A young Chicagoan's strange erotic journey around the globe
When I first got to Bangladesh, it was around ten at night and pitch black out. The only thing I could see was bums crowded around burning garbage cans. The next day however, I realized I’d arrived amidst a time of unrest.
A driver slows down to check out police activity. Dhaka, Bangladesh is known as the “Rickshaw Capital of the World” and approximately 400,000 of these cycle rickshaws operate on the streets of the capital daily.
Layin’ down the law in the Banani District of the capital
A couple more drivers pull up and offer their services as I photograph the police presence
As much as all these guys wanted to give me a ride to earn some of that white man cash, I ended up taking the auto rickshaw shown in the background of the picture.
View of the driver from inside the dog cage of an auto rickshaw as we made our way south to the Old Dhaka neighborhood.
Arrival to Old Dhaka along the Buriganga River
A close-up of the water taxi driver in the center of the photo previous
Loading some shit up for transport
The captain of our water taxi
Two local dudes who agreed to show me and my Canadian buddy, Nabeel, the area around the Buriganga
Morning swim in the black-as-ink Buriganga. I’d probably opt to put a condom on and a butt plug in before taking a dip.
Two women in hijab and a Muslim dude hitchin’ a ride
A fancy boy with a perfect hairdo relaxing during his transport
Shot of the shoreline
Shittily fuzzy picture of children on the trash-strewn shore of the Buriganga near a local market
One of my favorite things about Bangladesh was the wide array of colorful saris worn by the women
Dudes selling fish
Close-up of his fly-covered product
Woman selling cauliflower
A grammar school right near the market
Kids cuttin’ class
Photo taken from the doorway of a classroom. Once all the kids saw the rarity of a white man walking by, there was nothing the teacher could do to keep their attention.
Shot through the classroom window
Ya boi ‘n’ some Bangladeshi kids
More students who were more interested in my skin color than the teacher’s lesson
After the school, we wandered over to some tin-shack slum which might’ve been the “farthest-from-home” thing I’ve ever experienced.
Inside one of the shacks I walked by
My bearded bro Nabeel on the right as we smoked weed with some local dudes in a shack
View outward from inside the weed shack
Back out of the weed shack and continuing our walk through the slum…
Man preparing a meal in his home
A blind man who I didn’t know was blind at the time I first saw him. After I pointed and laughed at his posture while stoned, I was informed of his disability which made me feel so guilty that I ended up getting all serious, giving their family five bucks and wishing them the best.
Da barber shop
Whereas some people get their beards shaved indoors by barbers in “YouTube” shirts…
…others get lined up out on the streetz.
Close-up of the outdoor beard-shaving
Muslim man with a Henna beard. When a beard is dyed with henna, this may indicate a recent return from Hajj.
From the slum, we could see the bow of a boat from a nearby shipyard and decided to wander over there.
Dudes doin’ work
This guy’s amazing. A basketful of bricks barefootedly transported across a plank with the grace of a ballerina.
Taking one last puff before ditching his cigarette
No fuckin’ problem
Keeping on his way before I stopped him for a picture and…
…got this close-up.
Dude scraping some shit off the hull
Dudes in hilarious glasses pimpin’ their ship with a fresh-ass paint job.
Another shipyard scene
Another fresh PJ
Plank we walked up to explore one of the ships that’d been under construction
Climbing this thing wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to do while high as fuck
View of the shipyard from the top
Same vantage point, different part of the yard
Teachin’ some locals how to throw down a “SUCK IT!”
Another henna beard bro
Poster on a wall with a guy’s face that someone felt needed a henna beard and drew one on.
Dudes in “longyi” which is the skirt-like bottoms they wear
As we wandered further along, we came across an area with a lot of garment workshops
Child laborer making back pockets for jeans
Close-up of the back pocket jean machine from the picture previous
Dude manually transporting an assload of jeans
Dude lounging on a massive pile of jeans
I have no idea what these kids were building/painting
Parts of Dhaka can be crowded as fuck and as a white dude, I stuck out like a boner in sweatpants.
