These men work

As I’ve suggested previously, I do appreciate an amazing view but I hate taking pictures of one. As a result almost all of my time around the lookout atop Tiger Hill was spent watching and photographing a group of men who were working to build the foundation for a new structure. Actually I ended up watching them for the better part of an hour and a half – far past the point when Catie, Denise, and Polly gave up on me and started back down the hills to a distant village. (Though I must make a special note of appreciation and credit to my ever-patient and supportive Cat that I had to do a great deal of “no really, it’s fine! you can go, I’ll be ok, I’ll catch up!” convincing before she would leave me behind.)

The men seemed to enjoy my hanging around with my camera for so long. I still don’t think they were having fun exactly as it was hard work with little chance for relief from the brutal sun overhead, but they had a good few laughs from my being there. The age of the workers ranged all the way from young adolescents to one man with a long white beard who was well on in years but still quite tough and strong.

The one odd member of the group was the labor supervisor. He was a very young attractive man, and despite the fact that most of the work consisted of the rather messy task of mixing and spreading concrete, he was wearing crisp light tan slacks and a spotless white button-down shirt. He could wear these clothes because his job consisted of nothing but watching and assuring that the men continued to work properly and efficiently. I guess there’s nothing inherently wrong with this system, but it just struck me how obviously (and visually) that slick young man was trying to distance himself from the common laborer.

At one point while I was photographing, I wanted to get an extreme low angle so I pretty much laid full down on the ground which was dusted with some dirt and stray cement. I do things like this quite often to get a shot, so I didn’t think anything of it. When I started to get up though and brush myself off, the supervisor – who I imagine had been watching me with some disdain – addressed me and said something about “dirty” while shaking his head and pointing to my pants. I looked down at the brown and white dusty patches on the navy fabric without feeling too much shame, and then looked back at him and shrugged and said “it’s worth it!”. Either he didn’t understand or simply didn’t approve.

I’ve concluded that I’m just not cut out to be any sort of upper-level supervisor in this lifetime. I’ll keep creating in my sometimes dirty Bengali drawstring pajama pants, thank you very much.

Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)
Bandarban, Bangladesh (Oct 31, 2009)

Photos taken in Bandarban, Bangladesh on October 31, 2009.

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