This is my favourite picture of Dhaka -- a shot from the BuriGangaBridge looking down the BuriGangaRiver -- with the busy river traffic indicative of the hustle and bustle of the city. In the foreground are the local water taxis, and in the background are the triple deck ferries that from time to time get overloaded and sink with considerable loss of life.
On the other side of the bridge it is fascinating to watch the cargo ships being unloaded by hand. The green ship is carrying cement and it is being unloaded by labourers carrying the cement in baskets on their heads whilst negotiating a not-very-stable-looking bamboo and wooden plank walkway. All along the river, people are washing themselves and doing their laundry on the river bank, but looking at the colour of the water I'd guess that white shirts very quickly become brown shirts.
Dhaka is a very densely populated city and negotiating the streets can be a somewhat intimidating experience for visitors not used to such crowds.This shot was not taken in a busy backstreet -- this is English Road, the main road from the BuriGangaBridge into the city.
Most of the traffic is made up of tricycles, and they compete for road space with the buses, trucks, taxis and cars.Most of the buses have large scratches and dents down the side of their bodywork from there they have tried to squeeze past tricycles or other vehicles in the traffic jams.It is rare to see any vehicle not scratched or dented.
When stuck in a traffic jam in Dhaka, all you can do and sit and admire the scenery -- there is no way out. This tricycle that I was on (that is the shoulder of my driver on the left) took me from the centre of the city to my hotel -- a distance of about three kilometres.I could have walked it in the time that it took, but at least it saved my feet after having walked about 7 km around Dhaka taking photos.The fare was 50 takas (less than US$1.00).
In the backstreets of the old town, the congestion can be even worse with many streets barely wide enough to accommodate one car.You may think from looking at this picture that a car would not attempt to negotiate a street like this.Wrong!All they do is blow their horn and just push their way through the people, carts and tricycles.The fun starts when two cars approach from opposite directions! (Bangladesh drivers do not understand what one way streets mean). The posters hanging from the wires above the street had lots of photographs of people on, so I assume they were for some sort of election campaign.
There are some fascinating shops and stalls tucked away in the back alleys of the old town of Dhaka.The butchers' shops are not quite up to the same hygiene standards as in western countries yet.
Many of the shops employ children, so I assume they don't go to school.Here two young butcher boys demonstrate their chicken-chopping technique.
Forgive the fascination with butchers' shops, but I tried to explain to this butcher that it was not hygienic to smoke whilst preparing meat.His cigarette ash was getting all mixed up with the blood on the floor -- but I don't think he understood me.
This young boy was selling something that I assumed was either very sweet or very smelly given the number of flies crawling over it. I later learnt that it was some sort of sugar that is used to pickle vegetables and fruits. He was certainly taking the weighing process very seriously, so it must have been worth a few takas.
A picture of something more pleasant -- some garland stalls.Walking past these is a most enjoyable experience with the strong scent of jasmine and anthericum lilies filling the air.
A family making garlands, sitting under the dappled shade of a large fig tree at the side of the street.