Today I didn’t have to do anything or be anywhere so it was the perfect time to get lost in Old Dhaka. After twenty minutes stuck in a rickshaw jam worse than any little gridlock in London we decided to get out and walk into the winding streets that are impenetrable by car (although we saw a fair few very sad looking ponys – I wonder if they have a pony shelter in Bangladesh?...)
Entering the old city meant that we had left relative calm – yes that’s right we were walking into Lucifer’s furnace. It was hot, for the first time in days the sun had broken through the dense cloud cover and it was pounding on our faces and my back was a river of sweat, so with the sticky tone set for the day we discovered Bangsal or Bicycle road where every shop sells bicycles and also rickshaw art. Miki decided that he would like to buy a piece, but of course he was only offered top quality Korean vinyl – very tasteful and only 600 taka, how could we resist? However we managed and moved on to Shankharia Bazaar or
After a dodgy lunch we went to the pink palace, there had been a downpour whilst we were indoors and my feet were now covered in mud, maybe not the best plan to wear flipflops… The pink palace was an oasis of tranquility and there was shade and somewhere to wash my feet. Apparently this was a place of beauty when it was first built, where visiting statesmen and dignitaries from all over the world would stay, but now, after years of disrepair and half-arsed cleaning it is looking more than a little shabby. The highlight was seeing the skull of the Nawab’s favourite elephant, it is huge and its eye sockets are too – why is this? Elephants eyes are tiny?
Miki, as always made a good friend at the palace who wanted to take us to see the Ostrich, one of the many (very ironically named) Rocket’s. They are giant paddle boats of a time long gone (somewhat like the pink palace) that steam from