Dhaka City, January 2002

The harsh bedroom light is snapped on. Rehana is ushering in a tall, thin woman with short, greying hair and a friendly if bemused smile; the same look I have had on my face all day. “Christine from Australia.” Rehana says by way of introduction. “Anne from Ireland. You sleep here.” She points to the bed in which I lie, and I obligingly move over to one side. Before Christine or I can say anything, my friend Shahardot, who is lugging two suitcases, launches a huge square canvas bag into the room. He points at me in recognition, laughs for old time’s sake, and demands money from Christine. With Rehana watching avidly, Christine changes into the long johns that contrast nicely with my oversized purple T-shirt. She opens her canvas bag and from its depths, and like a modern Mary Poppins, she shakes out a full-sized duvet and pillow. We lie...
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The Modern Reader - Interview

Here's an interview I did for the LL-Publications newsletter. You can subscribe to it by sending an email to subscribe(at)ll-publications.com  or learn more by going to http://www.ll-publications.com/newsletter.htmlhttp://www.ll-publications.com/TheModernReader_Issue2_Feb2010.pdf
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West of Ireland, 2001

Leaning on my trolley, trying to look blasé whilst scanning the crowd and waiting to be found—in this crowd, a pale-faced, blonde-haired Westerner is a beacon—a frowning policeman accosts me. “Bangla, na,” I apologise, bemoaning my half-hearted efforts with Bengali tapes and a phrasebook. We attempt to communicate in sign language since the only English phrase the policeman can repeat frequently and with a serious smile is unconstructive in the circumstances: “I love you,” he announces, arms akimbo. “I love you.”“Thank you,” I say. “But do you love me enough to take me home with you? You see, I don’t know where I’m going, where I am staying, who is going to meet me, what I will be doing, or indeed, with whom I will be doing it.”Gently, he moves me to a quieter spot where more people can easily watch me. Minutes grind past. Then. . . (ABBW Ch1)After years...
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In the Beginning...

The road to publishing A Blonde Bengali Wife has been—is—long and winding. It’s the story of a personal diary that evolved into a travel book and en route became instrumental in forming the charity Bhola’s Children. Over the next few posts, and without becoming a total Bangla-bore (I promise) I'll tell the story of the journey so far and where we're going next.Oh, and as for anyone curious to know where the baby comes in, well even at D-Day Minus 9 the jury's still out on whether that's another story. But for now, back to where it all began...
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A Blonde Bengali Wife - The Blurb

They all said that Bangladesh would be an experience...For Anne Hamilton, a three month winter programme of travel and “cultural exchange” in a country where the English language, fair hair and a rice allergy are all rare in the extreme was always going to be interesting, challenging and frustrating. What they didn’t tell Anne was that it would also be sunny, funny and the start of a love affair with this unexplored area of Southeast Asia.A Blonde Bengali Wife shows the lives beyond the poverty, monsoons and diarrhoea of Bangladesh and charts a vibrant and fascinating place where one minute Anne is levelling a school playing field “fit for the national cricket team,” cobbling together a sparkly outfit for a formal wedding the next. Along with Anne are the essential ingredients for survival: a travel-savvy Australian sidekick, a heaven-sent adopted family, and a short, dark, and handsome boy-next-door. During her adventures...
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