Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh Jesus.

This is a joke, right?

Dr Thio [Dr Thio Su Mien] said she went on to discover that in Aware's comprehensive sexuality education programme, which is taken to schools, homosexuality is regarded as a neutral word, not a negative word.

'I started thinking, 'Hey, parents, you better know what's happening,'' she said.

'I talked to parents. I said: You better do something about this, otherwise your daughter will come back and say, 'Mum, I want to marry my girlfriend.'

'Or your son will say: 'Dad, I want to marry my boyfriend.''

I mean, seriously?

'And this is something which should concern parents in Singapore. Are we going to have an entire generation of lesbians?'

What? Huh? Do not compute. Are you really saying this? Huh? What? My brain is going to explode.

And what does this even mean?

I find to my dismay that Aware seems to be only very interested in lesbianism and the advancement of homosexuality, which is a man's issue,' she said.

I'm guess its good that I'm all alone in my house and no one can hear me screaming.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Water Festival = Water in Unwanted Places

Yet another lesson well learnt, alongside classic favourites such as How to Win in a Stare Contest and Thou Shalt Look All Ways Before You Cross This Street. The latter is interesting if only because I remember a particular court case about a car accident in Singapore where the prosecution said the victim was not obliged to look both ways before she crossed the road because it was a ONE WAY STREET and who the hell drives in reverse at such high speeds? Well, my friend, welcome the land where the roads go wherever you want it to.

So the camera is, erm, dehumidifying in the dehumidifier room. I'm not sure how long it takes to suck out all the water, and I've been warned (in low, anxious tones) NOT to try to switch it on until a hundred years have passed unless I want everyone to think I'm an IDIOT.

I think, dude, I went to a water festival with no plastic protection, I think I got that covered.

Anyway, in my defence, the water attack that ruined my mood and camera was SNEAKY and UNFAIR. We had arrived at the small field where the festivities were taking place, only to find the programme had been held on hold because it had begun to rain. So there wasn't any water-throwing taking place, just a bunch of people who had already soaked each other but were still trying to seek shelter from the rain (I know).

While debating which leaky roof to hide under, a dude crept up from behind and silently emptied a bucket of water down my back. And because the world is just, the same dude slipped and fell in the mud (earning jeers from peers) a little while later. I only wish he'd landed face first.

Weather hit 41˚C yesterday. How anyone gets any work done in this weather is beyond me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Camera + Water = Everything Sucks.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Down by the embankment. On the map it says the area is called Rayer Bazar Badhya Bhumi. Not that far away from the main urban areas, but a whole different world -- ponds, water bodies, water hyacinths, cricket on green green grass, children, brick factories, lots of open space, goats, tanneries, cows, sheep, children etc.

Rayer Bazar Badhya Bhumi

No, nothing will keep the kids away.

Rayer Bazar Badhya Bhumi

I quite liked this picture till my local friend saw it and told me I was a rude photographer. Anyway, I hope you like the picture. If so, I shouldn't tell you that he's heading to the toilet by the pond.

Rayer Bazar Badhya Bhumi

Rayer Bazar Badhya Bhumi


Rayer Bazar Badhya Bhumi

So it turns out that the crazy barking at night from the house down the road is from this really pretty dog that's strangely docile in the morning. From my window I thought it was a pit bull. Not.

Rayer Bazar Badhya Bhumi

And also liking pretty mongrels with long, furry tails.

Karwan Bazaar (again)

The constancy, predictability and reliable presence of Karwan Bazaar is a godsend to all photographers who ever wanted a chance to "go back and do it right".

Not to mean that I did, but at least I'll have a chance to do so at some point. Again and again.

Whereas in Singapore there's always a fear that a place will be torn down or "upgraded", this place gives you the sense that it's always, and will always, be the same.

Karwan Bazaar

Karwan Bazaar

Buffaloes up for the slaughter. Done early in the morning in a section of the market that opens only during the day, the meat is frequently sold as beef, which fetches higher prices. Apparently I've been eating a lot of buffalo meat without realising it.

Karwan Bazaar

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Afternoon Impressions.

From lensculture.

Dogs Can't Read. photography by Daniel Milnor

Recent Photographs by Roger Ballen


Asakusa Portraits. photography by Hiroh Kikai

Monday, April 06, 2009

How come lah?

It can be frustrating when the news raises more questions than answers.

