t safe. I tried to argue with him, but something told me he’s right.
So here I sit in a quiet four-bedroom house. It’s not exactly the night before Christmas. Creatures are still stirring. The cat is torturing lizards. The dog is torturing the cat. The mosquitoes are torturing me.
But there is an unusual stillness. It’s kinda nice actually. The kind of aloneness that isn’t lonely.
Let’s see how I feel at Christmas.
Until then, Eid Mubarak!