The title of one of the books in our ,”Teaching English As A Foreign language,” was ,’As Others see us’. We had fun reading some of the things pointed out by foreign travelers to the city of London, England.
A gentleman was visiting London from somewhere in Africa. On his first day in London, he went to see the famous tube station , “King’s Cross”, not long after he arrived, he noticed a train coming in , it made a moments stop the doors opened, hundreds of passengers came out with long umbrellas which to him looked like guns, he thought all those people were pointing at him and were coming to attack him, without waiting even a second, he ran to the exit and disappeared.
On another occasion there was another traveler visiting London for the first time. At 6 pm he walked out of his hotel to see what the evenings in London’s residential area looked like.
He walked along a posh neighborhood street, as he was walking he noticed the drapes of houses were drawn, the street was dark.
When asked about his impression of the city, he smiled and said,”I would call it a dead city.”
I wanted to make a comparison of London with Dhaka city.
Dhaka as you know is in Bangladesh, it’s the capital. I went a few years ago, I could not believe how different it was when I lived there.
Now the city is several times larger and there is no law and order anywhere, on the streets, neighborhood, shopping, one just has to pretend it will be okay, but is it?
You will find all kinds of vehicles moving on the most important roads, there is the rickshaw driver taking his time peddling with a passenger or two, the shepherd is going along the road with his herd of cattle. There are public buses, that look like giants driven by lunatics . They have a man who tells everyone to move to be safe.
There are private cars, school buses, cabs, auto rickshaws , then there are pedestrians who probably pray all the time they are on the road so they are not killed.
I was appalled by the situation, we do have travelers who visit the city, I wonder what kind of impression they take home with them.
The best part is there are traffic lights, but no one follows them, when it is red the vehicles start moving. I ask the question, “why do they have lights if they are not going to obey?”
You’d be surprised what one of them said to me, “At least we have lights!”
“For what”? I asked.
He could not answer my question.
I sat and wondered, which is better a quiet residential area at 6 pm in the evening or the roads of a city with noisy bus drivers,all kinds of vehicles, from a rickshaw to a cab, to shepherds with their cattle and those innocent pedestrians, who cannot be sure they will arrive home safely.
If I had to give my honest opinion I’d say, “No wonder we are one of the developing countries!”