A "friend" in Bangladesh

I hate to report it, but there will be no blond hair, blue-eyed Bangladeshi backup singer anytime soon. I’ve ended all dealings with the “friend” who had lined up this connection.


This text message:

This is Tuton. I am in great danger. I need to pay a party by this evening. I failed to go to bank. Still I need taka 15,000 or more. It is my request to you to give me the above by evening as loan. I must repay the amount by this week. I am in great danger. Help me pls. Pls let me know the result soon. Waiting for your reply. Tuton.

15,000 taka is about $200. Obviously, I want nothing to do with loaning money and especially being involved with anything labeled as GREAT DANGER.

I politely denied the request in an email to Tuton. You can read our correspondences below the cut.


It sounds like now is not a good time for us to work together. I appreciate your time and your company and I will ask no more of you the remainder of my stay in Bangladesh.

I hope you understand that I am not able, nor willing, to assist you with whatever trouble you are in. I barely know you and I don’t want to get wrapped up in any drama.

Best of luck,


Dear Kelsey,
It was very good to meet you. Though you are a foreigner I forgotten ti hide myself. I placed me infront of you like an open book. That is why I expressed my problem to you. Also that is our culture to ask for help. That was my mistake . I considered you as my friend who is not with in a bad financial condition. Really I had to pass my last week with a heavy financial crisis for starting new business. It is overcoming. And hope will be overcomed shortly.
That was not story. That was real life in front of you. Also I should tell you my living standard is estimated a good standard.I am not a guiy to chit anybody anywhere with some stories.
You misunderstood my mental attachment towards you.
You are American. I am Bangladeshi. No problem. But pls .don;t try to end this part/story with such ending.
Hope before leaving Bangladesh you will make a call to me to say good bye.
Hope you can arrange everything you need here in my homeland.
I feel proud to be a Bangladeshi. I help people when anybody in Danger. I don’t try to find out any more story with this.
It is very sad for me. Having a honest mentality I had be sad in an unusual way.
Good Luck. Have a nice visit to Bangladesh.


I hope everything works out for you. You are wrong to assume that my financial condition is one in which I can loan hundreds of dollars here and there. Wealth is relative. Yes, I’m from the United States where I earn more than the average Bangladeshi, but the cost of living is also much, much higher.

I just bought a house and have a wedding to pay for. While I’m away I have a house payment to make in addition to all of my travel and accommodation expenses. I will have to work very hard to make this trip pay for itself through my writing.

So no, I can’t afford to help.

Everywhere I go in countries like Bangladesh people see my light hair and pale skin as a sign of wealth. I have to be careful who I befriend because many want more from me than friendship and I’m not in a position to help anyone financially.

I hope you understand.

Best of luck,


Add a comment
Melissa says:

Hmmm…yup, staying away from “great danger” sounds smart…

Kelsey says:

Yep, me and great danger don’t mix, Kung Fu or no Kung Fu, Spiederman boxers or no Spiderman boxers.

Mel says:

EEK! Sounds like it could’ve wound up quite bad had you not gotten out of that situation as soon as you did. I actually read a travel essay once that dealt with a gal who got stuck in that kind of a situation in Honduras, it wasn’t pretty. Hopefully that’ll be the last of those kind of problems for you.

Kelsey says:

Even some of the best of people here see me as a way to something better. They ask me if I can help them come to the US or they just flat out ask for money. I guess I can’t blame them for trying. To them since I spend $15-$20/night on a hotel room I’m a rich man.

Let your voice be heard!