To those familiar with the traditional country or neighbourhood pubs in UK, the roadside and village centre tea shops are the non alcoholic Bangladeshi equivalent.
They can be addictive, for those in search of a nice cup of tea..ginger tea is often a speciality.. and some of the world’s greatest, freshly minted snacks.
The clue to a great tea shop is often the unprepossessing, sooty black interior in which, somewhere, the open oven blazing brightly is the source of the ‘Deshi’ pastries.
Don't look for the most immaculate washing or toilet facilities.. but I have encountered small pubs in UK with washrooms not much better!.. rather, focus on the food, the tea, and the great, friendly company.
Even unescorted the traveller can be sure of the warm welcome characteristic of Bangladeshi hospitality, outside the big cities where, like everywhere else in the world, the mindless pursuit of money tends to overwhelm the instincts of hospitality.
As you might well expect, the state of the world, and politics, are high on the conversational agenda in these marvellous institutions. Visit now, before KFC and MacDonalds decide to ‘improve’ eating out. Already the International labour Organisation are proud of bringing ‘specialists’ from Singapore to ‘teach Bangladeshis how to make pastry!’ Globalisation and the destruction of great traditions continues apace courtesy of the taxpayers of developed world and the ignorance of Aid and Development organisations!