I really need a fake Facebook account. I reckon once I find some internet I’ll by now have at least 200 Bangladeshi friend requests. Either that or I just need to start saying that I don’t have Facebook. The people are just so welcoming and unafraid to befriend you. They are very direct too – after requesting me as a friend, one guy today looked at me in the eyes and solemnly said, ‘It is my strong belief that you will accept me as your friend as soon as you have internet’. By the end of the day I was quite fed up with attention. There is just no break. At one point I chose what was at the time an empty stretch of country road to have a quick break, but within a minute I had a crowd around me, watching intently as I munched on biscuits. Not once did I stop and not gather a crowd. Each crowd means about 20 ‘Can I have a selfie?’ requests and about ten ‘What is your Facebook ID?’ queries. Despite this, the riding was fantastic. I began my day on the main road between Jessore and Kushtia, then turned northwest to ride a quieter country road through rice growing country dotted with brick factories. Masses of rice were being dried out in the open before being bagged. I ended up turning due east towards Jhenaidah, where I had some hope of finding a roof for the night.
I was hungry and tired by the time I arrived at Jhenaidah. All I wanted was a big plate of rice but this became hard to find. I snacked on street food as I started my search (more annoying selfie requests), then found a café I hoped would have a rice-based meal. I couldn’t communicate with the staff so they called in a young guy off the street who spoke English. In the end I left because they only had fried stuff and I really needed a proper meal after eating mainly biscuits all day. The young guy and his friend showed me to a restaurant which had just what I was after. They sat down in the restaurant with me. All I wanted was to eat alone for once and go to bed. I began to suspect they wanted something from me and I wasn’t being the nicest to them. My problem was that my body was severely low on food, and when I’m low on food, my head stops functioning normally and I become short-tempered and cranky and generally unable to deal with life. I began to brighten up as my body received some fuel. I slowly relaxed and started putting an effort into chatting with the guys who had helped me. I quickly realised they were just two friendly guys happy to help out with no extra agenda. After dinner, I dropped some bananas home, then squeezed onto a motorbike with them both and had a tour of town.
Right now I am writing my diary outside my hotel room. I was just approached by three guys wanting photos. They wanted photos of every combination of pairs possible and they took 3-5 photos each time. So bloody annoying! I have to learn to say no. I seriously became all smiled out and didn’t hide the fact that I was annoyed. Unfortunately, Bangladeshis don’t smile in their photos, so while I was standing there looking sullen, to them I had just started to look normal.
|Distance ridden today||50.97km|
|Average cycling speed||14.3kph|
|Total distance ridden||14,514km|