Things and people to be aware of as a Dhaka pedestrian | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 14, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 14, 2018

Things and people to be aware of as a Dhaka pedestrian

The streets of Dhaka are full of surprises when it comes to everyday travelling. Yet, these experiences should come as no shock if you're someone who commutes regularly on these unforgiving streets. As a pedestrian, you may have a lot more to deal with than you think.

People with umbrellas: It's raining cats and dogs, water is lodged all the way up to your heels, you're running late; typical scene of a downpour in Dhaka. As if this scenario isn't bad enough, you've got people carelessly swinging their umbrellas as if they were swords. These unintentional swings, somehow, always end up landing a blow right to our faces, making us more irritable for the rest of the day. World War 3 won't be fought with swords or guns. It will be fought with umbrellas on the streets of Dhaka.

 

People who can't decide where to go: “Do I go left or do I go right?”Indecisiveness is what stands between some people and their destination to be. While they take their time to decide which way to go, they forget about the people walking behind them, who have to deal with this indecisiveness.

 

Using phones in the middle of the footpath: We've all done this at some point. May be it's that one reply that cannot wait or perhaps you remembered that you have a Snapchat streak to save right there on the middle of the road. You may have saved your friendship with that quick reply or your streak with that snap, but you do realize that you're blocking the road for others who have to be somewhere important.  

 

Bikes on footpaths: As if the streets were not messy enough due to the free-styling bikers, they often end up on the footpaths when there is too much traffic on the roads. They may be able to save some time doing so, but the fact that it's called a 'footpath' and not a 'bike lane' is something you'd wish they'd remember. What's more frustrating is when they honk to get pedestrians out of the way. Like what do you want us to do if your bike can't move past people on a 'footpath'? Would you like us to grow wings and fly away perhaps? I am sure we would love to do that if we could.

 

When people walk in a parallel manner: We get that you are BFFs and that you stick together wherever you go, but please avoid that on the footpaths. Especially when the path is narrow and you feel the urge to walk side by side with your mates. We don't have any problem with your friendship or apparent brotherhood, but it's the way you display it in the streets that is unbearable.

 

Open manholes and under maintenance roads: If walking through under maintenance roads or on top of sewerage pipes was a sport, we pedestrians would have definitely been championship winning athletes. For roads that take over a month to be fixed, we have no option other than to parkour. Manholes with their lids open also pose a threat to the ones who are too careless to take notice of their surroundings while walking.

 

If you've faced something similar or even worse, do let me know at abir.afc@gmail.com

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