A true story
Heat, the first thing that came to my mind was Wow it’s hot! I had prepared myself for this feeling; yet the burning musky sensation when first getting out of the airport still astounded me. The last time I came here was about four years ago. Not really being the ideal place for a vacation, but it is where my family was. The next thing my brain registered was the noise and smell. Cars honking, people shouting, the strong smell of gas of the cars and the garbage around.
My mom and brother were to my left, my dad to my right. Where are they? – My family that is. They should be here, I just had to look. It was really crowded there, not somewhere I wanted to be for long. I looked forward, a little to the right; is that my cousin? I think that is. I smiled at the thought and tap my mom on the shoulder, “There they are,” I said with a smile in my voice. It felt nice to see them after such a long time.
We began to stride towards the large microbus, our luggage trailing behind us. I glanced back making sure nothing was being stolen. My face broke into a smile as I got closer to my extended family. They had changed since I last saw them, much older than before. I felt overwhelmed, the feeling of awkwardness flowing through me. I smiled and greeted them.
After a few minutes of laughing and greeting each other, we began to load the luggage into the microbus. Unexpectedly, a voice came from nearby. I looked over to see an officer blaring at us, uttering to move the microbus. With a metal rod in one hand and the other hand waving around, he approached us. He began to hit the microbus telling us to get a move on. My uncle spoke to him while the others hurriedly loaded. I rolled my eyes; somehow I had forgotten how annoying some people were in this country.
With the microbus finally loaded, we hopped on, or more like squeezed into the microbus. Overcrowded didn’t even begin to describe how stuffed the small microbus was. There were about five more people than there were seats. Even if there were enough seatbelts, no one would be able to be buckled up. The reason for this wasn’t that it was filled over capacity; no, the reason for it was because the seatbelts were snipped off, cut off so there was nothing left. Now I would love to enlighten you that there was a reason behind this, but unfortunately I have not the slightest clue.
I gazed out the window as the microbus drove through the crowded road. Well, we weren’t really going anywhere since the traffic caused us to stop ever two seconds. I felt like I was melting, the heat was overwhelming. The windows were all pulled down but it did nothing since there was no wind. The window didn’t help much with the heat, but it gave a breathing space for us. Through the window came dust and dirt, causing me to cough. I chatted with my uncle as we drove.
I looked out the window once again; it was beautiful but also heartbreaking. There were people everywhere; running around, trying to sell items. There were some that sat on the street and others that knocked on car windows begging for a little money. My eyes filled with tears; I always hated seeing people struggling so much. The others, the ones that lived here, didn’t seem to be bothered by this one bit. I guess since they go through this every day, it seems nothing more than what is normality. I looked over at my mom and frowned, “Mom,” I said in a low voice. I saw her digging into her purse at once as a little boy, missing an arm, knocked on the window. As my mother handed the child a few slips of money, I saw others make their way to our microbus. It was hard to find people that gave money to the poor on the street; so when there was someone giving out money, the unfortunate went for them.
Just as a woman carrying a small child came closer towards us, the microbus made a quick jerking movement forward. The movement caused my mom to become furious and scream at the driver, who was forced to stop anyway as the car in front halted. The women came towards us, slowly limping. My mom quickly handed me a few bills to give to the women. When I handed it to her, she quickly grabbed it in a tight hold and looked up. She prayed, prayed that god reward us for giving her the ability to feed her son. I smiled at her as warmly as I could and watched as she walked away. Warmth filled my heart, and I silently prayed that she would be well.
As we drove farther, we began to enter the country side. The natural beauty of Bangladesh was beginning to come out. Small stores that looked more like sheds lined the dirt road we drove on. There was a beautiful body of water to our right and people walking form place to place to our left. There were dogs walking around freely just as the humans. Trees swayed around freely and the air felt fresh. I laughed to myself when my eyes caught a cow aimlessly walking around. Goats were tied to wooden planks, and their children ran around but made sure to stay close to their mothers.
A child watched our microbus drove by, her eyes filled with glittering amazement. There were very little times such a large motor vehicle would drive though the countryside. Usually, the cars that drove by were small taxis or rickshaws. This was the place that exposed the gleaming natural beauty of the small country.
The microbus pulled into a small alleyway; for a minute I feared that it would get stuck. The drive was now slower as we made our way through the too-small of a road. We passed by a Mosk that was to our right; I remembered seeing it the last time we visited. My face broke into a smile as my brain glued the pieces together; we were getting close, we were almost home.
After about two minutes of driving, we made it to our destination. The microbus halted in front of a greenish grey tin fence. I jumped out of the vehicle and ran to the gate in the fencing. Pushing it open I quickly moved inside. The sight was gorgeous; large coconut trees lined up one after the other to my left. There were so many, yet there was enough space between each, enough for a car to go through with ease. The ground was all dirt, and when it would rain, it would be all mud. There were a few some stones as pathways leading to the houses. To my right there was a huge man-made pond. I sighed as I looked at the beautiful sight; turning to the left, I walked past the trees. I saw some of my other family members approaching from the two houses that sat beyond the trees.
The houses were beautiful; unlike the homes you would see in America, these were very small and felt like a display. They had tin roofs that rested on top and it sat on the dirt ground, claiming its rightful place. I smiled and hugged my aunt as she came up to me. My cousins had smiles painted on their faces as they approached us; I melted into their hugs and looked over their shoulders; I once again took in the breathtaking beauty and breathed in the fresh air. I closed my eyes and smiled.