Potatoes and picnics outside Bogra

I think I have the traffic situation sorted. The basic idea is to get from A to B in the most hazardous way possible. Rural roads have line markings, which are there to be ignored. So all vehicles, rickshaws, lorries buses, motor bikes, Tuc tucs, the occasional car, charge down the road, each comes up to the vehicle in front, belts hell out of the horn & pulls out, passes & barges in to avoid oncoming traffic. Buses basically travel down the middle, horns constantly blaring to win the ongoing game of chicken with the one coming straight at you.

In towns there are no road markings or trafficlights. So all these vehicles jam up on their road as they shuffle up to the many crossroads & then dodgem bang their way through the accumulating vehicles. A permant hold on the horn seems to help. How there are no knocks I have no idea.

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Oh, by the way you pay more for a seat on top as is only place with air con!! Strictly illegal.

So, I spend a day out in the countryside. I am getting used to the emerald green landscape. The only blot are the regular brick kilns, each with their own tall chimney belching out wood smoke. Besides the carpet of rice paddies, wheat, garlic, maize, sugar cane & jute add an extra rectangular shade to the tapestry.

Then we come across the potato market. Farmers in syndicates sell their crop at the side of the road. The merchant buys them up, bags them, sends them off to wholesalers in the towns. You have never seen so many potatoes in your life. And in 4 hours they are bought & bagged & off and the 400 metres is deserted.

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I suppose if you visit new countries you should visit places of interest

This I did but the only images & impressions I keep with me are the smiles & laughter & welcome of the local people. What a wonderfully friendly place this is.

First was a visit to Parharpur monastery complex which coincided with a number of school educational visits.

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The next place was the ancient city of Mahastangarh. Its shaded groves within the ruined battlements were the site for family picnics – all welcome!!

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