A day before Eid ul-Azha Where does her family live? Is it far from Dhaka? At least threehundred kilometers I guess.. They even have to cross a bridge. They drive to the family of Sufi, isn‘t it? Yes, everybody drives home, if it‘s somehow possible for them. If they can afford it. It must be many. The streets are emtier than usual.
The papers say, that six million are leaving the city. Six million! That‘s many, yes.. We sit in a rikshaw and drive to Dhanmondi. Amit has suggested it. It‘s a cool place to hang around he said. The café „Escape from Shanghai“ is a popular spot among young people. Here people spare time with eachother with a cappuccino or a Pepsi. There offer cake as well. Kind of a nut cake, overglaced with chocolate and always fresh. One can smoke on the balcony, outside. From there one can follow the traffice on the street. And carefully listen to the symphony of the noise. The café is located on the first floor of the building. The entrance leads you thorugh a red kind of tunnel to the stairs. Then you go up.
Not far away from the café loudspeakers are hammering rhythems of rockmusic or Bangla po music from the inside to the street. It‘s a neigbourhood for young people overall. You can see womoen at night time walking around, some of theme even solo. Younger women. Not far away dealers selling stone made „Allah-ul akba“-plates and caups and flowerpots. I bought one, made of bamboo. How much does he want me to pay? Twohundred. That‘s too much.
Too much? Really?
Yes, for us it is too much.
Amit gets seventeenhundred per month. With a fourty-hour-week. Arif around fivethousandfivehundred. This is more than Amit, but it‘s not enough to marry and leave home, he says. Not enogh to be independent from his parents. He has studied and is tewentyseven already. Okay, should we bargain? Of course we should, what do you think? Hundredfifty? Yes, max. Okay. It goes on and on. Very long sentences, without breathing. On and on.
They want twohundred. Okay, let us go. I make a gesture with my whole arm, and Amit is following me towards „Shanghai“.
They call us back.. What do they want? I think, thatey go down to hundredfifty. Is that okay? Sure it is. Sowmhow people here are always so aggressive, Amit says. Always? Yes, always, he says. I don‘t see it that way.
Tomorrwo the muslims all over the world celebrate Eid ul-Azha. In many streets of Dhaka cowas are in the garages or in front of the houses. From tomorrow morning on they are gonna to be slaughtered. The whole city will spread a strange smell to every nose. The city litter service will permanently drive around and clean the streets from blood and intestines with water. Somehow they will put it on trucks and dispose the waste it somewhere. I am still insecure if I will expose myself to the odour freely. The sounds of dying and froaning animals are not to be said to be beautiful neither. The story in the Qur‘an - and similarly in the bible - is going somehow like this: Abraham is asked by God to sacrify the most important he owns. Thus he lays his son down to a piece of wood and is determined to make the sacrifice to Allah. Seing this, God or Allah keeps Abraham off to kill his son. Eventually he has shown how important for him the fear for God is. Finally he slauters a cow, because he did not have to kill his son. One can also take a goat. Not important? Yes. Not everyone can afford to buy a cow. How much is a cow? Between fourthousand and twelveounsand – Euro. Twelvehousand Thaka? Sometimes forteenthousand. That‘s a lot. On our way to the „Shanghai“ he is lodly asking some people who bring cows home. A really big cow costs foreteenthousand indeed.. Last year they were cheaper.. Hmm...
Some of the trucks could net get through the huge traffic. The farmers then retured home, not seelling the animals. Capitalism, I think. And free enterprise economy, too. And poverty; this is waht I see. Tomorrow is Eid ul-Azha, something like Christmas as we have it. Similarily substantial. But very different.