I tried to prepare myself for my visit to Dhaka, but this is one of those places you can’t be fully prepared to go to… it’s much more than what you expect you’ll encounter.
Through the bus’ window I could already see what awaits for me outside… the cacophony of horns, cars, bikes - a lot of bikes, people everywhere wearing the most colorful fabrics, and poverty. It is everywhere.
As I entered my hotel room, the first thing I did was thank God for providing me with a warm shower and a comfortable bed to sleep on.
You can't help feeling shocked by the poverty on streets and the amount of people that approach you to beg for money.
It took me sometime until I got to walk freely without being stopped by a kid with a baby on her arms or an old man showing off his deformed limbs, all of them trying to get some coins…
Later on I found out many take advantage of their disabilities or put their child to beg in order to earn easy money .
Visiting the bazaar (a market) was quite an interesting thing to do. Not only for me, but for the local people as well who regarded me with a lot of curiosity. I guess in the end that was the actual purpose of my adventures in the streets of Dhaka… to interact with people.
I managed to chat with some kids for a few minutes and the picture came out with a bad framing, but that’s what I could manage.
The butcher house was another unforgettable experience.
At first I was outside playing with some baby sheep, five minutes later I was inside the butcher shop seeing blood everywhere, being stared at and trying to register the images. If I could register the metallic smell of blood in the air I’d do it as well.
I’m sorry the pictures aren’t better. I admit I was feeling a bit intimidated by all the stares back at me, plus, my camera wasn’t the most appropriate for the adventure.
In the end, this trip was more like an anthropologic experience, whereas the observer was more observed than the other way round.
On my way back home I met a famous Bangladeshi photographer. He invited me to visit his gallery whenever I return to Dhaka - and that’s exactly what I intend to do…