First impressions (from the 30 minute ride from the airport, hey, more than most journalists ever study a place).
The stndnrad of spoken English is high here, higher than in London often is. Among Bangladeshis in London that is. But then tour guides and porters at top end hotels are very desirable jobs in poor places.
Yes, teeming Asia, people, people, people, a la Paul Ehrlich (and this is 6 am on a Friday in a Muslim country).
Something good has happened here this past 30 years or so. OK, yes, many poor. Obviously. Couple of blokes working as porters (not hotel kind, carrying loads outside). They’re poor, obviously, rich people are not barefoot in the middle of town and carrying 40 lbs on their heads.
They’re also 6 foot and more tall.
That would be a hell of a surprise to anyone who had come to Bengal at any time in the past four millennia or so.
There are much more formal studies than my quick glance out there but there’s a definite difference in heights among generations. Think back to that WWI with the British soldiers and officers thing. When the 50 year old hotel porter is 5 ft, the 20 year old porter porter out there 6 then something’s happened. That something being a significant reduction in mal- and under-nutrition between the generations.
Hell, not saying it’s perfect, not at all, but the direction of travel has been in the right direction. Tall poor people is a hell of a sign of that.
They use British 3 pin plugs.