Bangladesh has become one of the hottest tourist destinations this year at a time when other countries are scrambling to control the spread of the dreaded Covid-19.
The Southeast Asian country, on the other hand, has seen an opportunity in the crisis. "Our people are resilient. They survive dengue, floods, polio and bad politicians. Our people are also welcoming and they know they can survive this virus," Tourist Minister Akmal said. Akmal, who himself is not a citizen, had actually come to Bangladesh from Australia, a country which has renewed lockdowns. It's why he was made a tourist minister.
"Our beaches are open with proper health measures in place. Have you been to Alfred's this Eid? Jam-packed. But with the proper health measures in place," Akmal said.
When asked what the health measures were, Akmal said he was not aware.
Tourists, however, aren't arriving in the country for its borrowed cultures only, but also because of its stellar health system.
"Ninety-five percent of all the beds in the Covid-dedicated hospitals are free. This obviously means we have tackled the virus," the country's unhealthy minister said. The minister had given himself an A-grade in July this year for a job well-done.
"Look at the comparison. We only have some two-hundred thousand cases. But it's over eighteen million worldwide. The numbers don't lie," the unhealthy minister said, borrowing a phrase from famous wrestler Scot Steiner.
With so many empty beds, tourists are guaranteed treatment of some sort. "This will be Bangladesh's year. Just you wait and see," the minister said.
When asked why so many of the visitors were Chinese and why they were thronging to see mobile phone network towers in particular, the minister said that was none of any body's business.
"It's not like the Chinese have designs to take over our telecommunications sector," an agitated minister replied.
(This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.)