Successful Cyber Launch

Well, we're coming to the close of the cyber launch 'party' @ But there's still a while left to visit and leave a commentA long time in the making- it's here:A Blonde Bengali Wife buy it on 
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Eid, March 2002

The eve of Eid means last minute shopping.“Meat for the freezer—in case there is not enough to share from the slaughtering tomorrow.” Hasina marches towards the stall.It is like seeing a road accident. The meat is hanging from canopy hooks attached to rusty scaffolding, and carcasses crowd the front of the stall like an obstacle course and passing by without getting a slap in the eye from a swaying piece of mutton flank is a laudable feat. Bloody off-cuts—skin, bone, offal, hairy ears, and glassy eyes—litter the floor. Hasina directs this dismemberment and supervises its stuffing into a jumbo-sized polythene bag or six. It is heaven for the fat flies taking first pick of the goodies. Some settle on the hanging meat, valiantly swatted by a young boy with a witches’ broom, but the majority indulge in an uninterrupted gastronomic experience feasting on the cut pieces, crawling languidly over the diced...
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Chittagong, February 2002

I lie awake for a while listening to the shouts in the corridor grow louder, jump when other residents fall against the door or turn the handle and begin, mistakenly I hope, to creep in. Munnu has a sixth sense for these occasions and growls viciously enough to receive a muted apology before telling me not to worry and go back to sleep. I obey.I love this place. Love it. Like a ciné film, my mind runs through my adventures, my travels, my new friends, my horrors, and I realise for the first time since my arrival, I am truly at home in Bangladesh. I feel almost comfortable here. On this day, the 16th February, I have, in effect, fallen in love. “Oh, would you ever listen to yourself? Cop on and stop being a sentimental old twit.” I mutter out loud, grin to myself in the darkness, and dream spiritual...
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FRIDAY 15th OCTOBER2pm (UK time)Finally - well, the launch of Simon always had to take priority - the publication date for A Blonde Bengali Wife is less than a week away!The first event is on 15 October and that is the cyber launch. It's an all-day blog event where people can stop by and post comments/questions about me and the book--and I'll answer them. The owner of the blog will pick one person who made a comment to win a prize which will be a copy of the book.This event starts at 2pm our time so I'll make my first "appearance" as soon as it starts and will keep checking in throughout the day.  So please visit the site, join me there. leave a comment or ask a question - and offer some plain old moral support!Visit the blog now for an idea of how this works. Be sure to read the blog post and the comments that...
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Rangmati, February 2002

The simple reason for the soldier’s reluctance to let me enter Rangmati, he describes with obvious relish and Munnu—I know him well enough by now—picks over and selectively interprets for me. Unfortunately, the soldier is unaware of this nicety and punctuates Munnu’s narrative with ghoulish gurgles and throat-cutting antics.“He says that yesterday there was a kidnapping. Ten Bengali men are taken from their microbus. Two are found unharmed. The others are mostly still missing.”“Mostly?”“One is dead….” Observing the soldier’s garrotting motions, there is no need to ask how death occurred. “…And one injured.”“Injured how?”Munnu, pained at my insistence, finally yields. “His fingers and toes are no more attached to him,” he admits delicately. Chittagong suddenly looks very inviting, so inviting I think we should go straight there. I have an abrupt urge for a large, bustling city with a pleasant waterfront and access to a tropical beach. A place that is...
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