It’s always interesting having a cook and someone clean for you. You have so much extra time. Someone mentioned to me that when you hire your own workers, it may seem odd at first, but it’s a great thing you can do, giving someone employment (a secure and safe job at that.) Its my first time doing that obviously, and its an interesting feeling.
Friends kept wondering what my food situation would be during the month of Ramadan in an Islamic country. In summary, I'll be able to eat during the day during the next month. Some details:
1. No, it won’t be odd for my cook to make food during the day, because my cook is Buddhist.
2. Not everything shuts down, just 80% of stuff. And then it all reopens at night for Iftar (the breaking of the daily fast.)
3. Iftar dinners are gonna be Barney-level-AWESOME! (that’s a How I Met Your Mother reference, the tv show I spent all my lazy summer watching.)
Two kids were begging at our car window. As usual, we politely dismiss them. They persist which isn’t out of the ordinary. Then I notice one of the kids, being a kid, goes to the nearest rickshaw, and kicks its back end. The rickshawallah gets off his rickshaw while the cross traffic is still moving, and goes to beat the kid. The kid gets hit once, and blames the other kid he was with. The rickshawallah walks away, but then comes back yells a few words and hits the kid again.
Spent the day watching cricket with Risal. Watched
We dropped by a mall and walked around the shops a bit. Looks like knockoff iPods are 20 dollars. Nice sandals I considered purchasing were 14 dollars. Dress sneakers for 20 dollars. Maybe I’ll actually buy something, or maybe I’ll be cheap as usual.
Updated my first wikipedia article today on cricket hat tricks.
I was watching the cricket match, saw the hat trick happen. Looked up what a hat trick was, and saw that it had not happened before in a 20/20 match. So I went ahead and added that it did happen today!
Today in language class I described to Shakil how to play baseball, in Bengali. It was tough. Using all new vocabulary. But because it was fun, it wasn’t as frustrating.
Contacted with Dr. Haque about GIS project. Hopefully I’ll get heavily involved. Mapping
Today I also read about how since Tejagoan airport was reopened, many buildings are now in the flight cone. It used to be the international airport before the city outgrew its old borders, and when they built to the new airport, this old one was closed, and a military base set up around it. The issue is, during its closure, numerous high-rises were built in the area around the airport. And with its reopening, they are now in the airspace cone the airport is supposed to have clear for operations. The city wants the buildings
knocked down, or stories removed. Many issues arise.
I've been finding some really neat articles here on transportation issues. The city has passed huge projects to be completed in the next 17 years. Big issues they have are east-west connections in the city, bypasses, and commuter rail lines. All of these are being targeted. These kinds of issues are exactly why I wanted to come here, to see
how they are handling them.
I took pictures of one of the older flyovers in the city from below as our bus passed beneath. I'm real interested to see how the volumes compare between the flyover and the main road one would travel if you didn't take the flyover. You have well moving traffic on the flyover, and a dead stop below for minutes at a time. I'm thinking the flyover might be handling more vehicles than the main road. However the concrete supports have removed 3-4 travel lanes below it on that main road, so it'd be neat to compare before volumes of the main road, and the after volumes of the flyover+main road. So many things I want to look into once research starts! Below are four photos of the Mohatkali flyover. First looks at the flyover as it splits from the street, and the other three from below .
Shakil and I went down to Old Dhaka today. What an experience. Nothing like I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. We took a rickshaw, then took a double decker bus to the university area. This took 2 hours! What a ride. We talked, looked out the window. But mostly just sat there and inhaled the fumes. I played cricket on my cell phone, my new favorite “nothing to do” activity. When we got to the university area, we walked to a rickshaw stand, and got a rickshaw to take us to Old Dhaka, another 20 minutes away. We got dropped off at Chak Bazar. The busiest bazaar in
We finally turned down another street, who knows which one, but looking on a map later, we had gone a good distance. Our goal was to find some iftar food and head back to the universities to eat. While walking though, I got to see all the thin alleyways and stores selling things only as bulk, distributing it to the rest of the city, I don’t know how though. Many of the buildings look intricately and anciently built. The city used to be very pretty here. The streets are all but gone. Pretty fountains, now off forever, are in the middle of some intersections. The street can’t be more than fifteen feet wide. Five story buildings on either side.
We ultimately ended going back to Chak Bazaar. We bought tons of food. Fried items of everything, cucumbers, many kinds of sweets, and some meats. Then we bought some water and plates and cups. This was all a crazy experience. No one seemed to be cheating us out of money, as iftar prices are set pretty well. But the madness involved in getting the food packaged and into your hands was incredible. You’d scream for what you want amongst many others, somehow the right amount ends up in your hands, you hand them the money, and they hand you the change. Many smells are in the air, from fish, to cooking meats, fruits, spices, and sugars. Such an array.
Two funny instances:
- A younger man, who spoke English well, grabbing my arm and asking me “Are you a muslim?” I shrugged and shook my head. Scene averted.
- I was wondering if I could take a picture. Then I saw a young guy across the table of goods taking a picture with his phone, so I figure it’d be okay. I took my camera out and snapped a shot, then put it away. I then saw he was taking another picture, this time of me, the only white guy in this whole bazaar. I smiled as he took my picture. He saw me smile, realized I knew he was taking my picture. He then looked up from his phone and smiled at me, nudged his friend, and they both laughed. Caught ya!
Shakil and I then grabbed a rickshaw which we took to BUET. We ate in the canteen there. Had to wait 30 minutes about for Iftar. We talked and laughed. When iftar came, the whole canteen became silent except for the sounds of eating.
We stuffed ourselves. We had so much food leftover, and were still full. The leftover food we gave to a beggar.
Learned later that many
Have I mentioned my bed is hard as a rock. I’ve started getting used to. Anyway, I still find myself enjoying the bit of comfort it gives every night.
By the way, I had to learn to eat with my right hand here, since the left is considered very very dirty.