It has been a bit cooler and windier these last few days. Not as sunny out either. Perhaps it’s the start of the seasons changing. On a side note, I’m so intrigued by the idea of the monsoon season. It’ll be my last season I experience here. And it’s the most unique. I’m always wondering what life will be like then.
Washed our bed sheet, I will finally feel clean sleeping in that bed.
At BUET I was waiting to get my computer access approved today. So while I waited I did some research work on crowded buses, collecting my last bit of literature before I start reading into it more critically.
When the director was finally available to approve my computer usage application, the security guard told me to come in. They were very hesitant to give me access as I wasn’t an official student. I didn’t have an official letter showing where I came from either, and only my professor’s signature proved someone knew I was supposed to be at BUET at all. After lots of discussing amongst each other, it was decided if the director’s boss approves me, I’m ok. So another bit of waiting, then that top guy approved me. They gave me a username and password and showed me the computer lab. The internet isn’t especially fast, but it’ll be good enough, and it’ll be nice to be able to use programs and internet without bringing my laptop to campus.
When I got home, Ashrafi called me and said he and Popel were going to go see Radioactive at Decagon Café. Radioactive is a band I saw the night of Cyclone Sidr, with the spectacular vocalist. They also were the winners of DRockstars, a rock band American Idol-esque competition in
Spent the rest of the night trying to get a currency converter to work in the sidebar of my blog. Required me to learn a bit of HTML to edit what was already available on the internet. Wanted people to be able to convert from taka to popular viewers’ currencies to understand the values I’m throwing out.
Went to HSBC to get money for the
Three weeks ago, I completed my collection. Of what? Money! And by that I mean the bills of
For weeks now I’ve been trying to gather all the taka notes, but with a certain aim in mind. I was trying to get a brand new and a real old bill of each denomination then take their photo together for comparison. The main motivation behind taking these comparison pictures was the Tk2 note. The old ones are so unrecognizable, they might as well just be scraps of paper. They are torn, brown, and look like garbage. And they are probably the most often exchanged note because of this. No one wants it in their wallet, and whoever you give it to will give it away just as quick. As well, local bus fares are usually around Tk2, so Tk 2 notes are commonly being passed around.
As you can see, the oldest Tk500 note I could find still doesn’t look so bad, despite it being old enough (at least 2004 or earlier) to have a different picture on it altogether! The holes in the new notes are because they come in bundles with a string passing through them all. I took shots of each bill front and back. Each bill is a different size and color. (pics: what I felt was the "front" and "back" of the Tk2, Tk5, Tk10, Tk20, Tk50, Tk100, and Tk500 notes. New above old in each)
The only time I actually had all the notes in my wallet at one time, happened in
And that last note which took me many months to find….the newer Tk20 note.
The following link has information on all the bills, you just have to click through to read it all.
In my collection I also have a 50 poisha coin (half of Tk1) and a Tk1 note, but don’t know where they are packed up right now.
Naira invited me to come watch a movie at Probal’s big movie watching room. When we picked up Probal and Nerpa, we got to see their new place they’ve moved into after marrying. Not much furniture yet, so it looks enormous. They even have a pool in their apartment building. That’s really unheard of here.
We went to Probal’s movie place, and we watched Shoot Em Up. What a violent bloody shooting movie. Still cool. The girls really didn’t like it. But for the theater like environment there, the guys felt watching a drama would be a waste of the big screen and sound system.
Rained today. A lot cooler. This is surprising weather actually for this time of year. There really isn’t supposed to be rain in the dry season. People are blaming global warming.
This morning I woke up to see it was raining still. It was very cool outside, and the rain was light. Apparently the cold and rain caused seven deaths in northern districts of the country, people who can’t afford warm clothes even for 55 degree temperatures.
Went to the trade fair. It’s a big annual event which lasts a month. It’s set up behind the
I was supposed to go with Ayon, Saquib, Nipu, and others, but as of last night they all backed out. So Megan came with me, and she invited Karen as well, so it ultimately was the three of us.
Walked around, asked about prices. Though I heard it’s supposed to be really cheap here, I’ve seen cheaper prices elsewhere in the city. Looked at a few shirts, but they were all too small. It was wet and a bit cool, but not too bad. (pics: many of the stalls which form the border of the trade fair, Karen and Megan inside a stall that sold Bangladeshi made handbags.)
By the way, in Bangladeshi shirt sizes, I’m a XXXL. Crazy that I’m the big guy around! The XXL size is usually too short in the arms.
Also a major event happening in
It’s the second largest gathering of Muslims in the world, after Hajj in
But as I was writing this, I read a news report that the event is getting cut short this year because of the rain and the cold, which left three people dead. Such a shame. Since this just happened, I updated the wikipedia article (go see from the link before.)
Ate lunch at Diya/Farhanaz’s place, which has been in planning for a few weeks. Delicious home cooked food. Was there until .
