It’s HOT, it’s HUMID and it is teeming with people. Those were my first thoughts on arrival. It is certainly a long way from Bowen to Bangladesh! My flight from KTM was delayed by several hours, so instead of arriving in the afternoon, I got in at 10pm at night. Such a pity as I would have loved to see the city by day. I say that because I spent my first morning in Dhaka asleep in bed – the sinus infection I got just before I left KTM had caught up with me, and a morning in bed did the trick. I did not see much of the city yesterday, given I slept all morning but I did spend the afternoon looking for short-term rental apartments in Dhaka. I have not yet started work, probably next week but will be based in Dhaka for the duration of my time here. Manzoor kindly gave me a few real estate agents to contact and strict instructions to look for apartments in 3 specific neighbourhoods in Dhaka … to ensure my safety and easy access to the BRAC offices. I will go with this sage advice. Other advice I have received thus far is not to be out alone at night time, even if I am with someone, not to take rickshaws or CNGs at nighttime either. No fancy laptop bags or jewelry to attract attention, no use of a mobile phone while in the rickshaw/CNG. I am sure there are more warnings to come. Foreigners are a target here, simple as that so the less conspicuous I make myself the better. The independent streak in me will be definitely curtailed while in Dhaka it seems. I’ll softly get into life here and get a feel for where the boundaries are, and go from there. I know I do not want to spend the next 4 mths cocooned, but neither do I want trouble. There is a happy balance somewhere. So far at the hotel, I have found the (all male) staff to be friendly and curious. Where am I from, what work do I do and am I married seem to be standard questions. When I say I am not married, I get incredulous looks, sometimes the question is repeated a few times I think to make sure they understood right. I think they do not believe me. It may be easier for me to say I am married and leave it at that. I’ll have to test that theory. I am off to look at a few more apartments today and will probably make a decision tonight or tomorrow as to which one. All the apts I am being shown are at ‘foreigner standard’, are quite spacious, mostly 2 bed apts with all the mod cons … and AC – yay! And security at the entrance gate. Two-bed apt means I can have visitors … Judi – are you still on for visiting me?? I am wearing the pure cotton shalwar kameez I got made in Banepa and am grateful for them. They are comfortable and cool in this hot weather, and cover all thr right parts of my body. I have not had to cover my head as yet given I am in Gulshan (where many foreigners live) but that may change once I start work. The food is delicious, fresh fish is yum yum yum, I have missed fish. And the spicy flavours are really really good. I will not be going hungry – Grace you would love it! I will have to look into learning how to cook some of these dishes. So all in all, a good start to my time in Dhaka. I am excited to find my own place and to get started at work, nothing like jumping in and getting the sleeves rolled up. Exciting to be here in Dhaka!
- Follow Bowen to Bangladesh on WordPress.com
Top Posts & Pages