People would seriously drop whatever they were doing to run up and crowd around me. Very few people spoke English so once they crowded around, they’d just stare at the white man in awe.
Dhaka street scene
The look on this guy’s face says “Buy a banana or I’ll motherfuckin’ kill you!”
A little bit further down the same street…
…I tried to teach some more locals how to “SUCK IT!” They’ll get the hang of it…eventually…
Probably one of the biggest groups that stopped and crowded around me during my three weeks in Bangladesh.
Bros chillin’ out
Nothin’ gay about two bros holdin’ hands…
Rickshaws on rickshaws
Aye aye, captain!
Dude attempting a “SUCK IT!” Try a few inches to the left, buddy, god damn!
I’d been checking out this pile of water taxis on the river when…
…more people decided to stop and stare.
This is when we decided to get back on the river and head back to the north side of the Buriganga.
Had to get one more picture of this crazy-eyed mofo though.
Dudes from the souf side gettin’ one last look at whitey before we headed back to the north of the Buriganga
The most laundry I’ve ever seen hanging along the shoreline in the back of the picture
Some sort of waste being transported. Don’t think it would’ve made the slightest difference if they just dropped it in that filthy-ass water right there.
As we approached this underpass…
…I noticed all the makeshift homes lined up at the bottom there. Mindblowing!!!
Man smoking a cig and taking care of his laundry from a boat whereas…
…most others bathed and did their laundry from the shoreline.
Boatload of Bangladeshis
Finally approaching the shores of Old Dhaka once again. Check out the rickshaw graveyard up in the background there.
One last action shot from the water.
Heading towards Ahsan Manzil, the pink structure there in the background
Couple rickshaw bros lookin’ for work
Street bum lookin’ for handouts
Side view of Ahsan Manzil. Built from 1859-1872, Ahsan Manzil was the official residential palace and seat of the Dhaka Nawab Family and, to preserve the cultural history of the area, became a museum in September 1992.
Photos on the wall inside the museum.
“FUCK” has gotta be the most commonly spray-painted word around the world. Here it is making an appearance on the wall at Ahsan Manzil.
Dudes walking down the front staircase of Ahsan Manzil…
…and there she blows from a distance.
Me giving my rickshaw driver a rest
Crest above the door at a Hindu shrine
Same as the photo previous
Poster on an external wall
My buddy Nabeel in the hat playing Carrom with some local dudes in the street
Local artisans doing their thing
Kids playing “football” in a backstreet
Nabeel trying his hand at cricket with some local kids
Lawyers in suits next to a pile of rocks handing out flyers describing their services
Even more ridiculous that the outdoor barber depicted earlier in the gallery is the outdoor dentist.
Not too far away from the “dentist office” had been these dudes barehandedly tearing apart chickens.
A close-up of the outdoor dentist doing his thing in the not-so-sterile, chicken-feather-infested environment.
Local dude swag
This kid ran down the block after me asking to have his picture taken and when I finally agreed, this is the unenthusiastic pose he gave me.
Check out coconut boy
A nice mural which I’d been trying to take a picture of that the guy shown wanted so badly to be part of. He got his wish…kind of…
“Would you like to learn playing guitar? We are offerint you easy guitar playing course. Don’t get late and contract with Shrishty Shilpaloy.”
Hindu gathering I stumbled upon. 8% of the Bangladeshi population is Hindu.
Bangladeshi Charles Manson?
Taara Masjid or Star Mosque as it’s known
Dude praying inside Star Mosque
Dude with a pillow head at the mosque
Canopied street alongside Star Mosque
Advertisement for “Bangladeshi Idol” in Dhaka’s newspaper – “The Daily Star”
On the streets of Dhaka – Possible contestant for Bangladeshi Idol?
On the right side of this typically brutal Dhaka traffic jam is a mosque known as Baitul Mukarram.
Completed in 1968, Baitul Mukarram is the national mosque of Bangladesh.
Inside the mosque. Here’s the footwashing room where you’re supposed to clean up your act before entering the holy house.
