A Day Off Near Teknaf

I needed a day off. The day was completely uneventful. I just ate and slept to my heart’s content.

The day before yesterday I learned from Kalim that the Muslim call to prayer is not pre-recorded here – unlike in other countries. I also learned that it is always the same text (with some addition for the morning call, as people are more reluctant to go to prayer then), but the muezzin can kind of choose his own melody. That’s why the call always sounds different from mosque to mosque.

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a cop. I was just having a short break at the side of the road. I had found a magical spot – little traffic, NO people around, lots of shade. Almost paradise. So he stopped next to me and told me (in good English and very politely) that he wanted me to move on as he didn’t consider the spot safe. I asked why it was dangerous here, thinking of elephants (there is a wildlife sanctuary around here), tigers (no tigers here), or snakes (the only wild animal (except birds and fish) I have seen in Bangladesh so far was indeed a dead snake). It’s not dangerous, he said, but he didn’t want me to be here all on my own. It would be safer with people around. I wonder if that’s the key to a foreigner’s safety here, that there is always someone around…

I’m the only guest in the hotel’s restaurant again. One of the waiters unfolds his prayer rug between two tables and starts praying.

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