Tuesday, May 18

Epiphanies on Rickshaws

My brain doesn't have an off-switch, it just doesn't shut up. "Talky as a jay-bird" might be the phrase, something to say about everything but too scattered to remain with one topic. I rarely never find concrete solutions or satisfying answers to any of the madness that thunders around in my head.

However, traveling has always soothed my unrelenting consciousness. When I was young, I could stare out the window during long car rides and be content. Today I'm the same on buses in Nepal, planes over Borneo or trains in India. Give me a window with a moving picture and I'm at peace. During university in New York City, I loved the subway because the ride was always in-between my destinations, where I could quiet myself and be present. At work I had to think about tomorrow's meeting, at school I had to think about tomorrow's paper, at home I fought with myself over yesterday's mistakes. But the hum of the train's wheels muffles my brain. During that silence, plenty of answers have come to me, even when I wasn't asking anything.

For my first months in Dhaka, I dreaded finding transportation because (1) the buses scare me when they look like they've survived WWII, (2) I hate having to argue for a price of a rickshaw or CNG and (3) I'm consistently lost because 'urban planning' is a joke. As I adjusted over the last ten months, I have come to enjoy transportation again. Even over all the sound and air pollution, I can still find the little epiphanies.

This afternoon was one of those days. In the quiet, it came to me that despite all the stress I've been through this last year, regardless of how many more grey hairs I have now, how I've been molested, how I didn't accomplish all of my work, how I cried till my lips bled.. that it's all worth it. This deranged place has taught me too much to ever really hate her. And she's produced several beautiful souls with whom I have eternally connected with. No--despite how I've been beaten by her, I could only love Bangladesh.

With only a few weeks left, that damn Cinderella song is stuck in my head: Don't know what you got 'till it's gone..

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