View of all the prayer mats and ceiling fans from the second floor of the mosque.
The other side of Baitul Mukarram. 89% of Bangladesh’s population is Muslim
Two Muslim dudes we met at the mosque. The guy on the right was cool as fuck but the little guy was an asshole who demanded cash from us for our visit.
Tryin’ to throw down some “West Sidddddde” shit with Nabeel ‘n’ the cool Muslim dude but I neglected to tuck my thumb in so it looks kinda gay – beginner’s mistake.
Dude in a hilariously corny purple Christmas sweater just outside the mosque
While some folks ride shitty old double-deckers around…
…others travel through Dhaka on broken down public buses such as this one.
This photo was taken out the window of the type of bus shown in the picture previous during a traffic jam.
Communist Party of Bangladesh gettin’ they march on ‘n’ shit
Curzon Hall – part of the school of science at the University of Dhaka complete with a random pile of trash in front of the otherwise immaculately well-kempt grounds.
After visiting the University of Dhaka, we began walking down the street and all these people here who’d been stuck in one of the capital’s typically horrendous traffic jams began applauding and waving at my cracker ass as I strolled by.
Also in this traffic jam, a set of outrageously huge metallic pipes strapped to a bicycle rickshaw.
Hitler gate at Dhakeshwari Temple
Similarily, a man glancing over at his box of “Swastika Fruits”
A Dhaka firehouse equipped with a throwback truck ‘n’ engine
After visiting the University of Bangladesh, this demonstration here was the first I saw of the “Even though this shit happened over forty years ago, let’s now hang the Jamaat-e-Islami war criminals of 1971” movement.
Before seeing them in person, I’d read a lot about it in the paper, particularly this article which gives mention of the Bangladeshi “National Fag.”
Little did I know, the remaining two weeks of my stay in Bangladesh would be pretty much governed by these protests which, although largely peaceful, at times would get a bit out of hand.
Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971 and had formerly been known as East Pakistan. During their fight for independence, many members of the Jamaat-e-Islami party had allegedly committed war crimes including but not limited to rape, genocide, torture and religious persecution.
A street-side mural depicting the Bangladeshi victory for independence from Pakistan. Prior to the war, the government of Pakistan’s west wing had discriminated against the language and ethnicity of East Pakistan’s citizens – not to mention political exclusion and economic neglect.
“FREEDOM” – One word says it all…
The trendy Gulshan district of Dhaka
While walking through Gulshan, I came across these words spray-painted on a wall: “It’s simple to be happy but difficult to be simple.”
“In a society that has destroyed adventure, the only adventure left is to destroy that society.”
Less meaningful graffiti – stencils of Mr. Bean, Mona Lisa, Borat and others
“If you repeat a lie often, it becomes politics”
“I write because nobody listens” then another tagger comments “I heard you”
Check out this shaggin’ wagon. Fuckin’ Partridge Family bus wannabe
Bangladeshi taka. 1USD=~78BDT
Dhaka in art
Painting of rural Bangladesh
Hustlers trying to sell a magic powder that helps grow monster vegetables like the ones on the cart
Another dude balancing a stack of bricks atop his noggin. Wheelbarrows are 4 pussies!
Wall of posters with a noose in the middle of each: “WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR CRIMES OF 1971…1971 saw genocide, 2013 will see justice…Peoples of Bangladesh”
Riot police ready for action in front of a war crimes poster
More riot police posting up near the Shabagh neighborhood of Dhaka – the epicenter of the anit-Jamaat-e-Islami protests
My Canadian buddy Nabeel posing with some unenthusiastic-looking riot police near the edge of the Shabagh protests.
The protest at Shabagh as seen on February 19, 2013 complete with giant posters of nooses and fake dead bodies hung from their necks all over the main intersection.
Noose banner in the background. They REALLY wanted to see those motherfuckers hung – modern day lynch mob.
“JOY BANGLA!!!” – the slogan and war cry of the Mukti Bahini that fought for the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
A picture of a noose encircled by cartoon renderings of all the people the protesters believe should be hung.
