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Of Honk If You're Turning

Today, The Princess is brought down to earth with a thundering thud.

There she was, complaining about life's little, insignificant inconveniences (How come the fried rice come so late one? Walau, wanna take taxi also have to wait so long) whereas in other part of the world, people would kill to be in such inconveniences.

She was in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, where Tk100 (approx USD1.40) can bring you on a journey of 30 minutes by taxi. Dhaka is chaotic, dusty and sticky. Car horns are constantly blaring and no one ever signal for turn. Beat-up buses, cars, bicycles and tuktuks try to squeeze into whatever little space available, criss-crossing into each other's path.

Whenever the taxi stopped, one after another barefooted kids tried to sell them flowers, cotton candies and bottled water. They went from car to car, and once the traffic started to move, they're caught like pawns in the middle of a wildebeest migration. All the swerving and overtaking and waaay too close braking really frayed the poor princess' nerves - heck, they're outmanoeuvring death left, right and center. Really, all the drivers have such good psychomotor skill they can be as good as Schumacher given proper training.

They visited a local market in Dhaka, as The Princess is hoping to score some bargains. Well, she certainly scored more than what she bargained for. Looking at the sea of people around her, hardship and poverty are clearly written across the majority of the people's face. Wrinkled and crinkled leather, weather-beaten faces. Eyes that reflect they have seen their fair share of hardship. Kids running around in dirty, tattered clothes, their mangy hair plastered across the face. Some are playing without a worry in the world, without realising how bleak the future is for them. Some not as fortunate ones, started working and providing for the family as young as 5 years old. Scrawny men, with veins almost popping with strain, are lifting double the weight of their bodies making way to the market to sell their wares.

We have it easy, don't we? At least we don't have to worry about scraping for tomorrow's meals. And when The Princess started to talk in first person, you bet she's serious.

In that tuktuk making my way back to the hotel, I count my blessings today. You should too.
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