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Football fever

Written by Antje on July 13th 2014 22:08

Last week I went for a walk to Parbatipur with 2 other women from abroad. LAMB Hospital is about 3 km outside the town and it takes an hour to get to the centre. We walk right alongside the railway line and so avoid any road traffic. 
The trip to Parbatipur was to buy material to make clothes and also to get an impression of how football fever has gripped the nation. Bangladesh doesn’t have a team in the World Cup, and never has had, but it makes no difference. I have been told that when TV became more available in Bangladesh it was Brazil and Argentina who did particularly well and so their popularity was more or less equally shared across the country. Many people have been fans of one or other nation since their youth. 
Here you get an impression of the way the flags fly over a village:
 01_IMG_0299.jpeg
 
02_IMG_0296.jpeg
 
This is what the town looks like now. This photo was taken on a corner where a huge screen was set up to see the competition. The careful observer will be able to spot a Dutch flag....
 
03_IMG_0337.jpeg
 
It’s actually in the middle of the night here when matches are being played. In order to see that last two when the Netherlands played I had to set my alarm clock for a quarter to two. 
It’s advantageous that it’s Ramadan. During Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. There are also set times for prayer during the night. So people are up very early – in the middle of the night – so they can follow the fortunes of their favourite teams. 
 04_IMG_0319.jpeg
 
05_IMG_0322.jpeg
 
These two photos are of the renovation work being carried out on the railway. In a large part of the country there’s only one line so trains have to wait before they can pass one another. As well as this, part of the land has narrow gauge and part has standard gauge. This means that only certain trains can travel on certain journeys. The line between Parbatipur and Dinajpur is currently being repaired in order that both gauges can travel on the same line. We walked past the place where the old and new rails meet. As you can see, signalling is done by hand. In the second shot you can see the line that will lead to the emergency bridge when the bridge is renovated. 
 
Things are pretty quiet on the work front. In our area about 70% of the people are Muslims and so they are fasting. Most of these folk don’t want to come to the hospital during the month of fasting so they don’t want to have any non-emergency surgery. So I’ve had time to prepare some teaching and also to take it easy for a change. The weather has been fairly hot and humid over recent weeks which is tiring. You know it’s hot when you take a cold shower only to start perspiring again while drying yourself.....