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Himalaya

Day 117: Near Sylhet, Bangladesh

Near Sylhet, Bangladesh 
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A woman sorts out her day's catch of stones.
Michael Palin - HimalayaAs I scramble off the cheerfully leaky boat back onto the shore, thinking what an odd and unfamiliar world this is, where holidaymakers mingle with crushers, trucks and small hills of gravel, I hear my name called in a Bangladeshi-Cockney accent.

'Michael!'

A man detaches himself from a family group and bounds up to me.

'I'm from Milton Keynes.'

He's a chef in a restaurant there, coming back to visit his home country, a rich man by Bangladeshi standards. He says there are many like him from this part of the country.

On our way to Sylhet, we see the other side of the coin. The roadside is lined with piles of stones, carefully sifted and laid out to be crushed, either in machines or by roadside gangs, very often female. Many of these stoneworkers have come across the border from Myanmar and are not welcome. The Burmese immigrants in Bangladesh are as much of a sore point here as the Bangladeshi immigrants are in India.
Near Sylhet, Bangladesh 
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With my schoolboy crew.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 117: Near Sylhet, Bangladesh
  • Country/sea: Bangladesh
  • Place: Sylhet
  • Book page no: 265

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