A rickshaw ride to the restaurant was next on the list. After much haggling, we each got a rickshaw and my guy was asked to follow Setu’s guy. I really wanted to record the experience, so Setu suggested I pull up the rain/sun cover, wrap the strap of my bag and camera around my wrists, and just go for it . So I did. Check out this video I shot for your own experience of a rickshaw ride through Old Dhaka. Notice the sounds, the narrowness of the street, the closeness of the people walking, the range of goods being transported by rickshaw, and how the nearness of the stores to the street. What you won’t get is the smells, which is probably just as well :-).
Lunch – believe it or not, I find myself not eating as much in this heat, and there is no such thing as a salad on any menu, unless I make it myself. But Setu encouraged me to try out a local speciality – biryani. This is usually served at weddings and special occasions but this restaurant specializes in it. You have a choice of mutton or chicken biryani and it is served in a pottery bowel lined with tinfoil. Once the food is eaten, the bowl is chucked out. Similar to the King Curd I ate in Bhaktapur with Nikita and Binay.
As we waited for our food to come, Setu went off for a smoke. I had noticed two women and a man sitting at another table when I went to wash my hands. I smiled at them as I passed. I could tell they were interested in me. Sure enough, one of them came over to me and with very little English, motioned to come join their table for a chat. So I did. they were two sisters and a brother, all living in Dhaka but they have a cousin who lives in Toronto and loves it there. They were thrilled to hear I was Canadian.
Chat was a little hard given neither of us had each other’s languages, so I took their photos and left as soon as my lunch arrived. Clearly I was more hungry than I thought as I forgot to take a photo of my chicken biryani as it was served, here is what left behind me. Thank goodness they did not have the special desert Setu hoped they would have, as I just could not have fitted it all.
The pottery dishes were being delivered as we tried to hail another rickshaw outside of the restaurant.
A few more photos taken of street life while on the rickshaw ride back.
Last but not least was the stunning Star Mosque. Built in the 19th century, the tiles used in the mosaic on the outside area came from the Mt Fuji area in Japan – apparently the guy who built it just loved these tiles. How right he was!
And so ended out sightseeing tour. It was well worth it. I had gone to two of the sights under my own steam, but could not get in to see them for the locked gate. So it was worth it to take the tour and gain access. A long day in the heat but so worth it.