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      Volume 11 |Issue 42| October 26, 2012 |


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Anika Hossain

Some people may think Bongoland is the most unlivable country in the world, but I don't think they actually believe that. In fact, I believe they share my opinion that this is the one place in the whole world where dreams, no matter how questionable they are, actually do come true. I mean, where else can you do what others all around the planet can't imagine doing in their wildest fantasies and manage to get away with it scott-free, without so much as a glance from your fellow countrymen?

Let me be more specific. In the most civilized countries around the world, you have to clean up after yourself. You can't litter on the streets and dump your trash on the side walk. Bongoland is the one place where not only can you get away with doing just that, on a specially lazy day, you can even dump your garbage on your neighbour's roof (sometimes head) without being fined or sued. Imagine never having to look for a bathroom when you're on the road for long hours. Here, all you have to do is open your car door, or merely stop walking, squat and do your business in just about any public space. Of course you would have to be male, as women have a different set of rules to follow. But that's just the least of it.

While we're on the topic of public decorum, let it be said that here in Bongoland, such a thing does not exist. You are at liberty to stare, point at, shove, grope, swear at, make rude comments (about people's weight/complexion/features etc), ask personal questions, be classist and make racist and sexist comments without a care in the world about being politically correct.

If you don't feel like waiting for a red light to cross the street, just cross whenever you feel like it. The people of Bongoland are well known for their daredevilry when it comes to jay-walking and will wait for the exact moment when the signal turns green to run across the street, just for the rush of it. They also retain the right to accuse the people behind the wheels of trying to run them over, should an accident happen to occur, because there is apparently no question that it is the driver's fault.

While we're discussing traffic rules, let's talk about how it is also perfectly okay to drive on the wrong side of the road, refuse to follow traffic regulations, drive buses like they're sports cars and display road rage when someone else breaks the same rules and slows you down. Oh and you can also buy your driving license, no test taking required.

Hate someone? If you have the money and right connections, you may never have to see them again, just close your eyes and wish for it, and they'll disappear into thin air, often aided by an elite force named the RABB (Raid and Butcher Battalion).

In this very special country, you never have to bottle up your feelings of anger, hatred or envy, there is always some “healthy” outlet for all these lovely feelings. All you have to do is find an excuse (not even a good one) to break a few cars, set a fire, form a mob and beat someone to a pulp. You can even pull out a few guns and machetes and attack people for the simple crime of daring to bump into you and not apologising, because you are allowed to have a huge ego and grandiose delusions about yourself without being considered completely insane. It's all legit because if the honourable leaders of the country don't think twice about openly attacking their opposition without a hint of shame or remorse, why should the rest have to worry about such trivial matters.

Speaking of honourable leaders, these guys have it the best. In other countries political leaders exist to serve the public, but not in Bongoland, no sir. In this precious land, politicians act like Egyptian Pharaohs while the public does its best to accommodate their needs. If there's one career worth pursuing in this country, it is that of a politician and here's why. For one, you can be a government employee and live like a king and no one will dare ask how you manage to do so. You can call yourself a VVIP and have a guard of honour for yourself and your family and friends comprising of 50 police officers, who could be out there protecting civilians instead of acting as your errand boys, but hey you're more important. The streets are cleared and blocked off every time you decide to take a stroll/drive outside your home without a thought to the commoners, trying to get to work, who are stuck in traffic for hours just so you can feel important. You can make a fool of yourself on international television and no one will dare laugh in your face. You can insult your colleagues during a parliamentary session and it's considered the norm to do so. You can never perform your job responsibilities and your boss will still call you an exemplary employee. You can have the pleasure of always breaking your promises and still get re-elected by your blindly loyal constituents. You can be convicted for any number of crimes including corruption and conspiracy and still hold your head high when you run for the next elections, holding on to your delusional belief that the public adores you. The list is long enough to fill the entire magazine.

Money making is fairly easy in Bongoland since there is no such thing as business ethics. Small entrepreneurs can set up business anywhere they like including footpaths and foot bridges (the pedestrians like walking on the main roads anyway). As for the big business tycoons (most of whom happen to be related to the beloved politicians one way or another), the possibilities of success are endless. We're talking zero restrictions on import and export, zero quality checks, free license to market any products their hearts desire with no restrictions on prices.

When they run out of land to build their factories/palatial homes, they can simply grab any old empty plot of land (or river!) and claim ownership. They can make bundles of money and still claim that they cannot afford to pay their workers minimum wage. They can also happily pollute the environment as much as they like and be in denial about it.

Some other ways to get rich quick in this country are, to rob people in broad daylight and claim you are a professional thief, steal car parts and sell them back to the original owners at twice the price. If you are a law enforcement officer you can find just about anyone suspicious and threaten to arrest them till they dish out the dough. You can open an internet business advertising products you cannot supply and ask for a hefty advance. After your gullible customers place orders, you can claim not to know them when the delivery date arrives. Find a way to abuse whatever position you hold at work and ask for bribes for simple favours. Or you can simply walk around the streets and bang on people's windows till they are exasperated enough to just give you their money and failing that, threaten to throw faeces at them till they hand over the cash.

Another specialty of Bongoland is that almost anyone can become a celebrity here (if you have money and connections and misplaced sense of self importance). You can wake up one morning and decide to write a book and publish it yourself, make a painting using the skills you learned in third grade, improvise on and record a song by a legendary song writer in your own nasal voice, make a movie and star in it yourself- you can do it all, just throw a huge party and invite the “right people,” and instantly, you become a celebrated author, painter singer, actor, socialite- whatever you want!

Bongoland is definitely a place where one can unleash their elemental instincts and be their obnoxious best. With so much to offer, it is shocking that this nation holds the dubious title of being the world's most unlivable place. Those who made this list have clearly never lived here, and ought to give it a try before they jump to such unflattering conclusions.


All places, characters, institutions and events described in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to any person or institution living or dead is purely coincidental.


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