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… number 3

I

have friends in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I lost my heart to the country and the delightful people who live there. Their joy, inventiveness and tenacity in the face of great poverty, regular disasters and the pending horrors of an environmental armageddon is inspirational. So, I am reluctant to include Dhaka on the hell hole list… but it belongs there.

It’s the traffic that makes it so bad. Not insanely reckless driving (Sri Lanka); not mean driving (think Parisian taxi); not even mindlessly dumb driving (eg. Winnipeg where “… oops, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking…” risks becoming the city’s motto); no, Dhaka’s traffic earns it a spot on the hell hole list because it simply doesn’t move. They have elevated the concept of gridlock to a permanent state. There are so many vehicles trying to chase down the same small number of roads, it has become impossible.

Choose your term – utter transportation failure; system collapse; inefficiency of monumental proportions… they all apply.

I’m convinced that someone could die in their vehicle in the middle of a downtown intersection in Dhaka and it would be a week or more before anyone noticed.

This traffic nightmare is what drives (very slowly) Dhaka to #3 on the hell  hole list.

Also see hell hole #5 and #4.

Photo: while this image from Dhaka is not of traffic, it depicts the wildly overcrowded train station where people have to fight to get a spot, either inside or outside. Transportation failure…