Since I was 18 I have traveled the world extensively, and it has mostly been very good experiences with very hospitable people indeed. However, I feel like the hospitality of Bangladesh deserves a special mentioning – therefore I decided to dedicate it its own post.
Never have I before encountered such an hospitable people as the Bangladeshi. I traveled to Bangladesh with no guidebook, no plans and no expectations. And my conslusion is very clear: The Bangladeshi people put hospitality before their own wallets.
Not many westerns goes to Bangladesh in the first place, so everyone here is extremely curious about you. They want to talk to you, to feel your skin, to ask you if you are married, if you enjoy the food, etc etc. So naturally you get a lot of attention (as in many other Asian countries). But I have to say that this is the first country where I have been asked for signatures by people 🙂 I feel like a superstar here.
Most of the time I have lived with my friends family here, and they have been extremely hospitable, and made me feel as part of their family from day one. At first I thought, perhaps this extreme hospitality is due to the fact that I stayed with a friends family. But I soon learned it is general for the Bangladeshi people. So many times I have been invited into random peoples houses on the street, to come and live with them for a few days. People that I have only just met have bought me anything ranging from coconuts, to coffee or tea.
Random people I have met on the bus, have given me their phone numbers and told me to call them if I need any kind of help.
I spend 5 days on a beautiful Island next to the Burma border. Upon my arrival I met an refugee from Burma, and stayed in his guesthouse. He was very keen to show me around the Island, and I asked him how much money he wanted for that? He replied very simply, no money sir – I just want a chance to practise my English. I was overwhelmed.
On the Island a local Bangladeshi guy heard that I wanted to buy a fresh lobster, so he took me to the fisherman to shop for a good one – only the fisherman was delayed for some hours, so he took me swimming, treated me to coffee. In the afternoon we did some armwrestling, and after that we where best palls 🙂
Yesterday I was roaming around on the streets of old Dhaka photographing. I ended up in an area where there is a lot of steel manufacturers. And randomly one of them invited me in to their shop, showed me around, and treated me to tea and biscuits.
I feel very sad indeed leaving this place, and I am sure that I will return one day indeed…