Stories from the Road: A Beat Up Bus, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Stories from the Road is a collection of stories about my own photographic adventures in South Asia. Sometimes the stories are exciting and sometimes mundane and at times emotional. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the story.


(This post was written a month ago.)

Do you ever feel beat up? I do. Completely a mess. I have been in India for a month now. It’s not really all that tragic. I do not actually have any bruises. Well, that is not entirely true. I have a bruise on my left calf. It’s big, bigger than a quarter, I don’t know where it came from.

Anyway, the photograph this week is a detail of the back of a bus in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In the photograph you see the dents and pealing paint of the back of the bus. It is painted yellow, orange and blue. There is a square white ground with black Bengali writing on it. Obstructing the view is a metal cage, which serve as doors for the auto-rickshaws in Bangladesh. I guess they are to protect the passengers. However, only the driver can open the door. What if I need out?

There is something different about the buses in Bangladesh. They are chunkier. They are older and more beat up than the buses I have seen in other places I have visited. A real sign of the lack of money in the country.

The traffic in Dhaka has to be some of the worst in the world, as it is the most populated city in the world. My mother and I  spent much time sitting in traffic jams with nothing to do but look at the sides and back of these buses. At a point you start to appreciate the aesthetic quality of the paint, the bumps and scraps, the peeling of the paint. I am beginning to appreciate the bumps and bruises of my experience here, but it is definitely a work in progress. It is an experience for sure.


By |2018-09-08T19:57:14-05:00June 14th, 2016|Bangladesh|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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