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El albergue

El albergue

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sailing the streets of Khulna

Saturday, July 23

Since Saturdays are our days off, Erika and I decided to leave our room for a little bit and go to the grocery store - a little adventure.  We got there without incident, wandered the aisles for a little while as we picked up the things we needed, then walked back outside to find it raining.  We beckoned to one of the row of auto drivers waiting for passengers, and he rolled on over.  Now, let me describe to you these autos.  These little vehicles, usually electric, hold more passengers than a rickshaw since they have two back benches that face each other as well as the possibility of space in the front next to the driver, who is perched over what looks to be the front half of a motorcycle.  There is a windshield, back, and roof, but the sides are completely open except for two side panels that close in the back seat and form a sort of small cave.  The sides being open can be somewhat of a nuisance in the rain, so each auto has tarps, shower curtains, plastic sheets, or something of the sort strung up and ready to the unfurled to cover the passengers in back.
So Erika and I stepped through the rain and into our dinged up yellow auto, giving the driver the directions we have been taught and pulling the side tarps shut to keep out the rain as we started off.  The tarps were strung up on a sturdy twine, although they themselves looked a little beaten, as and we held them closed, they snapped and billowed in the winds as we trundled along.  It felt like we were literally sailing through the streets of Khulna, the two of us manning the sails of our little yellow ship, fighting to keep ourselves on course as our sails strained at our fingers.  I peaked through the space between the frame of the auto and the flapping edge of my sial at the people on the side of the road as we passed on by, finding amusement in the fact that they couldn't see me behind the sails of our ship, and imagining them wondering who the navigators might be of such a yellow beauty.  Of course, the likelihood of them ever really wondering that would be...

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