My Canadian buddy Nabeel being interviewed by a reporter about the “Shabagh Movement”
“Die mothafucka, die mothafucka, die!”
One of the fake dead bodies representing that of the Jamaat-e-Islami war criminals hung from a tree
Another war criminal “hangin’ around” Shabagh
Ya boi bein’ interviewed for Bangladeshi TV about whether or not I think they should hang the war criminals of 1971. Admittedly, I wasn’t very comfortable with the whole thing but shouted…
…”JOY BANGLA!” anyway.
Nabeel getting a patriotic message written on his arm while being recorded for Bangladeshi TV.
A depiction of a Jamaat-e-Islami war criminal as the devil
One man selling the Bangladeshi flags…
…and many other proud Bangladeshis like this guy wavin’ ’em around.
‘Bout ta git hung like a horse
“BBC, CNN: We are here to HANG war criminals who are convicted for 1. Genocide, 2. Rape, 3. Murder, 4. Setting Fire”
Another hilariously violent poster of a bloodied Jamaat-e-Islami dude tied to a tree.
Even the media was totally one-sided on the issue as told by this cartoon picture on the front page of “The Daily Star” which depicts the Islamists as knife-wielding, bomb chucking green monsters.
At the protest, yet another “West Siiiiiddddeee” fucked up by my inability to tuck in my motherfuckin’ thumb. Pathetic…
Hard to fuck this one up though – Me and Nabeel doin’ a Shabagh Movement “SUCK IT!”
Some sari-ass hoz at the protest
Another depiction of a Jamaat-e-Islami war criminal not only being hung but also getting kicked in the ass
I don’t think those war criminals had too much of a chance making it out of this one alive
Guards in front of a museum near the protest
Now, I didn’t have the balls to take a photo of this during the day which explains the night vision. Dudes in Bangladesh are always just pissing in the street but for some reason, this is the go-to position of doing so. They think it’s discreet and the polite way of urinating in public.
Of all the people pissing in public, this is the only guy I witnessed doing it standing up.
The work of a Bangladeshi artist being sold at the Shabagh protests. This dude liked to do his paintings on newspapers with images from the original publication appearing in small areas throughout. Here, an image from the newspaper appears in the eyeball of the painted face.
Another face with newspaper eyeballs.
Painting of a chick with her arms in an “X” and…
…me imitating it for a photo with a local dude.
Cigarette vendor in Banani
A camel farm I stumbled across while walking through the streets of Dhaka.
Statues of a cricket team in Banani
A mosque in Old Dhaka – possibly one of the coolest structures I’ve come across while traveling
Dudes who supposedly aren’t gay are always holding hands in Muslim countries. Too bad homosexuality isn’t allowed in Islam, ‘cus these guys’d make a cute couple.
Frighteningly deformed dude begging for donations in the Banani District of Dhaka. For my thoughts on this, see: http://average-volcano.flywheelsites.com/other-t-lal-originals/beggars-and-a-bleeding-heart-in-bangladesh/
Poor son of a bitch in the Mohakhali neighborhood of Dhaka
Rickshaw wallah posin’ for a picture. Just above the seat there, you can see some of the art that nearly all Bangladeshi rickshaws are adorned with
Although it’s not obvious in many of the pictures, almost all the rickshaws are decorated with some sort of art. Here are a few examples we found at shops that specialize in rickshaw art…
Rickshaw art Mosque
It was relieving to finally get out of dusty, polluted Dhaka and see some green fields for a change
Dude I saw plowing a field on the way out to Rajshahi
Painting on a wall along the railroad tracks
Some dude who was laying in the aisle on the train decided to take a nap on my legs.
Rajshahi is a city in western Bangladesh on the border of India
Quite a few of the buildings in this town appeared to be totally fucked up
Dudes workin’ to put the fucked up buildings back together
Bros butchering a some meat and piling it up on the dirty ground
A close-up of the mustache man showing off his work
Ever wonder where your furniture was made?
Man showing off a dresser he built
Dude putting the finishing touches on some sort of armoire