Today I started really looking at graduate schools. Made a spreadsheet to compare them, like my father made for me when I was choosing undergraduate schools. Have several points for comparison including what the school’s most popular transportation research topics are, how many transportation professors they have, and if they have a student section of ITE. However, just as important items like how good the weather is, how their football team performs each year, and of course the likelihood of rowing there or not is included in the spreadsheet! Tonight I completed my analysis of Cornell. I have eleven universities on my initial list, which was pulled from a list of the best civil engineering schools. Texas, Berkeley, Stanford, Cornell, Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Michigan and MIT, as well as Virginia Tech’s Metropolitan Institute and comparing them all to what I know already about NCSU.
Supposed to go to Sonargaon today. But the rain and the cold made Megan and I decide to cancel it. It’s mostly an outdoor affair there, and it wouldn’t be fun with 60 degree rainy weather.
Today is the KKC back at NC State. 3000 people registered, and they had to cap it there because of t-shirt limits. Wonder what it could’ve grown to. It is so exciting. Can’t wait to see how it goes. I care about it from an organizational standpoint, as well as how it succeeds in raising money for the NC Children’s Hospital. Saket, Greg, Peyton and I, as the past organizers, keep sending emails around and commenting on how we think it’ll turn out. (graph link) The way registration grew day by day compared to last year is spectacular (graph thanks to Saket.) Incredible what happened. 400 people in one day near the end!
Was home most of the day. Started a literature review document which I’ll gather all my thoughts on the articles in.
Met up with Saifullah, Ashrafi, and Sunny at
Newspapers posted on walls everywhere. I’m going to make the guess that this is the way that most people in
BUET students are doing online course registration for the first time ever this semester. They are continually coming into the computer lab in which I’m sitting to register. Many times in pairs to explain to each other how to navigate the nuances of the new system. I see a lot of them staring at the registration page for minutes on end, trying to understand what exactly needs to be done, and exploring the possibilities of this new online system.
The computer lab I’m in is fairly nice. Twenty computers, all Dells. Not that fast, but fast enough. Most people are coming to browse the internet. We remove our shoes before we come in. and we leave our bags in cubby holes near the entrance. Meaning I have to empty the contents of my bag at my computer station, then bring the bag back to the door.
Went walking to find a place for lunch. Went south from BUET to see what was there. Found a restaurant that looked really nice inside. Well designed tables and chairs and a neat interior. I ate lunch there, and it took about 45 minutes, and in that time, NO ONE ELSE CAME IN. Felt bad for the owners. They obviously put a lot of effort into the place, and no one is coming. I wonder if I was the first all day. Took them forever to make my food, and although I’d like to blame their lack of customers on bad service, I think the case is rather that they had to fire the stove up and cook everything fresh since I was the first.
Going carefully through each document for the literature review, and taking notes on the parts which are important to my project. There are no studies that I can find that did exactly what I want to do, or even 50% of what I want to do. In what I’ve found, buses are simply deemed overcrowded, but how that affects operations is rarely even mentioned.
Today’s plan was to buy tickets for my flight to
First I went to the
From Megan’s job we headed by bus to my travel agent from last week in Motijheel. We booked our tickets at the travel agent, but not without them serving us lunch first: fried chicken, fries, and a roll. Just like last time. And it’s not like they were trying to win our business anymore, really not sure why we’re fed there.
We got the GMG deal just fine, Buy 1 Get 1 Free to
When I got home this evening I couldn’t find my disembarkation card. This piece of paper is given to you when you arrive in
Got sick again tonight. Stomach problems. And no one can see it was street food this time, as I’ve only eaten at good restaurants the last few days. Was not happy get sick again. It always seems to start at night too. Don’t know what’s causing it.
Today I’ve been sick. At home all day. Worked on my literature review from home. Reading about
Called the travel agency to see if they had my disembarkation card I lost at their place. Nope, they hadn’t seen it. So now I’m going to try and see what will happen. I’ll try and see if I can get it all worked out before I arrive at the airport on February 15.
Had cereal for breakfast. And managed to have rice and some blandish curry for lunch. Potato and tomato curry only. Felt good to eat the warm food. It’s been cold in the house lately too. Given me a sore throat as well.
Talked to Lauren online, one of the other Fulbrights. She’s going to be leaving early. She was mugged once, and recently her roommate got mugged for the second time, all in their neighborhood. Well its enough that she’s calling it quits and doesn’t want to stay anymore. I’m likely going to buy her TV, DVD player, and fridge. Win-win for both of us as she gets some money for the stuff she bought and I get cheaper prices for used items.
Throat this evening has gotten worse. Hard to swallow food, and also hard to swallow water. Will go to doctor tomorrow. Diya and Farhanaz’s parents are both doctors, and their mom’s hospital is real close by. So I’m going to get this checked out if it’s not better tomorrow.