Remittance jumps to single month high

Dhaka, Apr 5 (—Despite the global recession, Bangladesh received $881.3 million in remittances in March this year, the highest ever for a single month, the central bank governor said Sunday.

The March figure broke the record of $859 million earned in January, according to Bangladesh Bank numbers. February saw $784.5 million...

... The World Bank, IMF, ADB and local economists have all predicted a dip in remittances, one of the economy's main indices, in the face of the global crisis ...

Sadly, the article did not explain the reasons behind this peculiar occurrence. Just, hooray! Money! After months of front page stories about pissed off, repatriated workers, cancelled work permits etc... this was quite unexpected.

Decision on 'saving daylight' soon

Dhaka, April 5 ( – The power ministry may make a final decision next week on whether to introduce Daylight Saving Time, by turning clocks forward an hour, to conserve power countrywide.

"We want to introduce daylight saving because it is much easier to conserve 1MW power in this way than it is to produce an extra 1MW of electricity," state minister for power Shamsul Haq Tuku told reporters Sunday.

The ministry has been planning to set clocks forward for an 'extra hour' of daylight to manage the acute power crisis across the country.

The major shopping centers and offices in Bangladesh have to shut down at 8pm. Thankfully, the smaller vendors remain open for business. Otherwise, god forbid if you run out of bottled water to drink at 10pm.

Watch as an entire nation resets their biological clocks. It will be fun.

And the response of almost everyone I know to the article below has been -- "Oh dear god, NO."

Tk 10,000 cr subway project may start this year

Dhaka, Apr 5 (—Construction of the proposed Tk 10,000 crore Dhaka subway project, with 60 percent financing from Japan, may begin this year, said an official on Sunday.

The 52-km underground subway across the capital city, estimated to cost between Tk 10,000-12,000 crore, will have six lines and 50 stations, aimed at solving the city's traffic gridlock, according to the project proposal ...

... Around 80 percent population of the city will have at least one station within one kilometre.

The subway is expected to serve some 10-40 lakh (1 million to 4 million) commuters daily.

The Sena Kalyan Sanstha (army welfare organisation) will provide technical assistance in implementing the project, which will be constructed by a "cut and cover method", meaning without disturbing surface traffic on any major route.

In response to my highlighted sentence -- wanna bet?

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Wet Roads

For the scene in Pulp Fiction where Vincent Vega races his convertible down a deserted LA street, trying to get an OD-ed Mia Wallace some help, Quentin Tarantino made sure the entire road was wet so that the light would do wondrous things on the gleaming tarmac.

(Or is it asphalt? Not too sure.)

Night in Kamalapur Train Station.

Sleep Series

One early morning at the same train station, a young boy kept following us around. He never spoke a word, but trailed behind us for at least an hour. I finally starting chatting to him, which led him to bring us to his "care center" -- a home for street children a stone's throw away from the train station.

He was up early. Most of the other boys were still fast asleep.

Sleep Series

Bangabazar -- the land of the rejects, quite literally. Clothes which were supposed to line the shelves of stores in Europe and America end up here if they fail quality checks. Some of the more familiar brands were Mango and Zara, but those were quite rare to find.


The second floor of the building are where the tailors work. Want to buy a pair of jeans but need it shortened? Take a seat, I'll be back in 10 minutes. They head upstairs, the tailors do their magic, and voila -- 300tks please.



How they manage to thread a needle in the dim light of a single fluorescent tube, I'll never know. (Just so you know, all the tailors were men.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Well, at least they tried


Anti-beggar bills passed

Dhaka, Mar 31 (—Parliament on Tuesday passed the Sylhet Metropolitan Police Bill 2009 and Barisal Metropolitan Police Bill 2009, setting jail terms of up to three months for begging.

The new laws fix no fines for beggars, but state if anyone is caught begging in public places or shows disabilities to get alms, they will face time behind bars.

The laws also says anyone guilty of 'eve teasing' will face imprisonment for three months, a fine of Tk 500 or both.

If anyone uses public places as a lavatory, they face a Tk 500 fine.

It sets a Tk 300 fine for anyone caught spitting or smoking in violation of public notices.

Similar punishment is applicable if anyone bathes or washes in public ponds, tanks or by their banks.

For those who live here, I don't have to point out the insanity of what they're trying to do.

Anyway, what the hell is "eve teasing"?

Update: "Eve teasing" refers to verbal sexual harassment. Interesting.