Winter is coming to Dhaka with a fall of woollens, more bright hues adding to the riots already out on the street. Men strut their stuff in tissue light Punjabis, sleeveless sweaters, and scarves tied round their heads then under the chin as if to comfort to an aching tooth. I suspect there may even be vests.
Women layer scarves on scarves until they seem to seethe with layers, like octopuses with playful arms or vibrant anemones sifting the light.
The markets are avalanches of polyester blankets, blooming with giant flowers that need no sun.
Suddenly winter wear is everywhere and the plank stalls look rickety under the new weight of clothes: socks and slippers, hats, muffs and gloves. Tiger print twin-sets and orange faux fur cardigans seem almost offensive to the eye, almost a bit too ugly for the most tolerant take on beautiful. I try to be open minded but I think my fashion revolution has gone plenty far enough!
Everything is a little softer, dimmed with dust.
Darkness falls early like a fog rolling in. In inky hours the city is somewhere different, a place that is more frightening. Street blocks go up, people disappear and the thick black makes everywhere unfamiliar. It is still safe but feels just frightening enough to keep me necessarily uncomfortable.
These nights are no longer a hot gasp, a struggle to strip through sleep and throw everything but air off. Now I burrow and roll until I am so cocooned in sheet that mornings find me bound up: Houdini after an unsuccessful act.
The time for me to disappear again is rolling back around and leaving starts to sit in my thoughts.
Last night it wriggled down to 19 degrees Celsius and I shivered. December kind of cold back home might just kill me…